I know it has been a while since there was a Chore Time post, I've been working on other writing and taking a break from the animal rescue community. But today I have to write and I hope you can read, comment and share.
I was reading, once again, about all the animals (dogs, cats and others) who are going to be shot, heartsticked, gassed or lethally injected and the cries from those who would save adoptable animals from being just one more disposable item in an incinerator or landfill. I was reading about volunteers in New York City who go and spend time with animals who are going to die.
It started me thinking about the times I was there while a pet crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The tears, the heart ache and the awesome responsibility of being there for their last breath, their last heart beat. If we care about them we are responsible for them. In life and through to their death.
This isn't new, call it pet recycling if you have to put a tag on it. We recycle and reduce, we reuse and re-purpose. We are being more green, we are being more energy lean and yet we still throw away our animals (and too often our children and elderly but that's another post) like they are trash.
Shelter reform is needed, certainly, but we also need a reform of the heart! We need people to care about the living creatures they call property and consider their rights as fellow citizens of the earth.
We need to remember they freely love us and so often they loyally trust us even in face of repeated abuse. They were made to be our friends, our companions, our blessing. They are not meant to be left behind, dumped off, abused and tortured.
My heart aches for each animal that is killed for not reason other than the unsound reasoning of a person who wouldn't search for other options. Each animal that is dropped off at a kill shelter should have a requirement of the owner to attend their kill session. That's right! I said it. If you dump your adoptable animal you should have to stay with them as they die. You should be required to hold their bodies as they stop breathing, as they relax in death. If they are 'lucky' enough to be injected. If they are at a heartstick or gassing facility you should still have to watch. Understand the choice you are making.
It is a choice. It is a choice for life or a choice for death. It is a choice of not planning or a choice of not caring. It is a choice. Are you choosing for welfare, for life or are you choosing for someone else to have to bring death? If you had to stay, would it change your mind?
I hate to stay but when my dear old friend or a seriously injured pup needs the ultimate relief from their pain it is my responsibility to be there for them. To be there with them. I keep their collars and one day I'll start a memorial tree for all the empty collars, and make it a foundation and a mission to make sure that no animal is forgotten in their last moments.
Could you do it? Would you do it? If you cannot, do you have other plans in place to ensure that your animal doesn't face it alone?