Euthanasia. We hate it. It hurts. Chain of Hope, unfortunately, has to have euthanasia performed almost weekly. I have held many, many animals and comforted them as they left this difficult world. It takes a little piece of my heart every time. I probably shouldn’t even have a heart left at all by now.
I’m here to tell you that are many animals in the hood that I wish could be euthanized just to get them out of their hellhole. There are worse things than euthanasia for some of these animals and that is the way some of these guys are forced to live. They live on the end of their heavy tow chains, hungry, full of worms, full of fleas, ears bleeding, ribs sticking out, lonely, no none giving a damn about them.
We have seen some incredibly sad things on outreach. We often work very hard to get an old dog relinquished that has lived on a chain his entire life and has had heart worms for years. They are in the final stages of heart worm disease and without Chain of Hope out there, many of these would just die on the end of their chains, alone. But we work very hard on getting these guys relinquished and giving them a loving, comfortable ending to their sad lives. It is the best gift that we can give some of them.
I try to be there at every euthanasia. It’s something I try to spare the volunteers, although many of them have been there for euthanasia as well. It really does take a little part of you every single time. These pix are hard to look at, but it’s important that you all know where your donations go and that this is one of the most painful, but most freeing things that we have to do. We set them free after years of suffering. They are loved when they leave and they have full tummies. I often, if they’re able, take them to McDonald’s for cheeseburgers and then to a park close to Chain of Hope, just to walk around for awhile. Dogs that have been chained in their dirt circles for years love to walk around and smell all the wonderful smells.
I felt the need to write this blog, as sad as it is. It’s been a rough couple of weeks at Chain of Hope. We have responded to a lot of emergencies, some that resulted in euthanasia because the animal was suffering horribly. It’s difficult to process all of this. We can go to rounding the corner at someone’s house and encountering a 1/2 dead animal on their chain that they’ve called because “it’s sick”, to racing to the vet and holding it for euthanasia if necessary. It’s a lot to wrap your head and heart around.
We have become part ambulance service. These are very poor people that we are helping. These are the people that can never go to the doctor because they have no money or insurance and then they end up in the emergency room with some very serious issues. It’s the same thing with our work. People wait until the 11th hour to call us and sometimes, we just can’t do a damn thing about it, except free the animal from their misery.
Some of these animals with cancer, etc., we have cared for at Chain of Hope on a daily basis. We have loved them, gave them their meds, found a nice, quiet place for them to rest. When it’s finally time to let them go, it truly rips a piece of our hearts out. It’s beyond sad. But I promise each and every one of them that Chain of Hope will carry on it’s work in their honor because we know there are a lot more out there that need us.
We are thankful that you are supporting us and enabling us to do this critical work. As hard as it is for us to keep going emotionally, please keep sending us out there.
I need to let everyone know that Sebastian has crossed the bridge. This cancer took him very quickly. He was surrounded with love.
He still wasn’t eating, as hard as we were trying different things, etc. He lost 3 more pounds. We were having to poke his pain meds down him because he wouldn’t eat anything.
Monday, when I took him out for his walk, he just laid down in the grass, in the sun. I rubbed his tummy for a long time and then kind of had to coax him up to take him back in. It took awhile to get him up. He wouldn’t eat. The next morning when we came in, Sebastian had thrown up all over his doggie bed in my office, which he had never done before. I took him out for a walk and he did the same thing-he laid down in the grass. I loved on him and rubbed his belly again, but this time when it was time to go in, he would not get up. He absolutely refused to even try to get up. Another volunteer helped me and we tried and tried to get him up. He just laid his head down in the grass. It was a very sunny day and he was just laying in the warm sun about 11:00 in the morning. When I stepped back and looked at everything, I knew that he was saying he was done.
I talked to Dr. Kennedy and I told her I thought it was time to let Sebastian go. She agreed. She came to Chain of Hope with the sedative and we just loved on him in the warm grass while he fell asleep. It was peaceful, there was much love and he was outside in the sun. That’s exactly how we euthanzied Bishop, another dog with bone cancer-laying outside in the sun where he wanted to be.
I’m telling you all this because first, I have to vent because we’ve had so much death lately. It’s difficult emotionally to keep getting out there. We never know what we’re going to find when we go on a call. We’ve had people call and say their animals is “a little sick” and we get there and it’s already half dead. We’ve gotten to people’s houses when they think nothing is wrong and their animal has had a broken leg, advanced stages of heart worm disease, or something else very serious. We just never know what it will be like.
We get the worst of the worst. We have dealt with many very serious, critical situations. Most of the animals that we deal with have never seen a veterinarian. We do the best we can for them. Chain of Hope and Kennedy’s Animal Clinic have saved many, many animals. There are times, however, when we can’t save them, but we end their suffering. Thank you, God, for giving us the strength to be able to do this difficult work.