The Forgotten remain forgotten…

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I see the eyes on the dogs behind the bars at the shelter, it’s almost as if I can hear their thoughts and their cries.  They look through the bars hopeless and broken.  The faces are the same, the dogs are the same, the stories are the same.

As so many rescues and big organizations come into the shelters to help, why do theses same dogs remain?  The same ones I saw before, I see today.  With all of the millions in help, why does this scene look so familiar?

If you wonder who I speak of, it’s the old, the pit bulls, the hopeless ones.  Puppies are the first ones out of the shelters, as are the purebreds, but what about the 7-10 year old dog that no one sees?  Why don’t people take them?

I’ve said the same thing for years and I say it again today: If the shelter was filled with pure bred dogs and puppies people would be rushing there.  But they’re not.  The shelter is filled with pit bulls, pit mixes, old dogs, aggressive dogs and the shut down dogs.  When rescues and big money groups step in and “rescue” the cute puppies and the purebreds what remains, remains.  The same dogs that didn’t get adopted before, don’t get adopted when you clear out the others.  Why does this upset me so?  Because many of those dogs that are being “rescued” were only at RISK OF ADOPTION at the shelter.  I’ve been criticized over and over for speaking the truth, but it remains the truth.  The reason people don’t want to go to the shelter is because “it is do depressing.”  That will remain the case when the hopeless stay there and are surrounded by other hopeless dogs.

Through Bound Angels’ Shelter Video Program we’ve saved hundreds of “hopeless” dogs from shelters and we saved a few cute ones too.  It was always our single minded goal to increase traffic into the shelter and rescue dogs through exposure.  It is for the sake of those that need rescue most that we need to be aware of this.  There are a few rescues that do the hard work and rescue those that no one else takes, you know who you are, you are my friends and those that agree with what I say.  The others, who cherry-pick the best dogs at the shelter and get them for the lowest price, then adopt them out at a premium, you are no better than the pet store on the corner – in fact you are worse.  For those that throw their weight around with big names and fancy titles, you are not helping the problem.

What is the answer to the problem, it’s really quite clear.  Get people to love their dogs, make pet ownership fun and easy, make spay and neuter available for every person who can’t afford it and make it accessible.  Get people into the shelters by showing them there are great dogs in the shelters….  and give hope to the hopeless.

Next time you walk the aisles of your local shelter, ask yourself:  Is the hype true that 30% of the dogs at the shelter are purebred?  If so, where is that 30%?  I’ve visited hundreds of shelters and was never able to substantiate that figure.

Let’s all come together for the sake of the animals that need us most.  Let’s work together to save animals, not to make our names bigger than the other organizations, and certainly not to take in more donations this year than we did last year.  After all, what good is a big name and a big fiscal statement when our legacy is littered with the carcasses of those we are entrusted to save.

Robert Cabral

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