Monday, April 25, 2011

They are all Patrick

If you are an animal lover, you'd had to have been living under a rock for the past month not to be aware of Patrick, the dog who was starved nearly to death and thrown down a garbage chute, only to be rescued at nearly the last possible moment. His story has dominated animal blogs, Facebook news feeds and discussions about animal maltreatment. People around the world are invested in his recovery and his fame has led to disagreements about everything from the use of his images to what happens to him when he's ready for adoption.

I've followed his case, too. Seeing the outpouring of support for him reminds me of the local case of Lacey, the small terrier-mix who was seized by animal control and placed in foster care pending the outcome of the criminal case against her alleged abuser. In both cases there was an enormous outpouring of support from people all over the world, including dozens of offers to adopt these dogs. It seems assured that regardless of their difficult beginning, both of these dogs will eventually be able to live out their lives in safety and comfort, as is fitting.

But what about the rest? How do we make every shelter animal as wanted as Patrick and Lacey?

In the end, Patrick is a young male pit bull --- one who, unlike the thousands of other young male pitties sitting in shelters across the country, has people lined up wanting to include him in their homes and lives. What about those pitties, and the thousands of other dogs and cats waiting for a chance to have a safe, loving, forever home?

Are their stories of abandonment less compelling, their eyes less soulful, their hearts less loyal? Aren't the companion animals in our shelters right this very minute worthy of a toy, a treat or a soft blanket upon which to rest their body?

Of course they are. The shelter animals in our community are worth every photograph we can take and share, every treat we can buy, bake or bring for their enjoyment, every towel or blanket we can donate, and every effort we as a community can make to get them out of the shelters and into loving, forever homes.

Because regardless of their size, shape, breed, species, age or circumstance, when it comes down to it, they are all Patrick, relying on the kindness of strangers to give them a better life.

As we follow Patrick's story and cheer for his recovery and eventual adoption, let's not forget that.


Kenzo said...

Glad you said this. The unfortunate side-effect from all the media-attention. Sometimes I wonder if it harms more then it does good.

snoopy@snoopysdogblog said...

What a great piece Vicky, there are so many animals out there who aren't fortunate enough to be living the nice life they all deserve.

We're so lucky we have kind people like you looking out for us and reminding everyone of the plight of others......:)

Wags to you,

From Snoopy :)

meowmeowmans said...

Well said, Vicky! Thank you for being a part of the solution. :)

Lori @ According to Gus said...

I read your post on Monday, but for some reason cannot comment from my work laptop. I guess that means I should be working instead of blog reading. ;)

This is a great post - the outpouring of concern and willingness to help is great, but you are so right. They are all Patrick's. Well said. :)

Oskar said...

What an excellent post!

Nubbin wiggles,


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