Today, Thursday, September 26, is Remember Me Thursday. Shelters, Rescue groups and animal lovers across the country are uniting to light a candle for the orphaned animals in the US. These candles “will honor the millions of pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home and shine a light on the millions of healthy pets who are still awaiting adoption.” Remember Me Thursday is organized by the Helen Woodward Animal Center. You can visit their website to find a candle lighting in your community, or to light a virtual candle. I have changed my profile pictures for Thursday to a lit candle.
Rescue is my favorite breed. Sadly, rescue is not everyone’s favorite breed. According to the Humane Society of the United States only 30% of animals in US households come from rescue facilities. Considering the millions of animals in US households, that is a really low number. I do wonder how many animals come from friends/family or the street though. None of my cats came from a rescue facility, but they are all rescue coming to me from the street or from people who found them on the street. Not everyone has the benefit of having friends or family who works in the rescue world, so some people actually have to go look for an animal to bring into their lives. As someone who will never have this problem (the animals always find me!) I don’t know what motivates people to buy an animal versus adopt. I can only advocate for the animals in shelters and hope someone hears.
There are millions of animals in shelters across the country. There are so many animals that even if everyone who cared for an animal adopt that cat or dog, there still wouldn’t be homes for them all. Because there simply aren’t enough homes for all the kitties and doggies in the country, the Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3.4 Million (yes MILLION) animals are killed each year waiting for a home. Can you imagine the fear, the sadness and the loneliness those poor cats and dogs must feel? I can’t help but think of the terror of their final moments, the loneliness and fear as they enter a room that smells of death. All because they were too old, or the family had a baby, or they were simply unlucky enough to be born and enter the shelter system.
I will remember each and every one of those animals. Each and every face I see in the urgent cross postings is seared on my soul forever. It breaks my heart that we, as humans, could fail these sweet souls so much. I light my candle for them. For the cats and dogs who never gave up hope of a home. And for those who did. I light my candle for all the feral cats who had the misfortune to land in a shelter, or be born in a community that does not support TNR. I light my candle for the Pitbulls and Pitbull look-a-likes who died from BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) even though they were loved pets. In lighting my candle I also remember those selfless humans who never stopped working to save just one more life. The people who tried to get one more cat transferred to a no-kill organization, or tried to get one more dog adopted.
Here’s my candle. This is specifically for all the feral cats who have landed in shelters and animal control facilities: