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I left my heart at the shelter today.

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I didn't think it was possible to feel so much pain in a place that was filled with animals.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the door was the kitten in a cage near the cat room. He was mewing loudly - the poor baby was probably only four months and was so desperate for attention that he moment I stuck my finger through the bars he rubbed against is, eagerly turning as if he thought he might be able to have he whole body touched at the same time.My friend, who was looking for a dog, walked into the back room. A few moments later I followed her afer the kitten settled down a bit.

The kennels were nearly all empty in the building. Most of the dogs were in the outdoor kennels. I walked over to the first two and knelt down next to the dogs. They nearly went crazy, trying their best to fit their noses through the bars to touch me. It was terrible. I wished to death I could take all of them home with me where they wouldn't need to push their paws underneath cold metal fences to be touched.

The other dogs were no different. All were friendly, loveable mutts who seemed to adore people. Every time I moved on to the next dog the others would stare forlornly back at me. It broke my heart to have to leave them there where the only time they got out was so their kennels could be cleaned or to be taken for a short walk out. There wasn't enough people to give these animals the time and attention they deserved to have.

Back inside, I wandered into the cat room. All of the cats were caged except for one, which was wandering around. Though most didn't leap up and beg for attention like the dogs earlier, a few did. I went through one by one, touching them and talking to them.

The cat on the floor brushed by me, and a sat down to pet it. She immediately crawled into my lap and began purring and kneading. Her name was pillow and she was a back and white domestic medium hair with green eyes (she reminded me of Scully a bit). Who in their right mind would give up a cat like this? She was beautiful and friendly - the perfect cat. Wha's more, when I stood up to go to the other cats, she insisted on following me around until I picked her up. When I did she hooked her arms around my necka nd held on.

I think I left a part of me at the shelter with the dogs, cats, and my little Pillow.
post #2 of 28
If only more people could see that, could see how much those animals want to be loved.....
post #3 of 28
I know exactly how you felt, I went to the dog shelter once when I was looking for a dog friend for my Vino. Almost instantly after walking into the kennel area I started to cry, all those poor dogs I have never stepped foot in a shelter again unfortunately. My hat goes off to all those who volunteer, I never would be able to handle it
post #4 of 28
This is why the rescue doesnt send me to do the pulls at the shelter. I always came back with more then what I was supposed to get or with ones that would be hard to adopt out. I just couldnt leave them.

Last time me and the foster home cordinator went we came back with sooo many puppies. We went to pull 10 purebred Pointer puppies. Came out with those puppies, 1 Golden mix, 2 shepherd mixes, 7 collie mixes and 8 mini aussie/pom mixes. We took all the puppies that were going to be put down that day. Thankfully half of them were adopted out within a week and we were able to fit the rest into foster homes no problem. But it is soo tough. I swore after that I woudl never go back. I cant handle it. Let me deal with the ones that are already safe.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
If only more people could see that, could see how much those animals want to be loved.....
I know. Another the sad thing is is the fact that all of them were black except for four, and there were probably twenty dogs there. I've decided I'm going to adopt all black dogs when I can...they get overlooked so often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I know exactly how you felt, I went to the dog shelter once when I was looking for a dog friend for my Vino. Almost instantly after walking into the kennel area I started to cry, all those poor dogs I have never stepped foot in a shelter again unfortunately. My hat goes off to all those who volunteer, I never would be able to handle it
I started crying when I saw all of those dogs, too...the look on their doggy faces is enough to do it. It's a terrible, terrible feeling to have.

It's the opposite for me. I'm never going to fel like I'm doing anything unless I'm able to volunteer there at the shelter. I have the number to call there and, if I'm able to, I'm going to start volunteering there ASAP. Those poor, poor babies...hopefully I'll be able to make a little difference to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fostermomm View Post
This is why the rescue doesnt send me to do the pulls at the shelter. I always came back with more then what I was supposed to get or with ones that would be hard to adopt out. I just couldnt leave them.

