It seems appropriate that I would make my next posting about community, given my last comment was related to a community of soccer players and their followers. My post today relates to my local community, and the way in which it comes together when a situation cries out for help.

The situation I refer to is the realisation that some evil humans mistreated a large number of animals (cats & dogs) to the extent that at least 100 of them had to be put down, and the remainder put under 24 hour care at various isolation places located aound the city and outlying areas. The story of how this whole horrendous situation occurred is long and tedious and at some point I’ll probably relate some of it. For now I concentrate on the survivors, in particular the 20 or so dogs which I have been going out to help care for this weekend.

The community has been wonderful. Support has come from all kinds of places, including local vets who have donated their time and services; landowners who have provided places for shelter and care; local businesses who have come forward with food and supplies; and everyday people like myself and my friends, all of us pet owners and all equally horrified and dismayed at the manner in which these animals were treated. Another outcome as I see it has been the increased interest in organisations like that which rescued the animals from the squallor. Hopefully that interest and support will not wane once this situation is wound down. There will always be situations where mean people are taking advantage of those less fortunate.

Yesterday at 7am and again at 5pm we went out and helped the dedicated carers feed, walk, play with and spend quality time with these “lucky” survivors. None of the dogs had names, so now they do: there’s Stinker, a german shepherd cross (not sure what it’s crossed with); Sam, an adorable basset/beagle mix who just loves to walk, walk and walk; Tater, a fluffy and boisterous chow; Angel, a dog of unknown (well, to me anyway) breed, who has this way of observing and learning and then displaying wonderful social skills. There are many others there that are showing signs that they are coming out of what must have a horrendous existence, and becoming more sure of themselves and their surroundings.

Most of our friends have been “spoken for”; because there is a court case pending, the dogs can only be fostered out until the case has concluded. But being fostered is much better than where they were not so long ago, and those foster situations are going to begin tomorrow.

I’ll miss seeing their familiar faces and hearing their welcoming barks, but I know in my heart that they will be going to carefully selected families, each of which is dedicated to providing these guys and gals with a loving environment. At least we get to spend time with them all this afternoon and again tomorrow morning at 7am.


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