You’re about to meet Ralph. I’d say he’s the luckiest little dog in the world. But really, he’s tied for first place among so many thousands of lucky dogs, and cats, and animals of all types… who were rescued off the street or from a shelter’s ‘death row’. Need a good cry? Want a good cry? This vid’s for you.
You don’t need a red cape to be a hero. You don’t need to sit in a vacant lot day after day, coaxing a wary, abandoned dog into a crate. You don’t even have to go to a shelter, if you don’t want to. (I can’t do that, it breaks my heart… and I’d leave with 30 dogs.) Just go to Adopt-a-Pet.com. Click on the Shelters/Rescues tab and enter your zip code. BOOM! You’ve got a list, sorted by distance, of all the shelters and rescues within 35 miles (or more) of your home. If you grew up with beagles and know that you want to adopt a beagle, you can find a rescue (more than one, probably) that specializes in rescuing beagles. Likewise for every other breed. Last spring, a neighbor and I found two baby hummingbirds fallen out of the nest. I googled info on caring for baby hummingbirds. Sure enough: there’s a hummingbird rescue. I kid you not! Or, you can keep it as general as “dogs”, “cats”, “horses” or “lizards”.
Hope For Paws is the Los Angeles rescue organization that saved Ralph. They have many more heart-tugging tales on their website, along with the Adopt-a-Pet search box. Please visit them and support their work, or a similar rescue in your area.
So, pick your species or breed or all-of-the-above, and GO. Not ready to adopt, or just not in a position to be able to care for a pet long term? You can still get that hero card stamped. The people you don’t meet in the Ralph video are his foster family – the folks who gave him a temporary home after he was rescued and before he was adopted. If you can give an animal a home and lots of love for a little while, you’ve saved her.
And don’t for one minute think “Oh, I could never do that… it would be too hard to give them up!” Sure, it’s a little bittersweet to say goodbye to an animal you’ve nurtured and loved, no matter how short a time you’ve had her. But you enabled her to be adopted by her ‘forever family’ – plus, when you took her on as a foster, you freed up resources for the rescue to bring another animal in from the cold. In the end, it’s one of the most gratifying things you can do in life. And to borrow a line from the potato chip commercial: Betcha can’t foster just one!
You have what you give.
Day 064 #100happydays