Last time me and the foster home cordinator went we came back with sooo many puppies. We went to pull 10 purebred Pointer puppies. Came out with those puppies, 1 Golden mix, 2 shepherd mixes, 7 collie mixes and 8 mini aussie/pom mixes. We took all the puppies that were going to be put down that day. Thankfully half of them were adopted out within a week and we were able to fit the rest into foster homes no problem. But it is soo tough. I swore after that I woudl never go back. I cant handle it. Let me deal with the ones that are already safe.
That sounds like a love/hate job. You're saving some and leaving some behind - too tough. I don't think I'd be able to do that without breaking into tears when I left...I admire everyone who has jobs like that. They've got to be so strong.
post #6 of 28
I know exactly how you feel.

I used to volunteer at a shelter and it was one of the best things that I ever did. It is sad but to know that you are helping even just a little bit to give those animals some attention, give them treats, take them for walks and play with them - it's just a nice feeling. In reality, the shelter workers just can't do everything as far as giving individual attention and such. That's why volunteering is so important.

I hope to be able to volunteer at our local shelter very soon. I hope you are able to cocoalily!
post #7 of 28
I will have such a hard time when Rob & I pick out our two kittens when we get our house. I will be excited to bring home two little cutie-pies, but will be so upset to leave all the others behind. I've been thinking about volunteering somewhere when I've got time, just to spend time with the little loveboats people give up.

(Of course, Rob knows better and is aware I'd probably ask him every time if I could bring them home!)
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lioness View Post
I know exactly how you feel.

I used to volunteer at a shelter and it was one of the best things that I ever did. It is sad but to know that you are helping even just a little bit to give those animals some attention, give them treats, take them for walks and play with them - it's just a nice feeling. In reality, the shelter workers just can't do everything as far as giving individual attention and such. That's why volunteering is so important.

I hope to be able to volunteer at our local shelter very soon. I hope you are able to cocoalily!
I'll let you (and everyone else) know when I'm able to. There's no if about it, I'm going to - this incident has cemented that sure enough.

Hopefully you're able to too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara & Rob View Post
I will have such a hard time when Rob & I pick out our two kittens when we get our house. I will be excited to bring home two little cutie-pies, but will be so upset to leave all the others behind. I've been thinking about volunteering somewhere when I've got time, just to spend time with the little loveboats people give up.

(Of course, Rob knows better and is aware I'd probably ask him every time if I could bring them home!)
I still don't understand why people give up their pets. There some situations where you just can't keep them, and I'm sympathetic with that, but when people say they just "can't handle having a pet" (one of the tags on the cages read that) it makes me want to ask them why they got it in the first place.

I asked my mom if I could take Pillow back home. She was $110 and I offered to pay for her myself, but she said she wouldn't let me pay money for a cat when I could get free ones anywhere. I was considering the money as a donation to the shelter to help the ones I couldn't bring home with me. It makes me so angry that she can be so narrow-minded sometimes.
post #9 of 28
I cant understand why many people just give up having a cat ... why did you get it in the first place? I'd understand if they rescued the cat and then brought it to a shelter. I understand that my friend couldn't deal with having 5 kittens, 2 grown cats, and 2 dogs in her house. We urged her to bring the kittens to a shelter when they were still small, because they'd be more likely to get adopted. We would have taken two, but didn't want to mess with Tigger's content life with just us. (We knew she didn't like other cats stealing our attention!)

*Sigh* I wish I had a kitty hotel!
post #10 of 28
It is heartbreaking I know. I just keep thinking what a disservice I would be doing by taking home more than I could afford to care decently for.

That's one of the things I love about the shelter where I volunteer - the cats are not caged. I met the founder of the shelter a couple weeks ago and commented on it. He said that was one of the reasons he and his wife started the shelter - they did not want to see rows of cats in cages.

