Diary of an Animal Rescuer
I have known Kaleb Lynch for some time now, long enough that I can tell when he is serious and when he is joking. Let me be very clear: he has never been more serious. The following contains his words, the words of a man that is outraged, the words of a man that loves and cares for the animals he advocates, the words of a man that wants to be heard so that the animals of Jackson County, North Carolina have a chance to live. Open your eyes, listen, and understand that they need help. They need more voices that will speak for these dogs and cats. The animals can't verbally tell you how they're feeling, how they want to be loved, how they want a home with a bed and a pillow to lay their weary head on. Kaleb is an advocate of these animals, and he needs your help.
This is Kaleb's message to everyone:
"As an animal advocate living in Cullowhee, North Carolina, I am fiercely loyal to the dogs and cats of Jackson County, particularly those at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. JCAS has operated without euthanizing a healthy, adoptable dog for nearly the past 2 years. They have come dangerously close to breaking that streak and if it wasn’t for the dedicated collaborative effort between ARF Humane Society of Jackson County, Catman2, and JCAS, many dogs would have perished long before their time. The influx of cats and dogs to JCAS continues to be a problem, despite many years of free or deeply discounted spay/neuter services provided by ARF and Catman2 and innovative community programs like Trap/Neuter/Return and pet food pantries.
Nationwide, approximately 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. I’m writing this letter because I am disgusted that Humane Society International has recently brought more dogs into our already overwhelmed county. Korean dogs who are bred and raised for food there have now been funnelled into our county and Swain county, along with three other rescue shelters in North Carolina, taking up resources and space. The receiving shelter in Southern Jackson County has been “too full” to help with the burden of an overflowing JCAS, and Swain County doesn’t even have its own animal control facility. The bottom line is: bringing more dogs into our state (one of the top states for euthanasia) and our local communities is irresponsible at best and fatal at worst - not to the dogs brought in, but to our own dogs.
Charity starts at home. What about dogs in our own area who are at risk of dying through no fault of their own? These dogs are closer and cheaper to rescue, but they certainly won’t land you on a CNN spotlight or bring in lots of donations. We have a greater duty to help those in our own communities, as we have allowed these animals to be bred, abandoned, and mistreated. On what basis can we aim to solve the rest of the world’s problems when we cannot address the ones in our own backyard? Because it sounds good to rescue a dog from the meat trade? Is India going to come rescue the beef cattle in the pasture across the street because they disagree with our inhumane factory farming? No.
A young mixed breed dog named Thunder - not even a year old - is at risk of being euthanized for space. There's a heartworm positive hound named Shelby cowering in her kennel. There's Pit type dog after pit type dog after hound after hound. Their confused, sad eyes look to us for answers from behind bars of their kennels. We have failed them.
ARF will continue to work its small, underfunded, cancer-ridden group of dedicated rescue warriors to the bone in order to save the dogs of JCAS, but the day will come when they can no longer stay afloat. If ARF sinks, there is no one else in the county who is actively pulling dogs from JCAS. Please, stand up, get angry at the many injustices for animals in our own community, and *do something*. Foster, adopt, volunteer, donate. Act. Before it’s too late.
This may not get published, but this is me throwing shade in a diplomatic way while also casting light on what I believe is an important issue. And by the way, just because I am deeply passionate about animal causes does NOT mean that I lack passion and support for people causes.
© 2016 Alec Zander