Friday, September 16, 2011

Mercy Killing?

This post is a bit somber...but truth often times is.  I would like to introduce you to a part of my job...a part of my life...that I hate.  

Euthanasia, from the Greek meaning "good death", is defined as the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, an animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition.  Often times in my line of work, this is the case.  I have no problem putting animals out of their misery.  If this was the only form of euthanasia I had to perform, I would be ecstatic.

However, more often the second definition prevails...a painless death.  Today, these dogs had their lives stolen from them simply because there was no one to take them home :( 
May God forgive me and may God rest there souls <3

Euthanizing these wonderful creatures is hard...and it NEVER gets easier...EVER!  I dream of a day that I can come to work and not have to worry about whether or not the shelter will be full.  Whereas we do push really hard here and we do have a really good adoption rate, it is not good enough.  I am forced to perform this cruelessly cruel act too often for my own heart. 

But how can we convince the world to spay and neuter and stop breeding when there are so many people out there purchasing puppies for ridiculous amounts of money?  How can we convince hunters to stop releasing their hounds into the streets when they are past their prime of hunting years?  Today and every day like today...I am frustrated...and sad...and heartbroken. 

If there is anyone out there who can provide a loving home for a new four-footed family member, please let me know.  I am confident that I can find someone here deserving of your love and savior.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Night with Irene

Now that power has been restored and things have settled back to "normal", I just thought I'd share my account of the recent hurricane... 

It started for me the friday before.  As members of Animal Services, we wanted to be sure that we were prepared for whatever rescues the storm may have entailed.  I spent my day packing up a horse trailer filled with crates, towels, blankets, water buckets, etc.  Though the media was currently down playing the storm, we figured we'd take the "better safe than sorry" approach.  I then proceeded home for my first late night. 

We were on a 24 hour shift Saturday at the shelter and I had pulled the 7pm to 7am.  Trying to keep myself awake as late as possible, I must have watched half a season of a new show, "Switched at Birth," that I am currently obsessed with.  I proceeded to bed around 3am and made every attempt I could to sleep through the rain and my dogs barking the next day.  I gave myself a little extra time to drive to work and headed in around 6pm.  It was still pouring down rain when I got to work and found that our quarter mile long driveway was already blocked with a downed tree..

As my truck was trapped down at the shelter, I drove one of the other officers home and headed back in for my late night adventure.  I returned back to the downed tree around 8:30pm.  We were told we could hang out at the generator run EOC, however my main concern was for that of the animals currently being housed in our shelter.  I needed to make sure that they were okay.  And so...I did it. 

I took the quarter mile hike down the driveway in the midst of a hurricane.  I can't even begin to describe in words the feelings going on in my head as I walked.  The water was gushing like a creek beneath my feet.  The wind was moaning like an old man in pain or a dog in the midst of a dream.  The trees were bent over me in an arch and I found myself waiting for them to snap...wondering if they did, if I would be able to make it past them in time.  It was scary and thrilling all rolled into one.  I felt alive.

Soaking wet, I made it to the shetler.  Once inside the powerless concrete building, I checked on every animal in their kennels.  Everyone appeared to be alright.  The only lights I had been able to find at the local panic-stricken Wal-Mart were tiki torches.  I lit them and tried to ignore the smoke that was dancing around in the flicker of the flames.  I set up "camp" on the floor atop some dog blankets (freshly worries :)

I found a "parter in crime" to hang out with..."Pepper" is a pointer mix who actually belongs to one of the other officers that lives in the county.  He brought her to the shelter for safe keeping during the hurricane and I chose to have her lay with me for the night.   


Though a bit uneasy of the whipping wind outside, she made for some good company in the dark all by my lonesome.  I layed back against the file cabinets and settled in for the night.  After a few minutes though, I became a play toy :)  At first it startled me, but then, it kept me laughing.  "Sugar", the cat in the cage above my head, had apparently gotten bored in the dark and found palying with my hair to be a fascinating endeavor...

I found a peacefulness sitting in the dark listening to the moaning wind outside.  I nestled up with friends and began a rather uneventful night of crocheting and energy drinks.  

Listening to the police scanner, I was amazed at all of the accidents the officers were responding to.  We were in the midst of a hurricane...a flippin HURRICANE...and people found it necessary to be out driving, even late at night.  What could be so important to risk your lives out driving in the middle of a hurricane?  Our one and only call came in around 12:30am.  A woman was involved in a car accidnt and needed to be taken to the hospital.  She had a cat with her in the car so we needed to respond to pick it up.  The other officer who was on duty with me decided to take the call as he was out on the roads.  I then met him at the downed tree to bring the cat back to the shelter.  I did not know her name, so I simply called her "Irene". 

Do not worry.  She was returned to her owner the following day.  But that was the extent of my night with Irene.  I crotcheted and enjoyed my peace in the dark until 7am when I went out exploring.  The following are pictures of the "devastation" of the hurricane...

    Some people lost fences...some lost pools...others lost rooms of their homes...
While these things are minor and replaceable, my heart goes out to the families of the two who lost their lives in this storm.  To us, Irene was night of sitting in a dark shelter surrounded by concrete and candlelight.  To these families, it was huge...forever altering their lives.  Life is all about circumstance...That night and every night, I am reminded of this.  For today, I am thankful that I and mine are safe.