Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rest in Peace Honey - how did we fail you?

Many of us have been following the dreadful story of the Sanctuary Animal Refuge in Florida.  A few hours ago I came across an email thread that simply broke my heart.  It was about a desperate plea for information on a disabled dog named Honey.  I've omitted the names in order to focus on Honey's story:

"We called her Honey, also known as Punkin.

We sent her there, she was paralyzed and had bad urine scald, when she was sent to the Sanctuary Animal Refuge, it was supposed to be for a better life, not death... Please copy all parties if you can tell us anything about her. The news we are getting is that all the paralyzed dogs are dead, and buried on the grounds all over the place.
We must know!!  If she is there we will find a place for her.
Thanks ............." 

"I am on scene and have been here since day one. We have confirmed that all paralyzed dogs are dead. I am so sorry. The devastation that Palena has caused cannot even be put into words.  "xxxxxx" and I have been the only ones on scene through this ordeal and we are going to leave here with memories that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I am so sorry about Honey." 

"Thank you True for your work there and trying to help the remaining animals.  I and others are trying to understand what happened to these handicapped pups and why they are dead? 
A former emplyee that cared for her has stated that she died in the early winter and I would like to know how. Were these animals euthanised or did they die from neglect? 
I am sorry , but I would really like to know what happened as was responsible for this poor pup and want to never make a mistake like this again that caused an animal even more suffering than she had already been through.  Thank you, ..............." 

"We can all speculate.  All I can say factually is there are no veterinary records once dogs were at the Sanctuary."

I too am so sorry for Honey and the rest of the sanctuary dogs who supposed to be safe.  Honey deserved a better end to her story then one of neglect and suffering.  This is the part of the No Kill Mantra that hasn't been addressed.  While the No Kill Movement in south Florida is calling for the head of MDAS's shelter manager have we in rescue built a foundation of support where dogs like Honey will not face an even more horrible situation.  No one is opposed to stopping the killing - as long as that process considers the reality of providing safe havens for ALL of the dogs and cats being rescued - especially for disabled dogs like Honey.

Many of my rescue friends have shared my story of Mulligan, our once crippled basset who bravely overcame his disability.  During Mulligan's struggle to regain his ability to walk I was graced with meeting the kindest of people who fostered disabled dogs.  This news of Honey's demise puts into perspective the responsibility we must take on in providing a disabled pet a safe and loving environment in which to flourish.  If anything, disabled pets need MORE attention not a life in a setting where there is no hope.

While you'll hear all the fancy rhetoric and slogans being tossed around the No Kill Nation world reality tells a different story for victims like Honey.  You won't find Honey's story on No Kill Nations - because her story doesn't fit the mantra and dream of a No Kill Nation without consequences.  It does tell a story of complacency with a FACEBOOK advocacy movement that seems to ignore consequences of our own ignorance.  Those consequences are a tragic reality for all those dogs we fail.

It is my hope that advocates step back and think hard about the decisions and policies we embrace.  We must never forget - this battle to save our beloved pets isn't about US - it's about dogs like Honey who we have all failed. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen! RIP Honey. I am appalled to read this. I couldn't sleep, came on the computer, always following Randy's blog and WOW! Yet more tragedy in a supposedly 'SAFE HAVEN'. Too sad to think all the disabled dogs had looked to this place for a sanctuary. I feel for the people who sent Honey/Punkin there, thinking and believing only the best would be for Honey. What the hell is going on in this Nation???? So sorry for all involved in this terrible story. Love and prayers to all.