Heather is a volunteer at
Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue which is just one among thousands of animal rescue shelters across the United States committed to making sure that dogs who would otherwise have been euthanized find loving and caring homes instead.
Staff members and volunteers work tirelessly caring for these animals who are often abused, neglected, or simply sick, in the hopes that they recover and move on into homes that they deserve.
While the job can be rewarding, there are days when feelings of defeat and despair set in. It’s enough to bring advocates like Heather to tears.
In a video that the shelter filmed titled “Watch this before you get a dog!” Heather is being interviewed with a dog lying on her lap. Even from the start, she can’t control her tears because of something that she had witnessed at the shelter earlier that day.
“Today was really really difficult because the gentleman that has to actually physically euthanize the dogs at our shelter, he walked past us today. He’s always so sweet and so nice,” Heather said.
Lucy, one of Heather’s co-workers, asked the man if she could see his euthanize list, but the man somberly replied, “It’s already done. I started at two o’clock today.”
His response shook Heather to her core as the sorrowful reality of what happens to cats and dogs each day across America sank in.
Heather continued by expressing her sadness because people she personally knew are allowing their dogs to have repeated litters or are breeding the dogs themselves.
Heather has witnessed people pay top dollar for a particular purebred puppy when shelters can barely house dogs who desperately need a home. She argues that you can even find purebred dogs in shelters.
“It makes me feel like we’re not doing a good enough job,” Heather said. “It makes me feel like we’re not spreading the word enough, that we’re not talking about it enough.”
“We’re not making a big enough impact on people because this is still happening. These are young people that should know better,” she added.
She said that part of our responsibility as humans is to serve as a good steward for what has been given to us, and that includes our pets.
“We are failing them,” she said. “It is heartbreaking and today ripped my heart out.”
On most days, Heather is able to keep the lid on and just focus on the needs of dogs that are at risk rather than bemoan situations she cannot control. But on that day, she just could not keep silent about something she holds near and dear to her heart.
“Shelter Dog Who Lived An Extremely Hard Life Begs Visitor To Rescue Him”