If I could spend every waking second scouring every cosmopolitan city for homeless dogs, I would do it. I’d collect those furry, born-to-be-loyal love givers by the semi-trailer full, and hoon it back and forth all day and eve, bringing at least 100 dogs back to the (shudder) facility a day. F*** sleep and doubly f*** practicality.
Unfortunately I’m a selfish motherfather and the best I can do is look after my own little fluffy thing (as in, a maltese terrier) and offer as much possible affection to passing pups without coming across tooooo insane.
Occasionally I’ll throw a few dollars or woof in solidarity at a rescue organisation, but considering there’s roughly 120 trillion human diseases that require a bit of research, unfortunately pups aren’t at the top of most totem poles.
But, luckily for us, plenty of people/groups/organisations have made it their life’s work to improve canine lives.
Let’s start small in organisation and stature but large in heart, with a single ageing señora, Magarita Suarez of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico who every morning and evening spent a considerable amount of time, effort, and money feeding the stray dog and cat population in her local area, of which there were many.
So grateful were these canines and felines that by some uplifting stroke of umpteen wet noses, they turned up en masse to pay their respects to their caregiver’s coffin.
Dogs Without Borders
If you’ve ever been privy to certain areas of downtown Los Angeles, California, or have seen one of the only un-rewatchable Louis Theroux documentary: City of Dogs, then you probably feel a bit queasy at the population of neglected mutts.
On a more positive note, a multitude of individuals or small groups have popped up to try and tame the problem, all of whom deserve our respect, or even awe, but we should also flag larger organisations such as Dogs Without Borders, a NFP rescue organisation that rescues stray and injured woofers from everywhere from Los Angeles to Mexico to Taiwan.
Even Australia has its own version of the same name, and while unaffiliated with the above group, are working to bring an end to the cruel puppy farm presence in the country.
Animal Aid Unlimited
Perhaps its unsurprising that, due to population numbers, India is home to too-many sick and homeless animals.
In 2002 in Udaipur, Rahasthanm, the first Animal Aid Unlimited facility was opened, and its described as ‘a life changing place for both people and animals in Udaipur.
Only a phone-call away, and these good men and women are on hand for that vital moment when a homeless animal is spotted, whether ill or injured. It’s then that they are rescued and receive expert medical care.
The great thing about the service is that thousands of Indians in the area are on board with the endeavour, and know that to take action all they have to do is make a phone call.
The result? Almost 50,000 animals saved in this one area of the subcontinent since 2002.
Paws For Life
While laudable organisations exist the world over, this particular program sees the 100,000+ men and women incarcerated in California’s prison system. An even higher number of dogs are euthanized in pounds throughout the state—both sad statistics that have gained a positive spin.
These would-be killed animals now visit prisons and are allocated a prisoner as trainer (inmates are taught and trained, of course). The endeavor has already saved thousands of dogs by readying them for adoption, and proved a cathartic aspect of prison life—where inmates can show affection and put aside petty prison skirmishes, at least while the tag-wailers are around.
Prisons in various parts of the world are now adopting similar programs.
Howl of a Dog
A small but committed group of Romanians formed a nonprofit animal rescue team to tackle the canine overpopulation problem all over the European country. Not only do they rescue-and-rejuvenate dogs, which is highly successful with younger canines, but they specialise in retrieving senior dogs from kill-shelter’s and if they’re not adopted, they’re taken in by the organization.
This is an organisation that is entirely devoted to reversing a seemingly irreversible problem.
For us Aussies, here’s a comprehensive list of dog rescue services for each state and territory.
Assisting dogs (and other pets) in the UK is the team from The Supervet, now streaming on SBS On Demand: