Foster. Adopt. Rescue. Euthanize?
Fare. What's the cost? What is the fare for a child living among dogs in society today?
Recently in AZ we've been witness to the story of a dog, Mickey, who in February mauled and could have easily killed a toddler, Kevin. It's a horrific story of a family who had their dog chained to a pole in their yard giving him 18 feet of life. Kevin, unaware of Mickey's 18 foot reach, wandered too near and was attacked from behind. Mickey was keenly vigilant of his space having killed a puppy seven months prior in nearly the same spot. It was a life altering horrific attack of a four year old boy. Still in the hospital, Kevin can finally now eat on his own as the feeding tube was removed yesterday, however, doctors are working to fix the muscles around his right eye. He is facing a long recovery both physically and emotionally, if he can ever heal from such a traumatic event.
Who knows why Mickey killed or the history behind this dog? Sometimes animals snap. Who knows why Kevin got too close? We do know that every adult knew Mickey was dangerous and failed to protect Kevin. After it was over, the owner (who's mother was the babysitter) was in agreement to have Mickey euthanized. Instead, Mickey had supporters, friends to demonstrate at the court house, a fb page, and a full-on defense team. A judge ruled that Mickey would not be euthanized but will live out the rest of his life in a facility, neutered and defanged. His care will be funded by The Lexus Project. Yes, it's true.
Why does this late discovery adoptee care and choose to blog about it? Because I think as a society we are missing the bigger picture.
Support (in all forms) for our beloved canines is growing at a rapid pace. What once was a forgotten issue, Fido being taken to the humane society for whatever reason, is now one of Arizona's largest causes. I'm not suggesting that we stop caring about our pets, I will always care. This is about the frantic measures of some who have lost sight and compassion for human life. The focus has shifted to the canine life. Many years ago no one really cared about the stray dog or where our neighbor bought her dog. We learned that too many dogs were euthanized daily at our county shelters, many backyard breeders over breeding, and that mans best friend was being used and abused at an alarming rate. The winds of awareness and change blew into our cities.
Today, rescue organizations, websites, facebook pages by the hundreds (in the Phoenix area alone) have sprung up to help care for the injured, unwanted, abused, lost, and relinquished dogs. Thousands of dollars annually are donated, there are fund raisers and go fund me pages to pay for medical expenses and care. One can buy jewelry, clothes, and art in support of their favorite rescue. There are even national organizations that will pay court costs and fees to defend a dog, even provide for his care if he is not put down.
By the way, is there a national organization to fund Kevin's surgeries and provide counseling as he grows up? A national relief agency for children mauled by dogs? There is not.
Sadly, I have to ask, why is it that in 2014 we as a society seem to be more engaged and interested in our dogs than our children? I understand first hand that there comes a time in your life when it is easier to foster a dog than a child, I'm in that boat. I'm now a grand mother and I haven't had a foster child in my home in 9 years. I do help rescues and foster the occasional dog. But, 99% of my donation dollars and the majority of my efforts are with supporting the abused, fostered, and adopted children in my community. (Not the dogs in my community.)
I believe we can do both; care for our children and our pets. We've just gotten a little crazy-focused on our dogs to the detriment of our children.
Need to know how you can help a child?
And in a few states helping Moms keep and care for their babies- Maggies Place
For the benefit of our society, get in the game for our children. Even if you can only shop or donate at a thrift store that benefits children, it helps.
"The evolution of culture is ultimately determined by the amount of love, understanding and freedom experienced by its children... Every abandonment, every betrayal, every hateful act towards children returns tenfold a few decades later upon the historical stage, while every empathic act that helps a child become what he or she wants to become, every expression of love toward children heals society and moves it in unexpected, wondrous new directions."
Like Kevin, children are our future.
(Mickey is not our future.)