29 September 2011


A Letter from a Shelter Manager - anonymous in North Carolina

I think our society needs a huge "Wake-up" call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know.

That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore. So how would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses I hear are; "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving too that doesn't allow pets? Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? "We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs! "She's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog".

Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door.

Those dogs just don't get adopted. It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are.

If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down".

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head I deal with everyday on the way home from work.

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 4 and 5 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.



  1. Gosh Edji it's really hard to look at that photo of dead cats.

    I really feel for them all. I have my dog that is a part of me. Because it's so hard to find a place that will take both of us and my low cash flow I will probably end up on the streets. However it's worth it as my dog will still be happy as long as he has me.

    It's such a shame the way some pet owners are so irresponsible. It would be great to get more PR on this homeless cat issue.

    with love

  2. What is there to say?

    Most people tend to be selfish and stupid most of the time. 'Man's best friend' has always suffered - along with all of the other animals on the planet - at the hands of humans.

    No matter how many of us stop eating meat, I suspect there will always be meat-eaters. No matter how many of us care about animals and despair at their suffering, there will always be people who couldn't care less. There will always be people who enjoy the suffering.

    Is the human race evolving? Perhaps - in miniscule amounts. Perhaps not.

    Life is full of suffering - and yet, Robert always said, "All is well". Is it? I have no idea.


  3. I cannot begin to relate to a person that enjoys the suffering of a animal. I can watch a good war movie and see people getting killed and it's ok with me. However I simply cannot watch any movie where there is violence towards a animal. To be honest I have a much stronger bond to the animal kingdom than the human kind.

    Yes Robert would say all is well.
    I guess you could say it's a advaita teaching however you really hear the all is well, everything is perfect in this moment etc you hear this mostly from the neo-advaita groups.

    I remember something I was told by a Indian master when I was in India. He was a shakti-pat Guru similar to Shiddha Yoga. Anyhoo he told me don't get hooked into the highest teachings when you have not even learned the teachings below them.

    At the time this made no sense at all to me but as many years passed it made and makes perfect sense.

    with love

  4. Great point Randy about not getting hooked into the highest teachings. I can see how this can breed irresponsibility and an over all shallowness of heart.

    With Love,

  5. @Joan
    Thank you and please keep my email. I really need a place to stay with my dog. I am very clean, honest a good man to have around.

    I would like to volunteer to help with the cat colonies feeding once I get settled in Santa Monica.


    with love

  6. I think when Robert said things like "all is well", not only is he addressing the highest truth but he was probably directly addressing certain people who were constantly worrying and complaining and such.


  7. I feel that "All is well" are only words- when you leave the words behind and dive into Love, then the "all is well" are also "humans" "cats" death" "life"- there is no division.

    All is well.

    It is not easy for me to digest this with the mind because my mind has been conditioned to see this sort of killing and behavior as painful, unnecessary and cruel.

    All is well.

    My mind that has divided "right" and "left" will see conflict in every situation, and I usually choose not to see it in happy situations when everything is blissful.

    Death reminds me that I had better get to it, time is short, and love is all we really have to hold onto until final release.

    Because all is well!