Practical Issues > Pets Index > Pet Care


"Good morning, may we help you?" That's how we start our day,
"You won't kill them, will you?" are the first words you say.
They're female, mostly female, nine in this litter,
I gritted my teeth trying not to sound bitter.
You bring life to us and briskly come in,
The novelty now faded along with your whim.
You smile as you offer what seems to be a present;
We smile right back and try to be pleasant.

Your "gift" is the third since our office opened,
We're your last resort--but you were hoping for a miracle--
Nine people to rush in
And choose one of the pups for a friend.
Our hearts grow heavy--our souls quiet, sad--
You thought we would thank you and surely be glad.
Glad to relieve your careless mistake--
Will you reappear in six months for another retake?

Humane workers are desperate, weary, forlorn,
Concerned for those that should not have been born.
This is not what we want to be...
Please understand; don't you see, won't you see?
You have made us a slaughterhouse of goodwill,
You must pause and consider just what we feel;
The hurt that's inside because we care
About those nine pups you have over there.

Bouncy and cuddly and cute--so much more,
But you only shrug as you walk out the door.
You left them for us to make the decision--which ones will die,
Which ones will go on living.
Only one out of ten will be given a home;
And for how long a time will she belong
To a family who chooses, for whatever reason,
To return her to us when she is in season?

History repeats, for she will have been bred--
She trembles, it seems, with fear and with dread.
The face of each worker can plainly be read.
All of them know she will soon be dead.
We feel that we love her more than you do.
There are so many. What else can WE do?
We're a shelter, a place for unwanted animals,
Where everyone loses when so many gamble.

You point your finger and say, "Oh, the shame--
You put them to sleep, so you are to blame."
Little do you know how we try not to hate you,
We strive with much effort to educate you.
You didn't stay 'til the end; you did not see us weep
When we had to take them and put them to sleep.

"Euthanasia"-- a type of death by definition.
Fewer births would be better; that's our declaration!
Still you go on in your merry old way,
Forgetting to soon and without much delay
That YOU cause the problem; YOU are the SOURCE;
You just won't admit it--of course!
We give our best for the animals and for you,
Although, the "thank-yous" are sparse and quite few.
Love and concern carry us through every day,
But we need YOUR help! There must be a better way!

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