I go into any of the cat rooms, sit on the floor and have all these cats come and rub against me and walk over me. It's wonderful. I brush their coats, clip their nails and generally just give them lots of loving. It's wonderful therapy.
post #11 of 28
I find it really hard, I want all of them, the last dog I got at a shelter, I had to take home, cause he had sad eyes.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara & Rob View Post
I cant understand why many people just give up having a cat ... why did you get it in the first place? I'd understand if they rescued the cat and then brought it to a shelter. I understand that my friend couldn't deal with having 5 kittens, 2 grown cats, and 2 dogs in her house. We urged her to bring the kittens to a shelter when they were still small, because they'd be more likely to get adopted. We would have taken two, but didn't want to mess with Tigger's content life with just us. (We knew she didn't like other cats stealing our attention!)

*Sigh* I wish I had a kitty hotel!
It doesn't make any sense at all, and it makes even less when you're there looking at all of the beautiful cats that were dropped off. They're all so lovely and friendly - why would anyone give it up? It makes me realize I'm lucky to be who I am - a person who can help look after at least a few animals responsibly and care enough about them to not bring them to the shelter for inane reasons.

A kitty hotel would be nice, I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
It is heartbreaking I know. I just keep thinking what a disservice I would be doing by taking home more than I could afford to care decently for.

That's one of the things I love about the shelter where I volunteer - the cats are not caged. I met the founder of the shelter a couple weeks ago and commented on it. He said that was one of the reasons he and his wife started the shelter - they did not want to see rows of cats in cages.

I go into any of the cat rooms, sit on the floor and have all these cats come and rub against me and walk over me. It's wonderful. I brush their coats, clip their nails and generally just give them lots of loving. It's wonderful therapy.
I want a shelter like that someday...a place where the animals can walk in more then a two-foot radius. I can understand that the shelters would want to keep the sick animals caged, but other then that, I think it would be best for them to be able to walk around.

That sounds heavenly. I wish I could be there right now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbjerkness View Post
I find it really hard, I want all of them, the last dog I got at a shelter, I had to take home, cause he had sad eyes.
When I go into the shelter I realize I love all of these animals. I know some people walk in and feel indifferent toward the creatures left there - but I can't, and I'm sure 99% of you on here are the same way. It really brings you back down to earth.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
It doesn't make any sense at all, and it makes even less when you're there looking at all of the beautiful cats that were dropped off. They're all so lovely and friendly - why would anyone give it up?
I feel the same way. Fred & Ginger spent ~5 mo in shelter/foster home before we adopt them. Not even an hour after we brought them home, they start doing the '8' around our legs while meowing loudly. Both DH & I can feel strongly that they were grateful someone give them a permanent home. It's only been 4 mo but I love them dearly & wouldn't trade them for the world.

I no longer visit the local shelter because it always breaks my heart, so many cats and some let you know they need LOTS of love.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rone View Post
I feel the same way. Fred & Ginger spent ~5 mo in shelter/foster home before we adopt them. Not even an hour after we brought them home, they start doing the '8' around our legs while meowing loudly. Both DH & I can feel strongly that they were grateful someone give them a permanent home. It's only been 4 mo but I love them dearly & wouldn't trade them for the world.

I no longer visit the local shelter because it always breaks my heart, so many cats and some let you know they need LOTS of love.
Isnt it weird how cats can always manage to snag your heart without even trying? It doesn't take more then few seconds to fall in love with them.

I wish I could bring some home with me. I can't, though, and since I'm not able to I'm going to volunteer to give the poor darlings a little bit of attention.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoalily View Post

A kitty hotel would be nice, I agree.

My friend's mother in law actually has a "kitty cottage"! They've got a 1500 (I believe) sq ft building, central heating and air, etc. She's got a bunch of cats living there, and pretty much devotes her time to caring for them all.

