This I Believe

Amanda - philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: love

I believe in the power of love. I work in a local animal shelter and sometimes that is all that is left. Love for the animals.

I want people to know about what it is like to work in an animal shelter. It’s not a job for everyone. I’ve seen employees come and employees go. Some of the animals we take in are so malnourished you begin to hate people for doing this kind of thing. Now I know that it is a small number of people guilty of this cruelty, but their actions drown out the good folks sometimes. We have people turn in cats and dogs because they’re not housebroken, and the people don’t want to take the time for them. We have people turn in kittens and their mommas because they want their children to witness the miracle of birth and then they just don’t want the kittens or cat anymore. And if you saw some of the emaciated dogs brought to us you’d just want to scream WHY!!

These animals are so sweet and they don’t understand what has happened to them. Why the love they had for their human families was exploited to the limits of their very existence.

Having to euthanize is one of the hardest jobs in a kennel, especially when it comes to lack of space. We must accept all incoming animals and in order to have the space to do this, other animals have to be put to sleep just to make the room. If you work with a dog, for example, and try to socialize him to other people with little success and no one looks at him or takes an interest in him he will be marked for euthanasia. It is a heartbreaking experience that many of my coworkers and I have gone through. I always hope that it will be the last time but there’s always another.

There have been events that have shaken the fabric of the staff and yet we keep going. It is love for these animals that keeps me going. I have been plagued by nightmares during these times. But looking at all my adopted animals: five cats and a dog and the love they show me, I know now that I have the power to say what I need to say and hope to make a difference. Love is that power.