Thursday, August 15, 2013


One of the wonderful rescue groups I am a part of posted a picture of a possible Carolina Dog (CD) in an animal shelter. This particular rescue tries to pull and place in forever homes only Carolina Dogs and CD Mixes. They want to save all dogs, but know they can't, so that is their area of focus. They are vehemently opposed to any breeding of the dogs, since so much of their existence is spent with the heart-breaking task of mopping up the mess of dog over-population and the resultant scourge of euthanization. They are a selfless group, sacrificing enormous time and money to save as many dogs as they can, even raising funds to fly them across the country to potential homes.

I can't do much for them - can't foster, at least not very long, with Honeybun's issues and now her health problems on top of her dog wariness. But whenever a potential CD pops up in an animal shelter, particularly the ones that euthanize dogs, they need someone to go take several pictures and videos so they can determine if it is a CD. When I saw "Jasper's" picture, I noticed the shelter was only about an hour away from me. I volunteered to go visit Jasper and take additional photos and videos. I set out, excited to be of use to this wonderful group.

Jasper was in the back row of two long rows of dogs. I had to pass about thirty cages to get to him, and every dog barked longingly at me, stood on their hind legs and reached their paw through the wire at me, wagged their tails, and begged me to pause and pet them. I was warned not to stick my hand in any cage, but it was very hard. So instead, I paused at each cage and told each dog that he or she was a "good dog" and very lovely. I prayed that each would find a home soon. When I finally reached Jasper, I was already emotionally worn out. How does my friend Nicole do this every day of her life and not slit her wrist?

Jasper was a 6 month old puppy, and he was leaning against the wall, near the front of his cage. His ribs and hip bones poked out, and his eyes were sad. I ignored the signs and reached my hand in the cage. He licked my hand gratefully and continued to lick my fingers the whole time I was there. A man wearing a prison uniform and SC Correction Department logo came by, and told me I should look at the German Shepherd in the corner.
"He's a great dog," the man said. He explained that the dog was due to be euthanized two weeks ago, but the man keeps changing him to different cages, attempting to keep him alive. He built a corner fenced area to convince the shelter they had space for the dog, if I understood him correctly. Thus far, the dog is still with them.

"Can't you take him?" I asked, then realized (belatedly) that he was a prisoner, probably involved in some wonderful dog care /work/prison program, but had no say in whether he could have a dog. Later, I could find no info on prisoners working with SC dog shelters, but they do work with horse rescues in a wonderful rehabilitation of horse and human program, so I presume this man was involved in a similar prison rehab program with dogs.

I found it touching, the prisoner who obviously loved every dog there, and the poor dogs behind bars, eager for him to pause and pet them. He showed me every dog, telling me a little about them, and how wonderful they were. While I was there, a truck pulled up with two more dogs for the dog jail. The place was already full, I noticed. The prisoner took the two dogs and led them away, as I waved goodbye to him.

There was one person in California who wanted Jasper. She asked that we insure he was "intact" as she wanted to breed him. I found that out when I returned home, the rows of haunted, frightened eyes seared in my brain. The CD rescue said, "Absolutely not." They would never consent to helping anyone breed more dogs when so many already die abandoned and alone. it is their firm policy that every rescue be neutered.

I think we have a duty to our planet and to all its creatures, a sacred duty to care for them. It breaks my heart to see living things discarded as though they were pieces of trash. The Bible says that blessed are they who care for the needs of their animals. I love the image of a man, incarcerated for his crime, finding hope and worth in helping other creatures who were imprisoned. I thought of how all of us are imprisoned by sin, and what a wonderful opportunity each of us has to bring hope and redemption to fellow "prisoners" in the good news of faith in Jesus's atoning sacrifice and forgiveness.

I posted the videos and pictures, and almost immediately two people said they wanted Jasper. One would agree to sponsor him, and foster him with potential to adopt him. She loved his video and pictures. His sweet face melted her heart. Another would outright adopt him, drive from Indiana to pick him up! The Rescue is very careful in screening all adopters, for the safety of the dog as well as the long term chances of the adoption being a good fit. So while applications are being reviewed, I read online that this is a very high kill shelter. I am waiting anxiously for them to open this morning so I can call and tell them to hang on to Jasper. God whispered in the ear of a couple of good people and a potential home awaits.

Dear children, don't just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love. (1 John 3:18 NIRV)

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. (Isaiah 42:6, 7 NIV)

-save a dog-


  1. I volunteer with a rescue here in colorado, and every day we get many, many requests to help get dogs out of high kill shelters. My heart breaks when I read the stories as I know we cannot help them all. Add this to all I see on Facebook and sometimes the tears come and won't stop and I need to just take a walk, hug my dogs, just take a break. I don't know how to solve this problem, how to stop the cruelty. All I know to do is what you do, help where I can, and try to educate people. Thanks for helping this one dog, to him you may have made the difference....Please let us know what the outcome for him is!

  2. I understand Vicky. I just had the heartbreak of putting a feral kitten to sleep who was starting to suffer from a virus. I had him for less than a week, a 2 mo old baby. I've cried for a week and a half at the injustice of not being able to help them all. Some days I cannot abide humans and wonder how God can. It hurts so bad to see the animals that need good loving homes. So many good animals out there, so few humans. Don't get me started on the breeders.