I say they live better than me, because the room the fiance & I share sure doesn't have central heating and/or air!! We've got an air/heating window unit from about 1980!
post #16 of 28
i stopped at petsmart the other day for the normal stuff.
And i made the mistake of walking over to the cat cages. Two kittens had been playing with several people watching. Well as i walked up, they both stopped playing and sticking there paws past the bar,and doing the meep thing, how looking at me.

i cant take on more animals, but man,
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara & Rob View Post

My friend's mother in law actually has a "kitty cottage"! They've got a 1500 (I believe) sq ft building, central heating and air, etc. She's got a bunch of cats living there, and pretty much devotes her time to caring for them all.

I say they live better than me, because the room the fiance & I share sure doesn't have central heating and/or air!! We've got an air/heating window unit from about 1980!
That's what I'd like to do, but with all animals. I'm hoping to go to school to be an all-animal veterinarian so I can provide my own care for them. I know one person can only do so much, but only so much is better than no much, right?

We've got central heating and air, but it doesn't always work...you might be better off then I am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
i stopped at petsmart the other day for the normal stuff.
And i made the mistake of walking over to the cat cages. Two kittens had been playing with several people watching. Well as i walked up, they both stopped playing and sticking there paws past the bar,and doing the meep thing, how looking at me.

i cant take on more animals, but man,
They know when they can tug the heartstrings, don't they. I know exactly how you feel. I know when I feel like that I want to pick them all up and give them all hugs and kisses! Those poor pettore/shelter babies...
post #18 of 28
Aww! I feel your pain!! I do this every time I go visit our shelter. I wish I could bring them all home with me!! It took me awhile to go in the shelter actually, because I know the fate of the poor creatures.

I love each and everyone of them..... And god bless their little souls.
post #19 of 28
Yes, it's very hard to walk away from the shelter and leave them behind... especially the ones with "sad eyes." And my shelter is no-kill. I cannot imagine how those who work with kill shelters manage it... but I thank goodness there are good, loving people who do bring compassion into those places despite the agony they must feel.
post #20 of 28
I dont know why it is that I torture myself. Sometimes I will go to our shelter just to say hello to the poor babies. I will be signing up for voulenteer work very soon we are moving closer to our shelter, so i will be more able to get there!

I want to take every last one of them home, but the other half would not allow. . .
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverin_ks View Post
Aww! I feel your pain!! I do this every time I go visit our shelter. I wish I could bring them all home with me!! It took me awhile to go in the shelter actually, because I know the fate of the poor creatures.

I love each and everyone of them..... And god bless their little souls.
Is your shelter a kill shelter? If it is...I have no idea how you could manage to go ther at all. It owuld kill me to see all of thoe poor pathetic animals that have only a few days to live. Luckily nearly all of the shelters around where I live have converted to no kill shelters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Yes, it's very hard to walk away from the shelter and leave them behind... especially the ones with "sad eyes." And my shelter is no-kill. I cannot imagine how those who work with kill shelters manage it... but I thank goodness there are good, loving people who do bring compassion into those places despite the agony they must feel.
Mine is no kill too - I would have balked and refused to go if it was a kill shelter. I think I'd fall apart before I could leave all of those animals back there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRachelHere View Post
I dont know why it is that I torture myself. Sometimes I will go to our shelter just to say hello to the poor babies. I will be signing up for voulenteer work very soon we are moving closer to our shelter, so i will be more able to get there!

I want to take every last one of them home, but the other half would not allow. . .
Congratulations...if you do start volunteering more, make sure to tell me. I'd be interested to see how it goes for you!

Maybe we should have a volunteerers support group here on TCS for all of us that volunteer and STILL want to take home the animals.
post #22 of 28
Oh, I don't think I could stand it

I remember how awful it was when we went to the rescue to get Stanley and I went to pick out a companion for him. It was basically a flat occupied only by kitties. There was a room for sick animals in cages, but all the rest were roaming about freely. All the sad eyes, so loving...I could have left with 10, but I could only pick 1...

