Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rasta Man

I'm struggling right now with going to the Animal Shelter every week.  I'm there to help the dogs and cats but there are things there, that to be frank, bother me.  I had heard "horror" stories about the shelter before I started going and I have been pleasantly surprised for the most part. Things aren't anywhere close to as horrible as I had been told.  Usually the kennels are clean, the dogs have access to food and water and the staff are very pleasant and genuinely seem to care about the dogs and cats at the shelter.  But there are little things that bother me and some bigger things too....

Like Quentin for instance.  This is what he looked like this morning....


The poor guy is matted to the skin and looks horrible.  In the above photo, his hair is not blowing in the wind, that is how it sits because it is so stiff with matts.  He was available for adoption today, so it is my understanding that he has been there for at least 72 hours.  After seeing him yesterday, and after seeing other things I won't talk about here, I almost decided to not go back again.  It breaks my heart to see dogs like this. When a dog is matted this badly, it has to hurt as the hair is pulling their skin.  If this dog came into rescue he would be whisked to a groomer instantly, probably even before going to a foster home.  It would be considered basic care.

The problem is, if I stopped going to the shelter, situations like Quentin would continue to happen, I just wouldn't know about it. Out of sight, out of mind. I'd feel better, but would the dogs?

So I decided to see if there was another way to make things better.  And thankfully I have good friends to help.  I covered Amanda's shift this afternoon so that she could turn Quentin into a handsome dog that anyone would want to adopt.


I bet his original owners wouldn't even recognize him.  He is so cute under all that fur.  And I bet he feels a hell of a lot better too.

I'm trying hard not to judge the shelter.  I know nothing about their agreement with the City, about their financial resources for each dog, about their staffing issues and about their training needs and wants.   The staff there have been nothing but friendly and helpful to me, but I can't help but be surprised at how something as basic as a decent groom isn't a priority.  Hopefully we can help a few more dogs this way too.  And if there are any groomers out there reading this, maybe you could consider volunteering for the shelter!

6 comments:

Erin and GuidePupPompei said...

What a difference! I'm sure you just doing that, will probably help that dog out soo much!
I too have worked at a shelter before...and yess I am totally reading between the lines!

onecollie said...

I'm sure tonight Quentin is sleeping sounder then he ever has before....
probably dreaming of his forever home that is now going to become a reality because you decided to help.....

alexa said...

Wow! HUGE difference! He looks so cute now!

It's amazing you go to that shelter... i work with two shelters, but both are no kill. You're awesome!

alexa said...

Wow! HUGE difference! He looks so cute now!

It's amazing you go to that shelter... i work with two shelters, but both are no kill. You're awesome!

deb said...

Wow! Can't believe how cute he is with a haircut!! Good for you.

Kennedy said...

He's adorable! I bet he feels 100% better and that is part of what you affected. I think it's wonderful what you're doing and hopefully many more people have the same kind of heart for animals. I sure wish I had the time and I know I too would see things that hurt my heart. Lucky for Quintin you were there and I hope he finds a forever home very soon.