Early every workday morning while you are leaving Athens going toward Huntsville on Hwy 72, there is the sound of howling and barking. It is the Athens Dog Pound, and you would hear it if the noise from the road was not so loud. The cries you would hear are those of dogs and cats waiting for a loving family to rescue them, or the end of their life at needle point. Now enters a heroine.
It is 8:00 am, and she walks into her place of work to see how many dogs and cats have been caught by the Animal Control Officer or abandoned by their one time pet parents, who, for whatever reason, could not continue to care for and love them. This is the daily routine of the Director for the Athens Dog Pound, Priscilla animals caught by the Animal Control are kept on a 5 day stray hold, but those turned in by their families can be euthanized on the same day if there is no room. Also, by the end of the stray hold, they could be e u t h a n i z e d should they not be picked up or adopted by a family.
Now close your eyes and imagine you are in Priscilla’s shoes. You are in charge of the Pound and one of your many duties is to decide who lives or dies today. Regardless of the health or bloodline of the animal, your job is to choose whether they will live or die. Let’s take it a step further, look at your canine or feline family member and pretend they are the ones facing a chance of being euthanized by you because there is no room Blankenship. She comes in to find a daily average mix of cats and dogs. That average comes to approximately 15 animals a day during the spring. It is different with each season. Approximately 5 of these have a family. Priscilla stated to the Dog Barker, “More often than not, many people do not check the Pound for their family pets.” If you are missing your family pet, check the Pound! The at your facility. Not so easy, huh?
So, some of you are probably saying things like, “I never knew that!” or “How can I help?” Well, here is how you can help. Go see Priscilla at the dog pound and ask her what the Pound needs. I can tell you that they need volunteers and foster parents for the pets.
If you can foster just one, then that would take a huge burden off the Pound. If you are going to make excuses though, then marinate on this, “What is the maximum effective range of an excuse?!” I used to say as far as I could throw it. In which case, I did a lot of pushups for that answer, ha ha.
By: Joel Allen - Dog Barker