Of the two petsmart stores that are near me, one has a pretty good turnover of cats. They're near the front of the store and the cages get a lot of traffic. The other one breaks my heart because the adoptees are all caged in the dark at the back of the store you couldn't even see them if you wanted to adopt.
post #23 of 28
I just recently started volunteering at our local shelter. It is a "low" kill shelter - that simply means only animals that are too ill to recover will be euthanized. They have euthanized 2 animals in the last 2-3 years.

I agree, I'd love to bring them all home, but my head tells me I couldn't possibly so I concentrate on knowing that I spend time with them, loving on them and grooming their beautiful fur. I bought some WBCL for the kitten room because I just didn't like little ones using clay litter. So these are the ways I can help these beautiful creatures.

I think I'm pretty selfish too - I get to have lots of kitties at least once per week and I love it. My husband wants to go with me this week so who knows, we may have another volunteer in the family.
post #24 of 28
Oh!......I´m speechless..............
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JellyBella View Post
Oh, I don't think I could stand it

I remember how awful it was when we went to the rescue to get Stanley and I went to pick out a companion for him. It was basically a flat occupied only by kitties. There was a room for sick animals in cages, but all the rest were roaming about freely. All the sad eyes, so loving...I could have left with 10, but I could only pick 1...

Of the two petsmart stores that are near me, one has a pretty good turnover of cats. They're near the front of the store and the cages get a lot of traffic. The other one breaks my heart because the adoptees are all caged in the dark at the back of the store you couldn't even see them if you wanted to adopt.
It's horrible, isn't it? I have no idea how people can just...drop their pets off. I can hardly leave my pets at the boarding place when I go on vacation, much less shove leave in a place where I know I'll never get them back. At least the ones you visited were able to walk around, but then it'd be even harder to leave, wouldn't it?

That's what ours is like! We went to the Adoption Days when we were looking for a dog and roughly half of the cages were out in the light. The other half were in cages in the back area...it was tight and cramped and kind of unpleasant. That's what the animals had to live in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I just recently started volunteering at our local shelter. It is a "low" kill shelter - that simply means only animals that are too ill to recover will be euthanized. They have euthanized 2 animals in the last 2-3 years.

I agree, I'd love to bring them all home, but my head tells me I couldn't possibly so I concentrate on knowing that I spend time with them, loving on them and grooming their beautiful fur. I bought some WBCL for the kitten room because I just didn't like little ones using clay litter. So these are the ways I can help these beautiful creatures.

I think I'm pretty selfish too - I get to have lots of kitties at least once per week and I love it. My husband wants to go with me this week so who knows, we may have another volunteer in the family.
I think most places are low kill, aren't they? If the animal is much too sick to recover and has a very low chance of getting adopted, it'd be fine to put it to sleep. That's better for it then suffering in a cage/kennel for the rest of the time it's alive.

Hey, that's not selfish, that's just enjoying those poo kits! I'm sure Mika and Bijou might think it's a little selfish of you not to spend time with them instead but the kits there think you should come more often. Heaven knows they don't have enough people to love them.

Hopefully you get to bring another home!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
Oh!......I´m speechless..............
I know what you mean....
post #26 of 28
If you were closer, I'd invite you to come visit the HS here. Perhaps you can sign three adoption froms here too!
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
If you were closer, I'd invite you to come visit the HS here. Perhaps you can sign three adoption froms here too!
No she had to come here and fill out three adoption forms! That would be so great if that happened.
post #28 of 28
I used to rescue dogs & cats from the high-kill shelters in my area. I took a litter of kittens that was to be put to sleep that day, a 4 month old kitten from the "euthanize today" cage, & 10 dogs that were to be put to sleep all at one time... it was a lot of work, but it was definitely rewarding to see them go into their new homes. I don't have the time or means to do that much anymore, but it breaks my heart to step foot in a shelter now. I just can't do it. I want to take them all home with me (I probably would if it weren't for Nick)

This is a HUGE reason why I support spaying/neutering for ALL companion animals. It should be law! (it has begun here in CA - http://www.ocregister.com/news/counc...ogs-huntington) I am proud of Huntington Beach & I hope more cities follow
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