There are few things in life that hurt enough to feel like an actual punch right to the heart; animal abuse and neglect is one of them. That a human being can be so cruel and insensitive to creatures that--through no fault of their own--are reliant on us for survival is deplorable and beyond the realm of comprehension. It is inexcusable how many cases exist of animals suffering needlessly at the hands of man – and even more heartbreaking, their owners.
My affinity for animals began at the age of four, when I cried inconsolably at the end of The Wizard of Oz because I fell in love with and wanted a dog just like Toto. My empathy for sad and neglected animals is borderline unhealthy; enough so that my own husband refuses to let me go beyond the front entrance of the animal shelter whenever we drop off our donations, because he thinks I will instantly break out in the Ugly Cry and will want to adopt them all (he's right). Fortunately for me, Phil is an animal lover like myself and can (and will) go to great lengths to help our furry friends. Take, for example, the time I called him from my cell phone (crying) early one morning on my way into work, because a squirrel had been hit by a car and, still alive, laid writhing on the pavement. My awesome husband--who at the time was still in bed--got up and dressed, jumped into his truck and drove to the location to check on the squirrel and at the very least, get it off the road. This is just one of many reasons that he and I are perfect for one another. He gets me.
Back in early September, I was cruising YouTube looking for something which now escapes me; I came across this video, sobbed myself through all 3:41 of it and then spent the next few weeks doing a little more research about this rescue organization before resolving to do whatever I could to help these wonderful and amazing people.
Videos like these are powerful; they can do so much more than just engage/move the viewer with the story behind each rescue. These videos, as difficult as some may be to watch, have the ability to educate, motivate and inspire us to action. The sad realization is that nearly ALL of Hope for Paws rescues are in the Southern California region. It pains me to think of the countless other animals all across the country who might never experience a loving rescue that will help them forget the pain of their past.
Fortunately for Fiona, she's been adopted into a forever home and her rescue has become so well-known that the ASPCA has voted her Dog of the Year. Look at that sweet, little face: