As many of you know, Oprah’s April 4th show exposed the hidden – and horrific world – of puppy mills. Many of the dogs who begin their lives in these factories wind up in pet stores or for sale online. It is impossible for any compassionate human being to process what goes on in these places. Like so many of the animal lovers who watched Oprah’s show, I sat there with tears flowing down my cheeks.
I find myself overwhelmed when I come face to face with behavior that causes unspeakable pain for any living creature. Whether it’s puppy mills, or the sickening world of dog-fighting, or the pup down the street who lives its life on the end of a chain, I simply can’t understand how people can deliberately torture other living beings. How do you come home in the evening to a partner or child, after you've spent the day consciously destroying the body, or spirit, of another living creature? How do you sleep at night?
According to the Humane Society of the United States, over 4 million shelter dogs and cats are euthanized each year. That’s 4 million innocent, loving critters who are just waiting to come home and be part of someone’s family. Dogs like Jake…my dear Jake…who I found in 1995 at the local shelter. I have written endlessly about my beloved Jake, who I lost in 2006. No one could ever "manufacture" a more magnificent, magical, joyous or loving dog than Jake. And he was just sitting there in the shelter…waiting for me.
Shelters are overflowing with creatures who are waiting for you to find them. If you are looking for a furry friend, I urge you to visit your local shelter. You just might help put a puppy mill out of business.