Remember Me Thursday

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.

#TogetherWeRescue #WeCanLetTheDogsOut



If you want to know how you can help, visit my website 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.


Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and dog rescuer. I live in the darling town of Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley with my husband and three rescue dogs (who rescue me on a daily basis). Find more information about my books, my dogs, and all my writing adventures at

4 thoughts on “Remember Me Thursday”

  1. ❤ It's disheartening, but I remember the 80s/early 90s when most shelters euthanized as a matter of course, there were no breed rescues and fostering? I did it but it was so different — bring in a stray dog. Clean it up, have it checked by a vet, get it shots and neutered/spayed, train it, love it, socialize it, walk it around public places with a sign, "I'm looking for a home" around its neck, take it to a shelter where someone might adopt it. THOSE were the choices. I'm happy that EVERY dog I fostered (but it was only 5) but one found a home. The one who didn't? A sarcastic mange and worm riddled and totally wild Siberian husky. He inspired my future as a Siberian husky owner. It's hard to feel that anything has changed, but a lot has changed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot has changed, but my fear is that at this point we’re resting on those laurels while too many dogs suffer. Rescues have truly changed the game, but are they a band-aid or an answer? I’m pretty sure we can’t rescue our way out of this situation. We need more people like you and your little shelter setting the example. We need to change minds and move hearts.

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: