Animal Shelters | Behind the Shelter Walls (a Poem)

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OR--The Voices of Cell Block One

I'm loveable,

                  cute,

                          sweet,

                                       healthy, ALIVE!

 

I've a heartful

             of love

                        to give!

 

Don't pass me by:

                      I need a chance,

                                                a home.

 

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 know

                       I cannot stay.

 

Come, look in my eyes:

                           let me

                                      take you

                                                            away.

 

 

© 5-1988 C. Elizabeth Carl

© 5-2010 C. Elizabeth (Carl) Elias

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All photos by Liz Elias, 2012
All photos by Liz Elias, 2012
All photos by Liz Elias, 2012

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!

Please consider adopting your furry friend from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder or pet store
Please consider adopting your furry friend from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder or pet store | Source

Back Story

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 DzyMsLizzy

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Comments 9 comments

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 18 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Thank you so very much, Shauna!! ;-) Hub Hugs to you!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 18 months ago from Central Florida

Lizzy, I neglected to tell you I tweeted this. Hopefully you'll get traffic and the animals will get salvation,.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 18 months ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello, bravewarrior,

So glad you liked this poem. It's one of my older ones, and sadly, the message is still needed. I was hoping that in the intervening years, more progress would have been made toward no-kill shelters.

We're getting there, but too slowly, IMO. Thanks very much for stopping by and your support.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 18 months ago from Central Florida

Lizzy, this message is so important. Thank you for speaking out on behalf of the animals. Where is the humanity in Human Societies?


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hi Christine--

Yes..dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs...any of our furry, fluffy animal friends who may end up in so-called "shelters." The word is finally spreading, and I'm happy that at least some of them are joining the "no kill" movement.

Thanks very much for your input and the votes!


Christine B. profile image

Christine B. 4 years ago from Medina, Ohio

Ahhhh, I love it. I feel so sorry for dogs who end up without a home and a family to love. :o( Voted up and beautiful.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Thank you, SwanofWar and earthfrend.

I appreciate your comments and I'm glad you liked the poem.

(@SwanofWar--apologies for the extended delay in acknowledging your comment...not sure how that happened.)


erthfrend profile image

erthfrend 6 years ago from Florida

Absolutely beautiful, heartwarming, heartbreaking. Thank you for writing this and sharing with us. I can see how much you understand them and I really appreciate kind people like you.


SwanofWar profile image

SwanofWar 6 years ago from In My Imagination

Aw. I like the way you formatted the poem. It added to its effectiveness.

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