What about the Dogs?

February 19, 2011
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“Mommy, I want that puppy!” A little girl squeals, eyes shining brighter than the sun. The puppy yips and jumps around. Finally a new home, it must be thinking. Mommy looks at the puppy critically, mulling the thought over in her head. Then she opens her mouth to speak the inevitable words.

“Honey, dogs are a big responsibility. They aren’t like fish that you just feed and watch, dogs need to be walked and washed. How about we try a hamster? Then if you take really good care of it you can get a dog.” The mother spoke reasonably. The girl’s eyes lost their sunshine like quality, but she wasn’t completely let down. A hamster would do for now, until she could convince her mom to come back next week. As they walk out of the shelter the pup calms down and sits. It begins to whimper, where was the little girl going? It must have wondered. As they disappear from view, door slamming shut behind them, a man comes and picks up the puppy by the scruff.

“Well little guy, guess that wasn’t your family. They’ll show up eventually.” The man spoke, his garlic scented breathe drifting into the pup’s nose. It whimpered, giving the man a pleading look. He looked down and gave it a sympathetic look before opening the swinging door to the back room. As soon as the door was cracked a torrential storm of barks was pelted onto the ears of the man and the puppy. Dogs jumped up against the metal fences, their howls sounding like pleas of mercy. The man looked around him and sighed. The shelter was getting overcrowded again. Any more dogs and they may have to start euthanizing the older one, lying down lamely. They looked up as he walked past their cages, eyes sparkling in hope that they would be leaving soon. The man had to look away; otherwise he may have begun to cry in pity for the old fools.

“Alright buddy, you stay here for a bit. Hopefully we’ll have more room next week and you can get a better spot.” The man said smiling down at the small puppy. As he left and shut the door behind him the barking stopped, it’s pointless to keep barking when there’s no one to hear you. As everything calmed down the dogs laid down one by one, slowly losing hope.

The next week only three dogs had been adopted, and ten new ones were brought in to take their place. The pattern continues in shelters all across America, people adopt dogs because they are cute. Then they breed them to make more cute dogs, ones that will get them money. Or they’re bred to be fighters in illegal dog fight rings, destined to live a life of kill or be killed. This is what we put dogs through when all they want is to be loved. When does the senseless selling of dogs because they’re cute stop? When do we finally say there are enough dogs in America that we don’t need anymore puppies so they can just end up being shoved in a shelter? Who will stand and protest in nonviolence, for the end of senselessly killing our nation’s dogs.

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