Christmas is just 3 days away. As many of you prepare to spend the holiday with your loved ones, I'd like to give a voice to my loved ones... to the millions of homeless animals in this country... who may not have anyone to love them this Christmas... if not for you.
For shelter pets, Christmas is just another day. Obviously, dogs and cats can't understand why this particular day is significant to so many people... because the day itself isn't what's important to them.
Yet... these shelter dogs (and cats) still have needs on Christmas day... and New Year's day... and every other day of the year. To them, there's no such thing as a "holiday."
While the rest of the world takes a break for the holidays, these animals don't get a "break." Regardless of the time of year... every single pet, in every single animal shelter, still needs food, water, walks, and love... every single day of the year.
But... if everyone else is busy with family, who takes care of these animals on the holidays?
Well, for the luckiest shelter pets, a special someone offers to sacrifice their own holiday... for them. Someone offers to sacrifice time with their own family... for them. Someone offers to sacrifice their own needs and desires... for them.
Someone... like me.
This someone... is usually the someone... who needs a holiday break more than anyone. This someone is usually the someone... who rarely gets to see their family. This someone is usually the someone... who denies their own needs, over-and-over-and-over again... for others.
And this someone... the someone who sacrifices so much... is also the someone who never even complains about it...
And because of that someone... the luckiest shelter pets are fed, walked, and loved every single day of the year --including holidays... without question.
But honestly... those are the lucky dogs...
In many shelters, one person is left to work on holidays-- alone. That someone is expected to do the jobs of many other people... without help. And because that person has no additional help, many of those shelter animals... just have to do without...
Maybe the shelter is hoping that volunteers will show that day, to lend a helping hand... but in reality, that's rarely the case. Volunteers are usually non-existent on those days...
And so... on holidays, many shelter dogs don't get that much-needed walk. Many shelter dogs don't receive that desperately-desired special attention. On those days... many shelter dogs... don't even get noticed.
On holidays, many shelter pets wait in a cage. They wait for their favorite volunteer to arrive... to take them for their special walk. But these dogs just can't understand... why no one will come for them today. And so... they wait.
They wait for someone to notice them... an employee, a volunteer, or an adopter. But that day, no one is there for them. They won't get to be special today. And so... they wait.
They wait for the touch of a caring hand. They wait for a comforting smile. They wait... for their chance to smile, too. But those pets must keep waiting... because today is not their day.
As each of you spends time with your families this holiday season... please remember that millions of homeless animals are not so lucky. Please remember that not everyone gets to go home for the holidays. Please remember that not everyone has someone to love them that day.
And please... if you can, use the time with your family this holiday... to volunteer at your local animal shelter. Please approach that over-worked shelter employee... as they work alone on Christmas day... and thank them for sacrificing their holiday for these animals. Please say, "We're here to help you."
And please... take the time to approach each shelter cage... to give love to a dog who didn't expect anyone to care about them that day, and say, "You are not alone. Merry Christmas."
*If you can't volunteer this holiday season, you can still help! PLEASE DONATE! Any donation at all would make a huge difference for so many deserving animals!