Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Special Guest Cheryl Pierson

Although I normally blog about writing, marketing or books, today I’ve been wondering about something that I can’t get out of my mind. It crept up on me in its own sneaky fashion, until I finally realized that there’s no escaping it, and no turning back. It’s an obsession that is fast rivaling my daily writing “fix”.

Have you ever gone to Facebook and clicked on one of these pages set up by animal rescue organizations? I did. Now, it has taken hold of me and won’t let go. The pleas for these animals are desperate. In many states, the organizations work to pull animals from shelters that are known as “kill” shelters. Dogs and cats that come in sick or hurt, or the ones that are aggressive—even if they are just afraid—are the first to be put down.

Yes, I realize that not all stray animals can be saved. But did you know that many animals that are brought to the shelters are “owner surrendered” pets? Why would someone do this? For many reasons—I think one of the main ones being that owners believe that taking an animal to the shelter and ‘dropping it off’ will result in the shelter finding it a good home. The hard truth is that most shelters are running over. Dropping off your animal is probably not going to result in a preferable outcome of adoption. Most likely, the animal is going to be euthanized within the week.

One story that really tore at me when it was posted was the picture of a sweet golden retriever mix, that was taken in her cell at the shelter. Her eyes were kind. She didn’t understand what had happened to her world. After living with her master for 12 years, she had been “dropped off” at the shelter when her human had to go into a nursing home. I guess no one in the family was able to take her in to finish out her last years. And I can only imagine what anguish her master must have gone through, knowing that his family had surrendered his loving pet to a shelter. “Please help Sadie,” the post began. “She is alone and scared, and doesn’t understand why she’s at the shelter.”

Sadie’s story haunted me all day. But it wasn’t the only one. A few hours later, I saw that Middle Mutts, one of these wonderful organizations, had posted the story of yet another sweet little dog whose family had “surrendered” him as well. Only, they had moved off and left him to fend for himself rather than try to find a home for him. How could a family do this? I pictured them driving away from their home in their mini-van, the dog sitting in the front yard watching them leave, the husband and wife comforting themselves with the hope that “maybe one of the neighbors will take him in…” Nope. Animal control got him first and he went to the shelter, where he awaits certain death if no one adopts him or sponsors him.

There are too many stories like this to describe in this short post. What I hope to do is to let you know how you can help these animals.

First: Click on the pages for these animal rescue organizations on FB and LIKE them—Here are three wonderful, very worthy animal rescue activist groups that are in the business of working tirelessly to get these sweet fur babies pulled and transported (with help from some guardian angels across this great country of ours!) to their new owners.

Second: When these notices begin to come in on your FB page about the animals that are going to be put to sleep (PTS), the ones who are injured and in need of treatment, the pleas for fostering or transportation funding, RESHARE them on your wall. You never know who might see these pictures and stories and want to adopt that dog/cat, or maybe knows of someone else who will. This doesn’t cost a thing and is a wonderful tool to “get the word out” about these animals, especially if you ask your friends to reshare, too!

Third: Most of these animals have a special “CHIP-IN FUND” that has been set up just for their needs. When you donate to it, the money goes to THAT ANIMAL for their shots, medical care (many of them have been abused or neglected terribly) and transportation if necessary. Most people think their contributions won’t matter. I have seen time and again where the contributions inched upward each day and finally reached the amount needed to pay for the “vetting” for these animals. Even $1 is important. It all matters. Some of the animals require surgery or medical treatment for other conditions. These are the ones that desperately need funding to help them get that treatment and get to a new home. If you have a Paypal account, it takes less than a minute to click on the link for the Chip-In and transfer a few bucks over.

Fourth: Talk about it. Blog about it. Get the word out. Not all support has to be financial! We all have to do what we are able to do, and some can do more than others, but many of these people in these organizations are volunteers. Is there something you could do at your local shelter? Could you start a group like this on your own? Fostering dogs until a home can be found for them is a wonderful service to provide if you are able to do this. There’s no monetary gain, but the reward you get from these loving animals will more than make up for it. Many have never had a kind word or loving touch.

Have you been inspired yet? I hope so. Many of these stories have wonderfully happy endings thanks to regular people like you and me. Sadie, the 12-year-old golden retriever, was rescued within a couple of days of being posted and reshared again and again.

Another remarkable story is that of Vex, a dog who had been hit by a car in Romania and was paralyzed in his back legs. He had been dragging himself around, wearing his hide off for months. But the money was raised to fly him to America to a new loving home. Someone donated the money for him to have a little cart for his back legs so he could get around on his wheels. What a happy ending!

Want to be part of something wonderful? Get involved. You’ll be ‘heart happy’ as soon as you do.  

   A native Oklahoman, I was born in Duncan, OK, and grew up in Seminole, OK. I graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and hold a B.A. in English. I’ve taught numerous writing classes and workshops over the past years throughout the OKC metro area. I live with my husband in Oklahoma City, OK, where we’ve been for the past 28 years. I have two grown children, ages 22 and 25.
My short story, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, is included in the Western Fictioneers anthology THE TRADITIONAL WEST. Other western short stories you might be interested in are: Homecoming, Scarlet Ribbons, Every Girl’s Dream, One Magic Night, Meant to Be and Jason’s Angel, all available through Western Trail Blazer (WTB) publishing.
My novella, KANE’S REDEMPTION, the first of a series, is also available through WTB, as well as my time travel western novel, TIME PLAINS DRIFTER.
Also, look for my upcoming releases, FIRE EYES, a western novel, and KANE’S PROMISE, the second novella in the “Kane” series, through WTB. Also, be on the lookout for my holiday short story, THE KEEPERS OF CAMELOT, that will be included in the Western Fictioneers anthology, SIX GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS.

You can visit my website at http://www.cherylpierson.com
You can e-mail me at fabkat_edit@yahoo.com (I love to hear from readers and other authors!)

1 comment:

Cheryl Pierson said...

Amy thanks so much for having me on today--I am getting a late start to my day so will go forth and spread the word! This is just such a worthy cause and I'm so glad to have the opportunity to talk about it.