Friday, November 12, 2010

Rescue Exposes Terror at High-Kill Shelters

On Monday I set out to cover what I thought was a routine story about a female dog with puppies rescued from a shelter north of San Diego County. A local resident with a special interest in senior dogs had offered to foster what she was told was a 15-year-old female, only to learn later that the dog had just given birth in the shelter.

The foster mother agreed to take the puppies and the mama dog, who had been held as evidence in a court proceeding for three months. What she didn't understand was how the dog could be skin and bones while under the care of shelter workers. Later I was told that as a result of the mother being malnourished, four of her eight puppies died.

This dog, appropriately named "Lucky," is now healthy and safe. You can read Lucky's story here and get information about adopting her and the puppies. But this is only the beginning of the story.

As I made calls I learned that 500 dogs had been euthanized in one day at this shelter. Think about it. Five hundred dogs. Yes, the answer is spaying and neutering but what can we do about the adoptable dogs who are here? Anyone who says they love dogs should be angry and get up from off their hands and do something. This can be fostering, adopting or donating money to rescue groups who perform heroic work by pulling these animals from shelters and finding them temporary refuge. As a nation that views dogs as "man's best friend," there is no excuse in doing nothing.

Here are some worthy rescue groups:

Jill Gasparac, Animals, People & Environment Action (Jill works with shelters throughout S. California and was responsible for rescuing Lucky.)

Lisa Hamilton, Boxers & Birds Animal Rescue

The Dog Squad, Carlsbad

Animals Without Borders, San Diego

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