Today I started volunteering at my local Humane Society shelter…something I’ve wanted to do this for some time in remembrance of Samwise. Right now, I know I cannot rescue anymore dogs, but I still want to help homeless and abused dogs. The way it works at my local Humane shelter is that they are actually housed in the same building as Animal Control. Every week, the volunteers choose dogs to accept into their No-Kill program. Unfortunately, space is very limited and last week, over 40 dogs were put down at Animal Control. It’s really very upsetting when you think about it.

Today I just tried to learn about what they do at the shelter…how they screen potential adoptive homes, how they handle the medical needs of the dogs, how they clean and give the dogs the exercise and attention they so desperately need. I felt terrible while I was walking Chesterfield, a medium terrier mix. I thought about all the love and attention I shower on my own pack and how lonely and upsetting his life must be right now. Chesterfield seemed like such a great dog. He was loving and affectionate, walked great on leash and was generally sweet. I hope someone really special gets this wonderful boy.

I also thought a lot about the potential behavioral problems that a rescue dog may have from feeling nervous and unsure and how so many of them don’t have the kind of issues we might think they would. Another thing I thought about is how important it is to spay and neuter! So many dogs needlessly suffer because people don’t want to have their dog fixed. I have personally watched backyard, chained up dogs have litter after litter. It’s not fair to the mama dog, it’s not fair to the puppies. There simply aren’t enough homes to rescue all the worthy dogs and cats out there. So many are put down every week.

Finally, I want to encourage everyone, even those of you who cannot rescue a dog or cat, to think about volunteering even a couple hours a month at your local Humane Society. Walk a dog, clean a kennel, make a phone call. It all adds up.