Today is Remember Me Thursday. It’s a day to light a candle to remember the countless dogs who are waiting in shelters for a forever family or who have lost their lives while waiting.
Having just spent over a week visiting the shelters and seeing the faces of so many good dogs, it is especially poignant.
There were definitely moments when the situation overwhelmed, when it seemed like an impossibly tall mountain that we will never be able to climb. I hear again and again that the number of dogs losing their lives in shelters is shrinking, but as I walked along cement floors and looked through chainlink at their beautiful faces, I can only say it is not happening fast enough and it is not happening everywhere.
Talking to shelter directors and asking about their numbers, every single one of them tells me that the number of dogs landing in their care is increasing, not decreasing. So, while progress has been made, at best it has leveled off, at worst we are losing ground.
I’ve spent a lot of time with dogs who have made it out of the shelters – rejoicing with them or coaxing them back to life when they arrive on transport. But down here, before the transports, before a rescue claims them, as they sit in cold, dark spaces amidst the endless barking it is heartbreaking. They don’t understand and they don’t deserve it.
The one thing we cannot do is forget about them. So, today light a candle or send up a prayer to acknowledge the countless animals that still suffer, but most of all think about what you can do to change the situation.
If you have a rescue dog, hug him a little tighter and rejoice that he made it out of the shelter to join your family.
And if you don’t have a dog or are considering adding a dog to your family, remember this: If just one-third of the people who plan to purchase a dog from a breeder this year, instead chose to adopt a dog, the shelters would be emptied out in a day. Imagine that!
It’s a day I look forward to.
If you want to know how you can help, visit my website AnotherGoodDog.org/how-to-help or subscribe to the blog, Who Will Let the Dogs Out, where I post regular updates on shelters/rescues and how to help. You can also follow Who Will Let the Dogs Out on Facebook and Instagram.
Mostly, what we need is your help spreading the word. Animals suffer and die in shelters not because people don’t care, but because they don’t know. Help us tell them.