All across the country, thousands of animals greet the day in an animal shelter, not knowing if today will be their last day on Earth. They all have their unique tale to share of how they landed in a cold lonely shelter kennel. One thing they have in common is being in a shelter and having to take the final walk as an unwanted unloved pet.
The number of shelter animals euthanized across America is estimated at 1.2 million each year. But even that shocking statistic doesn’t truly illustrate the enormity of how bad the situation is like this image.
Baldwin Park Animal Shelter volunteer Pat Gregoire has first-hand knowledge of how lonely shelter life can be for animals. The shelters take in plenty of animals in the L.A. area. She takes pictures to document the animals that are later shared on social media. An early morning arrival before the shelter doors was scheduled to open afforded her an inside glimpse of what shelter dogs experience. In the wee morning hours her camera seized a rare sight that occurs each day but the public doesn’t see.
She recalls stopping in front of a dog’s cage. The canine lay serenely. A worker approached the cage prompting her to ask to retrieve the dog. This prompted her to ask the worker “Where are you going?” He merely replied that he was taking the dog “to the back.” Finally, it suddenly dawned on her what he meant. It was a reference to a practice that the general public doesn’t really know about or acknowledge.
Pat noticed that the dog didn’t fight with the worker, instead of walking down the hall slowly beside him. It was as if the animal already realized instinctively that it was going to be euthanized. This thought crystallized in Pat’s mind, prompting her to grab her camera and take a picture.