I had the pleasure of spending the with the volunteers from Animal Control in Columbus, GA. These are people with hearts the size of Texas. They spend every Saturday trying to save the animals our city throws away. The dogs and cats of Columbus would have a much slimmer chance of walking out the doors of this facility if not for these dedicated animal lovers. So today, I spent the day out at the adoption event giving the dogs treats and spending time with each one of them hoping and praying that they would find homes, as it had been made very clear there was no room at the shelter and the ones that were brought back today would surely be killed. And so they day progressed, with this weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of all who were there to help. Surprisingly enough the larger dogs were moving quickly. First a pointer mix, then a border collie and a lab, a chihuahua and a cat or two. Things were looking up and the thought of going back with empty crates, is by far the greatest hope of the folks that spend the time with these animals and network them, repost their pictures and scream from the rooftops to try to find them all homes.
Today there were 9 adoptions, which we would all consider a great adoption day. However, one dog, a collie mix had no interest at all. The thought of him having to go back to the pound was weighing on everyone’s mind. He was an older gentleman, who had repeatedly gotten out of the fence and had been picked up before by the pound. It seemed to me after spending some time with him that it was possible that he had some other issues going on, a large tumor on his belly, hot spots on his rear end that he had been digging at etc. The sad part is that this poor senior had owners, he had a family, and they just never came for him. So there he sat, alone and confused at the pound wondering what he did to deserve this outcome. He had given someone the best years of his life to someone and now he was in danger of being killed because they didn’t want to pay for their irresponsibility that got him there in the first place. Teddy (we called him) was a sweet boy who still had plenty of life in him. He was a little stiff-legged and he needed a good bath, but he was a good dog. He needed a miracle today and it never came.
The end of the day rolled around and Teddy got loaded back in the truck to head back to the pound. Again, I’m sure he was scared and confused about his current predicament. He was returned to the facility where he was euthanized upon arrival. Now his body will be thrown in the land fill like trash. He did not deserve this. He deserved a nice soft bed and a bone to chew on. Days spent laying in the sunshine and being spoiled and loved. He deserved to die with dignity, after being loyal to a family all those years. He deserved better! He didn’t deserve to be surrounded by barking and death and sadness in his last hours, he deserved more. He didn’t deserve to spend his last minutes in the hands of people who didn’t care about him or love him. He deserved to live. Run free at the Rainbow Bridge sweet boy! I’ll see you there some day, and you can cross over with me.
This is why the No Kill Equation is the only solution. For dogs like Teddy this would have been a chance at a new beginning, not the end of the road. He shouldn’t have had to die this way. The city of Columbus is spending YOUR tax dollars to do things like this! Is that ok with you? Is it ok to kill in the face of a life saving solution? Is it ok to fund and facilitate the needless murder of companion animals because Mayor Tomlinson and the rest of the city council can’t simply understand that the Save-A-Pet program will never be the answer? There are so many gaps in this program and they are not closing over time. There is still no PET RETENTION PROGRAM! Maybe if this was in place and the owners were contacted they could have found a way to keep their dog and get the impoundment fees figured out. But there is no program! Maybe if there was a proactive program such as this, the dog wouldn’t have been picked up but could have been returned to its owner by the officer with directives on how to prevent this boy from wandering off again! But again, this doesn’t happen. The only actively functioning facet of this program is the offsite adoptions, and these alone cannot save the animals from death. Please join the No Kill Movement in our community. There is so much work to be done. We must be their voice! We must get louder! We must effect change in a broken system and no one said it would be easy, but it’s possible! And all I need is POSSIBLE, and that’s all you should need too!
Teddy doesn’t have a chance to live out his golden years, he will be in the land fill with many, many more. So please, stop being silent! Email the Mayor, the City Council and let your voice be heard for dogs like Teddy. He deserved better. Visit www.nokillcolumbusga.org to find out how you can get involved. Stop making excuses and start making a difference!