Nowadays, many unwanted dogs from animal shelters throughout the country have no way of knowing whether if today would be their last. Although dogs from these shelters have different stories about how they got there, they also share the same sad outcome, and when the time comes they will walk for the last time, unappreciated and rejected.
Roughly 1.2 million shelter dogs are euthanized in America annually. While that number is a distressing sum, it seems to fail to put a mark in the hearts of many, unlike this particular haunting photo. Baldwin Park Animal Shelter runs a big operation in L.A. A volunteer by the name of Pat Gregoire takes photos of adoptable dogs then post it on the internet.
This one time a few years ago, Pat decided that she will go to the shelter early before the gates are opened to the public. That’s the time when dogs were euthanized every day and that’s when she captured that sad moment that most people have no chance of seeing.
According to Pat, she was just stopping by the kennel of this particular dog, who seems to be always calm. Then a worker came to get her and took her out. She then asked him, “Where are you going?” he just looked at her and said he’s taking the dog out back, and that hit Pat and instantly knew what he meant. She quoted “This is something the public does not see.”
The shelter dog calmly walked with the worker to be euthanized. Almost knowing that she will take her final walk, as per Pat. She also stated that she didn’t know why she snapped the photo– maybe the dog mattered, at least to her. Though the dog’s life got taken away, her name and story will also be forgotten, that particular instance touched Pat so much that she would do anything so that the others won’t be forgotten.
She used to delete the pictures she once posted online of the dogs that were now adopted or those with unfortunate cases wherein they were put down because no one adopted them. But now, she would keep them on Facebook to serve as a memorial for those dogs with “walks to remember”.
“I stopped removing the pictures because the dogs that don’t make it are still important. They were here, they existed, and they should also be remembered.” Pat stated. She also began to give names for all the dogs because they too, deserve a name at least. She said that many albums were posted that contains at least 200 dogs that didn’t make it, and that’s quite a number.
It’s never easy to confront those sad faces, however, it’s what makes Pat do it more, to push forward and save more dogs as she possibly could. Because when you work at shelters and see what happens at the end of the day, you’d wanna fight harder because these killings, just doesn’t seem right at all.
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