Animal Shelters | Behind the Shelter Walls (a Poem)
OR--The Voices of Cell Block One
I've a heartful
Don't pass me by:
I need a chance,
No jailbird, I,
despite these bars:
my prison, I don't understand.
Please save me from this place--
there's no one here
I really know,
I hear cries; smell fear.
Although the people are kind,
I cannot stay.
Come, look in my eyes:
© 5-1988 C. Elizabeth Carl
© 5-2010 C. Elizabeth (Carl) Elias
Photo credits for above photos: Liz Elias
Taken of then-residents of H.A.L.O.'s animal adoption/rescue/re-homing program.
H.A.L.O. stands for Homeless Animals' Lifeline Organization, and is an all-volunteer group in eastern Contra Costa County, California. They take both dogs and cats, currently housing them all in various foster homes while they await adoption at weekly events.
Save a life; adopt, don't shop!
- Welcome to Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA | Homepage
Since my days as a vonluteer there, PHS has become a no-kill shelter!
This poem was written during a time I was acting as an outreach docent for the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, California.
It was so very sad, so heart-wrenching, to go through the kennels and see pink tags on the doors--it was the signal that the animal had been there too long, and was marked for euthanasia: a terrible, inaccurate euphemism for killing healthy animals for lack of space instead of actively seeking homes.
Their pain and fear became my own, and this poem was the result, as well as the impetus for my research into the issue, and my current focus on volunteering with a local rescue group that fosters in private homes, and actually finds homes for every pet that is adoptable. Euthanasia with this group is rare, and happens only if an animal is very old and/or very ill with no good prognosis, and that is the real definition of euthanasia.
You will also find that I share and re-post rescue information on FaceBook, and on Twitter, when I am there. (@DzyMsLizzy)
© 2010 Liz Elias
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