Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm Monte Christo. I've been saved.

How can I explain what it's like to wake up in an animal shelter? The frightening confusion. Nothing is familiar. The metal kennel, the strange smells, the constant racket. The fear, so deep in your bones, your whole body just shakes. And the noise, the never ending noise. All the other dogs barking for their owners, barking to be let out, barking for attention, barking for help, barking, barking, barking. It's so loud; it just doesn't stop. I'm so scared.

I guess the humans in this place are okay. No one's hit me or yelled at me but I don't know them. They don't smell familiar. They don't sound right and I rarely see the same face twice. A nice man rubbed my head when he put some food and water in my cage, but then off he went, and I didn't see him again. What's going on? What's happening? Why am I here? What did I do? I'm so scared.

A tall lady showed up, opened my kennel door and picked me up. She speaks softly and smells like dog, that's nice. But where are we going? Oh, no! A bath. What's that noise? Oh, no! Clippers. What is she doing to me? All my fur is being shaved off. I can't stop shaking. She tells the guy who is holding me that I'm too matted to brush out. I don't know what matted is - how did I get matted? Is that why I'm here? I'm so scared.

Now they're taking me somewhere else. . .here's another lady, but wait, oh, no! A shot. She's giving me a shot and another one. Ouch! Ouch! Now what are they doing to me? She keeps telling me to be good. I'm good. How would she like to be prodded, poked, shaved and all alone? I'm good but I'm so scared.

Here comes someone else. She's smiling at me, saying something that's supposed to make me feel good, I guess. But I don't know her. Why is she putting this thing around my neck? Now she's picking me up and we're going out the door. This lady says she's from the Coastal Poodle Rescue Group and she's come to take me to a foster home but first we have to go to another vet. We take a long ride. I can't stop shaking. I'm so scared.

More strange smells, more peeking, poking, prodding. They say I have to come back for surgery in a couple of days. Whatever that is. Can't be good. Another ride in a car with another lady. This one keeps talking to me and rubbing my head as we ride and I keep shaking. Now we're at my foster home and there's another poodle here. I like him, he's nice, he doesn't bark at me. It's quiet here, the food is good and the bed is soft. I'm still scared but I'm so tired. I think I'll take a nap with my new friend.

Gilly watches over Monte while he catches forty winks.

A Central Florida animal shelter called the Coastal Poodle Rescue Group, who in turn sent out an emergency SOS email asking for three volunteers to open their homes for three abandoned poodles who would be euthanized the next day if not picked up. Monte Christo was one of them.

For many innocent, loving, deserving pets, there is no rescue in sight.

The headline in the Orlando Sentinel's Local section on August 28th read: Too many pets, too few homes. with the subtitle: Unwanted animals overwhelm shelters. The article with accompanying statistics, more than 100,000 impounded animals last year, is a frightening testament to the severity of the problem.

Most animal rescue groups, are non-profit, run and manned by volunteers.
Rescued animals are brought for health checks, treated for ailments, spayed or neutered and placed in foster homes awaiting adoption. But based on the figures published for Central Florida last year, only 25% of the impounded animals were reclaimed by their owner or adopted. 61% were euthanized.

Fortunately this time, a phone call was made, a volunteer stepped forward, and Monte Christo lives to see a full life in the loving home of his new adopted family. But how many deserving animals will never have that chance? I'm not asking you to think about what you can do. I'm asking you to decide what you will do.

Will you talk to people about adopting a rescued dog? Will you distribute flyers? Will you talk about the importance of spaying/neutering to dog owners you know? Will you donate some money to help with the vet bills? Will you drive a dog to the vet? Will you transport a rescued dog to a foster home out of town? Will you foster a rescued dog for a week or a month? Will you adopt a rescued dog? Will you think about the frightening numbers just here in Central Florida last year:
Impounded: 107,865
Reclaimed: 9,685
Adopted: 17,609
Euthanized: 80,571
What Will You Do?
We all can do something to help alleviate the problem. Please ask yourself, what WILL you do. Every donated hour, every donated dollar makes a big difference in some dog's life. Will you help?
Check out our website: email or give us a call.
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Jen said...

Count us in, Joyce! We're believers in the rescued mutt....Keep up the fabulous spreading of the news and foodie inspirations!
Jen, Jason, & Elijah - proud owners of Hope, Joe, and Snoopy, too (rescued mutts extraordinaire)!

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