Our goal is to help others find homes for dogs they can no longer keep. We are not taking in dogs or cats but also work as a facilitator for other groups/shelter to find homes for their pets by helping them receive more exposure. We of course are still available to take back any of our dogs we've placed through the years as we always have if needed. , please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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"How Could You?"
Copyright - Jim Willis, 2001
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" - but then you'd relent, and roll me over for a bellyrub
My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.
She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy.
Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."
As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch - because your touch was now so infrequent - and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.
There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.
Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.
I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.
After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you - that you had changed your mind - that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.
I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?" Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself - a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.
A note from the author: If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each year in America's shelters. Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a non-commercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice. Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards.
About Pocono Pet Rescue
Pocono Pet Rescue has transitions over the last few years when the founder moved out of state, to a group that helps other groups and shelters find homes for their animals. We do not personally take in any animals at this time. We are still always here to take back any we've placed if the need arises. All the pets are our page are available and ready for adoption. Please contact us and we will put you in touch with their rescue after processing your application.
We have several goals:
Foremost is our desire to put an end to the callous business of breeding dogs for profit, commonly known as "puppy-mills".
Second, but of equal importance, we want to alleviate the plight of the many abandoned and unwanted pets that are a direct result of such careless and unregulated breeding. We work toward educating people about the importance of spay/neutering.
Currently, we are a referral and education group and not personally taking in animals.
Prisoners of Greed
Driving down the winding back roads of Americaís heartland our eyes take in the beauty of the world around us as we listen to the radio and forget about the cares of the world we live in. We feel the warm sun as it shines down around us and look at all the trees and wild flowers and wonder how things could get any better than this as we roar on down the highway to our destination.
If we were to turn off the highway on to almost any one of the millions of miles of back roads in the heartland of our country, turn the radio off, roll down our windows and drive slow we would hear a much different sound. We would hear the sounds of song birds singing in the trees, we would hear the sounds of cattle as they called to each other, and we would hear the sounds of gravel as it crunched under our tires as we drove.
We wouldnít have to drive very far before we would hear a much different sound way off in the distance. This isnít the sound of some happy bird or the sound of any cow as it calls to itís calf. It is the sound of an animal in distress. It is the sounds of hundreds of poor defenseless animals held prisoner because of greed. If you followed the sound it would take you to some locked gate with a sign that said, NO Trespassing, or Keep Out and what lies behind the gate would be left up to your imagination as you slowly turn around and drive away.
Let me tell you what lies past that gate and just out of sight. The first thing you would hear is the sounds of hundreds of animals whimpering and crying begging for someone to help them. Your stomach would turn over as the intense smell of ammonia drifted out through every crack in the dilapidated buildings where the cries for help came from. Your heart would be breaking as you reached for the handle to the door of the first building take a deep breath and try to hold it and rush inside.
As the light streamed inside the building the sounds of the animals gets louder as some bark while others to weak to bark just lay and whimper. You would see rows of tiny wire cages stacked one on top of the other where the urine and feces of the animals above fell down on the animals below. The piles of animal waste all along under the bottom row of cages You would see them crammed full of animals almost unrecognizable by any breeds you know of. . You would see adults and puppies with missing limbs from being attacked by other animals while trying to get enough food to eat, injury from getting their limbs caught in the holes in the cages, and from mutilation by the miller. You would see animals that are terrified of people because all they have ever known was pain and exploitation at the hands of the millers. You would see diseased and dying and dead animals in some of the cages. One look in their eyes and you can see their plea for help. "Please help me."
If you havenít already lost the cheese burger you had for lunch in the first building we could venture into the next building or room of the puppymill. Behind that door you would see rows of cages full of mothers with puppies. You would quickly notice the deformed faces of many of the mother dogs and when you asked I would explain how the millers break the jaws of the mother dogs if they try to defend their puppies when the brokers come. How most of these animals have never had proper medical care and the broken bones are left to heal on their own. You would see puppies so far from the breed standard they looked like a totally different breed than the one they were supposed to be. You might see dead or sick puppies laying in the cages as the others walked over them. Like the rock song says, "The smell of death is around you."
If we had time to hang around we could wait for the puppy broker to come. You would see a truck or van stacked full from the floor to the ceiling with tiny plastic cages. Many of them already crammed full of puppies of every imaginable breed. All stacked in their like cord wood. The sounds of hundreds of terrified puppies waiting in those dark cramped quarters waiting for their ride into the unknown. The broker will take most of the puppies if they arenít to sick or so deformed he canít sell them. He will take any puppy the millers say is 8 weeks old. Many of the animals are under 6 weeks but they are the right weight and size so they are torn away from their mothers, by force at times, and sold to the broker.
As we walk away from this place you remember back in school when you read about the concentration camps during W.W.II. This place is just like that. The animals are abused and exploited until they are no longer profitable to the miller and then they are sold and most are killed. The females are bred every cycle from the time they first come in heat until they die. The puppies are sold to unsuspecting pet buyers all over the world as registered animals and no mention is ever made about the hell holes the parents live in or the genetic problems the puppy has. The Animals in the puppymills are truly prisoners of greed.
The next time you walk by a pet store stop and listen. If you try you will be able to imagine the suffering and pain it took to put that puppy in that window. The broken jawed mother as she struggles to eat so she has enough strength to go on another day. The tiny puppy with the lower part of its leg missing because it was torn off while trying to free itís self from the holes in the wires of the cage it calls home or was eaten by another dog because it was starving to death. The whimpering of the animals as they beg for the tender touch of a humane hand. The cries for help as they slowly die from neglect, starvation, and abuse.
People wonder why some rescue people do puppymill rescue and now you know. They do whatever has to be done to help end the suffering of the animals in these places.
You may not be able to go to a puppymill and see the things many of us have but you can help end the suffering right where you live. Tell everyone you know not to buy products from pet stores that sell puppies and kittens. When the demand goes away the mills will close. Help by promoting rescued animals as an alternative. Every animals that finds a new home from a rescue group makes room for another to be saved by rescue. Donate money to help purchase the freedom of a puppymill baby. The animals at auctions can and many are being rescued when the funds are available. Send a little note to a rescue person thanking them for what they do to save animals. Itís easy to become burned out in this business when we keep seeing so many animals that desperately need our help.