|Benny that last night in Turlock|
Turlock Animal Control is much like the Maryland ACC which hired Ingrid Newkirk, poor and ill-equipped to deal with the many animals they try and care for.
I called the shelter and was told Benny was so sick, he was scheduled for euthanasia the next morning. His body was covered in infected and bleeding sores and he was in extreme discomfort, but Benny was certainly not ready to die.
Reunion Rescue is way down the scale from a group like PETA which racks in about $32 million a year, but when I saw Benny, I knew I had to try and save him. Benny's story is like most of the stories at Reunion Rescue. We're always begging for dollars. Last week, Reunion brought in a whopping $21. After paying out our boarding fees this morning, Reunion is yet again in the red. We pretty much stay in the red, but when you are spending every penny on saving animals, the bank account is never going to show a profit.
|Benny enjoying his Texas summer|
Patti, Raven's mom, drove to Sacramento and picked Benny up to bring back with her to the Mendocino area. Like many scared and sick babies, Benny had a long road to go. Raven helped. In doggy terms, she let Benny know he was going to be ok. Raven had almost been killed at Antioch ACC when Patti answered a last minute plea and saved her.
|Benny and the gang|
|Mr. Sweets at Riverside Shelter|
|Mr. Sweets catching some z's|
So, when I happened to see that old blog of Ingrid's "Why We Euthanize," it gave me pause to consider. The pictures weren't pretty and looked like the fundraising television effort on the Sarah McClachlan commercial. There is a cat with a big face tumor and a dog's paw with a huge nasty lesion. On down are some other hard to view photos, a dog on a heavy chain and one who looks almost dead with a horrible skin condition. The last one is being held up to have his picture taken probably before being humanely euthanized...the subject of the blog entry.
Shirley's Wellness Cafe has some of the same types of photographs, but the difference is Shirley's animals lived. They were holistically treated with quality diet and homeopathy so that their immune systems could overcome the disease and injury.
I'm not saying every one of these animals could be saved, but I'd be willing to bet some of them could have made it. I'm wondering if the folks over at the PETA place ever heard of healthy diet and holistic supplements? I wonder if they'd be open to a little homeopathy instead of euthanasia fluid? It takes a little bit longer, but the payoff is priceless! You get to hug a living soul instead of "holding them in my arms and gently helping them escape an uncaring world,"....Ingrid's words.
I've had to put down a few animals in my time and it sucks. When there is no choice, I'm certainly not going to keep any animal alive and in pain. However, I've been taught by more than a few to listen and let them tell me when they are ready. Way, way back in the day, I came across an old Siamese cat. Butch was a registered Siamese who wound up at San Francisco Animal Care and Control. He was left to die there by PAWS, a group whose mission is to help pets of people afflicted with HIV. When this cat's owner passed away, he was left at the city's animal facility.
Butch had been fed a horrible cheap grocery store kibble his whole life of 13 years. He'd been over-vaccinated, once a year for the entire span of his life. That's one thing PAWS had seen to, that his vaccinations were continued until he wound up at SFACC.
Butch was renamed AliBaba, more fitting his regal demeanor, but we called him Bobby. He was placed on a raw diet and treated homeopathically to support the effects of his illness. The resident cats accepted Bobby, but being registered and all, he thought he was better than them. He never did accept them as part of his clan.
Bobby taught me a lot about the life force. He lived over three more years with me. There were times he'd get down to an extremely low weight. My husband, Scott, even warned me to put Bobby down, but I knew he was not ready to go and I also knew when he was ready, he would let me know. And he did just that. The day Bobby was ready, he laid down on his side and cried. He was given Valium to make the euthanasia easier as older animals have a much longer process than young ones. It still was long and a difficult euthanasia. Bobby had a very strong will to live. He will always be remembered.
I take life and death very seriously. Like the old song says, 'death don't have no mercy in this land..he'll come to your house, but he won't stay long...' Once the life force is gone, there is only an eternity left to reconsider.