Let me warn you at the outset... you are about to read something unsettling. If you want to avoid having your innocent holiday wonder and exuberant Christmas spirit crushed, then you should move on to a different article. On the other hand, if you continue reading, maybe you will be able to help find a solution to a critical problem that exists right here in Shelby County.
Many Shelby County children will receive a new kitten or puppy for Christmas this year. While visions of playful puppies and cuddly kittens with big red bows and jingle bell collars create irresistible holiday images, the fact is, the future for those real-life balls of fur are pretty bleak.
Unfortunately, it's not unusual for well-meaning parents to introduce new pets into a family at Christmastime but fail to realize the ongoing responsibility attached to pet ownership. In far too many cases, the novelty of a new pet soon wears off. When that occurs, the young animal will be ignored and will be likely to develop behavioral problems. In addition, new owners often learn too late that they can't afford to own pets because they failed to recognize that animals require additional expenses for food and veterinary services.
What happens next is grim.
An alarming number of new pets, usually between the ages of 7-14 months, are brought to an animal shelter because they are considered to be "mean" cats or "uncontrollable" dogs. According to the Humane Society of the United States, a majority of healthy kittens and puppies born in this country will never reach their second birthdays. These young animals will be put to death solely because their owners did not understand what is involved in owning and raising a pet.
Shelby County Statistics:
Each year, nearly 1,300 cats and dogs are euthanized by the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter which is operated by the Shelbyville Police Department. I am fully convinced that the employees and staff of the animal shelter are dedicated individuals who are passionate about saving the lives of domestic animals. However, the fact remains that thousands of pets are killed annually right here in Shelby County.
For every ten strays or relinquished pets entering the local animal shelter, six will not leave alive. Animal control is a matter of serious concern but it is not entirely free of controversy. Municipal shelters are especially vulnerable to scrutiny. One local pet advocate requested daily animal reports from the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter and posted them at Animal Outreach of Shelby County
Feel free to offer input or submit comments. Maybe we can learn from each other and figure out how to save some animals in the process. The Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter is located at 705 Hale Road, Shelbyville, Indiana. A list of adoptable pets are listed on their website Here
I'll end with the following Christmas poem (origin unknown):
Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full - we are lost but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care,
They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
"Come here, Max and Sparkie - come fetch your new ball!!
But now we sit here and think of the days
we were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways,
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew -
now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?
We "jump on the children:, "don't come when they call",
we "bark when they leave us", climb over the wall.
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they'd trained us, if only we knew...
we'd have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard,or worse - let to roam -
now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye...
"Maybe someone else will give you a try."
So now here we are, all confused and alone...
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for,
they can't stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel,
giving each of us cheer...
we know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep
and sweet dreams fill our heads..
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears --
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn --
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year --
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat...
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009
Article comment by:
Glad you are addressing this problem on your blog, Dee.
Besides those animals that are euthanized, terrible abuse/neglect is done by owners of animals locally.
More effort should be made to alert police to animal abuse and police should not hesitate to arrest and jail people guilty of it.