Recently I have seen people with a dejected look, standing watching the dogs in the shelter. Some said the shelter dogs would have it better out on the street. Others said they would be better off being put down to sleep.
Many have not been to poor countries, or in war zones. This becomes as a shock for them, the poor-quality shelters, sick animals, the smell.
I remember when I went to Sarajevo by myself, to work with people I didn't know. I followed them watching destroyed buildings, strays running around, starving --- the snow made it difficult for them to find food-- here we have so often garbage laying around.
I listened to their war stories and my tears rolled down. The man in front of me starred at me and said in a harsh way, "Why are you crying, your tears won't help us!" At that moment I became angry at him: how cold hearted his statement was towards me who only tried to help. But later on in my life his words have helped me to keep fighting for the weaker and poor, and it has gone on for 10 years now.
Right now I can feel I want to say his words to many people, "Don't let your tears make you give up, they won't help anyone."
One great woman was so upset over how little people were helping out, and how they could comment about strays in a cold-hearted way. She looked at the shelter dogs and said, "They would have it better off outside on the street."
I understand her feelings, I feel them daily. But like I told her, I won't join those people by giving up, that would show they were right the whole time (and they're not!).
I am not going to stand behind a person who's comments are negative and contribution to the solution is zero.
Strays be happier off on the street? Yes and no.
It's like life, nothing is black or white. It depends on what area you are in as a stray, happy kind people maybe, that make sure the strays get food and medicine and safe zone from traffic. A roof over his head!
Out on the country many farmers are shooting strays protecting their animals since many strays are hungry. They cannot go into a food market and buy a can of food!
The farmer is protecting his animals so we humans can have something to eat.
Some strays are getting beat up on the street with baseball bats, set on fire (see the dog that's on my logo on http://www.animalswithoutlimits.com/ was put on fire by some kids). I have seen people run out, beating the parco dogs with brooms and barbecue sticks. I have seen dogs locked in tiny enclosures, starved, pooing only grass. Strays being thrown over the fence into a shelter.
Medicine and veterinarian treatment are so expensive, so many people cannot afford it and let their "pet" out on the highway in hopes of a quick death by a car hitting them. Or maybe, with no thought at all about how the end will come?
Some volunteers ask me why we don' t get help from other organizations? Some organizations are already helping many other small organizations. Some are only helping their own countrymen, others are against shelters, for euthanizing or against the laws of the Italian Government.
Some internationals are abandoning their pets when leaving and they won't survive 5 minutes on the street or end up in over-crowded shelters. People are complaining about the problem and there are more than 70 shelters with thousands of dogs inside, never coming out because of what the eye's doesn't like to see... nobody knows about.
AWL is against shelters too, but you go into these shelters, and look into the dogs' eyes, and tell them you won't help them because of your opinion.
Its amazing studying people's faces when seeing something that looks ugly, or people with no experience but with an opinion and no solutions.
To you wonderful women, don't let this get you down, behind the corner will always be someone helpful and something bigger. Our Amore belief is always being tested!