It pleased me today to take a check from my family to the Cedar Creek Lake Humane Society for a 2013 donation. I love animals, and I want to do all I can to help homeless ones, and I appreciate my family's willingness to contribute to it.
It was a bit of a shock for me at the facility to discover a young couple with their baby girl unsuccessfully trying to retrieve their dog from the shelter, where it had been delivered by one of the city animal control agencies around the lake. It seems the dog, which had either been taken from their yard or escaped on its own, had been captured by a dog catcher.
The young couple appeared to be strapped for cash and unable to pay the $55 fee, which included two days of $20 boarding since the dog was delivered by the animal control officers. I was willing to pay the fee for them, but the Humane Society volunteer said the couple would first have to visit the animal control agency that picked up the dog to pay them a fee as well.
The young father explained that the dog slept with his daughter, and he asked if they could see it. The volunteer denied the request.
The reality of this situation is that the dog will eventually be put to sleep if it is not adopted. The shelter closes every Wednesday for the euthanasia of dogs and cats that have overstayed their welcome.
After the young couple left, the volunteer told me that if they could not afford the $15 fee to have the dog registered, which they apparently had not, they couldn't afford to own it.
There is something really wrong with that type of attitude when the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake regularly puts dogs to sleep when they don't get adopted.
The group does a lot of good work, but they obviously have some progress to be made, particularly when they solicit and receive large donations from the community every year. They collected $189,000 for the construction of a new building in 2012.
Let's hope they can figure out how to help this family out and reunite them with their dog. If they don't I sure won't be back with a donation next December. It is after all the Christmas season, a time of giving.
(UPDATE: There were no outstanding citations related to the dog being picked up. I paid the Humane Society fee and for a rabies vaccination so the young couple who own the dog can pick it up today. The shelter director wants the dog to be spayed, but she said that she would pay for that. They are just 17 years old, live with a relative and have no money. Several people called me offering to contribute to the cause. I'm happy we could help the young couple.
I just spoke to the young couple, and the dog is home with them. They took it for the rabies shot and made the appointment for it to be spayed next week. This story had a happy ending because someone observed the situation who had the resources to help. What happens to all of the people and pets who don't get such help?)