Do you remember the puppy Cookie found forgotten and in terrible shape in an animal shelter? Happy news! Cookie has been delivered from Georgia to his new home Maryland via a relay of volunteers. He’s doing so much better and has a happy life ahead of him.
Last December many of us were deeply moved by the Just One Dog video of sweet Stanley’s rescue from a California shelter. Sadly we have another stark reminder that Stanley’s story is only unique in the he was noticed by someone who could help. Cookie, pictured above, was just another dog suffering a tortured existance in a Georgia county shelter that appears to have some serious problems. Fortunately, he is out of the Floyd County shelter, is now being treated by a vet, and is getting pain medications, treatment to ease his itching, and treatment for all his underlying problems. Cookie has a Facebook page documenting his progress.
reference-checking has been delegated to others outside of Floyd County, animal tags have been falsified, and licenses apparently used improperly in the rescue of animals….animals from the Animal Shelter (were) transported to uncertified rescues and persons who are not legally compliant in their home cities/counties…
So the volunteer program was suspended until it could be reexamined. Shelter director Jason Broome and the County Commission are ultimately responsible for these problems and Broome has publicly said he takes full responsibility. Cookie was found in the aftermath of this upheaval.
If there is to be any finger pointing though, I think that finger should be pointed right back at us, the public. I believe a lot of us don’t want to think about what goes on in our public animal shelters. I know I don’t. And the problems there can seem insurmountable. However:
We need to speak up and demand that our animal control departments recieve proper funding.
We must demand that progressive, qualified directors be hired to oversee operations and to set goals.
If we visit a public shelter and see problems, we need to act—contact the director to politely voice your concernes & contact your representatives to let them know.
Spay & neuter your pets. Don’t contribute to the numbers of unwanted cats & dogs.
And, please, think long & hard about buying a pet when there are so very many cats & dogs in shelters who desperately need someone who cares.
Remember that gut-wrenching video, Just One Dog, about the dejected white pitbull with mange and eye infections in California shelter? (The video was made by Cathy at CampCocker.) Well, a bunch of good things have been happening to Stanley since then and he’s doing so much better! He’s now being fostered in a home by the Respect-A-Bull rescue group in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. His skin and eyes are improving, he has more energy, he’s playing, sleeping in a snuggly bed, and giving out lots of kisses.
Stanley’s story is great, but here’s the thing I think we have to remember—Stanley isn’t special, at all. He really is just one dog out of thousands and thousands of dogs. I think we tell ourselves the fiction that Stanley is special so we won’t feel so bad about the millions of dogs destroyed every year in the US alone. The majority of the dogs destroyed in shelters are no different than Stanley. They just never got a chance. Tons of people have offered to adopt Stanley. I hope so much that they will instead adopt just one other dog.
Please support your local rescue groups. If you want to help out Respect-A-Bull, you can donate on their site or purchase a Stanley shirt.