Casting stones onto an already broken system is relatively easy but ultimately ineffective. We know the system is broken. Focusing on the negative doesn’t bring positive, it brings more negative. This story is about a group of people who stepped up to help an animal in need. A group of people who continuously try to keep a broken system from destroying innocent lives day in and day out. This story is about Anara and her pups. The facts of the story are sometimes blurred. Sometimes you read there were five pups and sometimes there were six. Today there are no pups. Six innocent lives lost. Two lives who never felt warmth. Two lives who never felt love. Two lives who left this world knowing only evil. Two other lives who were born into the hellish cold of NYC ACC and knew even briefly the warm and loving touch of a human hand. The love of someone trying to help them, save them, keep them in this world for as long as possible. And the last two pups, that lived long enough to have personalities and characteristics. One who loved to eat and sleep and then eat some more. The other one who was much pickier about eating but loved to chat. She had stories to tell. Stories that would make our hair stand on end if we could speak puppy. Both who knew love, knew warmth, knew the feel of their mother’s tongue, knew her gentle nudge and knew both a Mom’s love and human love. This is their story. This is Anara’s story. This is a story that should never have to be told.
Social responsibility would mean whoever made the decision, if a decision was made to breed Anara’s Mom and have a litter of puppies that they would be there for those puppies until the day they died. That Anara would always have a place to return to, that she would have been taken care of medically, that she would have been loved and provided for, that she would always know love. The decision to breed Anara’s mom or any female dog should never be done without taking into consideration the fate of the puppies, the care and cost of raising pups, vetting them and making sure there is a place to return to should their responsible new homes become irresponsible. Without meeting these criteria, Anara’s Mom should have been spayed.
Anara is a beautiful german shepherd. She was born, somehow she was bred and somehow despite her good behavior she ended up homeless. Social responsibility would dictate that Anara would be loved, that she would be cared for and if ultimately she became pregnant, the same courtesies would be afforded to her that should have been afforded to her Mom. Mistakes are made and people who are taught responsibility, deal with those mistakes and make them right. Instead, Anara was left, pregnant and alone in a NYC park. She was abandoned when she needed people the most. This isn’t about the failure of one person to take responsibility. This is about the failure of a society to hold individuals accountable and responsible. With no viable system in place to locate and prosecute her owner for abandonment and cruelty, Anara was brought to a place that should be a safe haven for animals. A place that is regulated and controlled by laws, rules and regulations. A place that is supposedly inspected and approved by a regulating government agency.
This safe haven is nothing more than a game of Russian Roulette with a firing squad. It is a maze of silent, lethal killers. It takes very little effort to get a dog into the ACC, it takes a miracle to get them out. Once admitted into this germ laden, ruthless organization, it is an hourly gamble whether or not a dog will die from disease, administrative incompetence, medical incompetence or simply have their life extinguished for lack of space. Anara who had no behavior issues and no major medical issues found herself in this maze of incompetence. Medically, they denied she was pregnant. They denied this right up to the day she gave birth. When she spit six puppies (or maybe five… what is one life here or there) onto a concrete floor, it was then determined that she was indeed pregnant. She had already been started on Doxycycline for kennel cough. This kennel cough would be the same illness that would cause the incompetence of the administration to rear their ugly head and put her on a list to extinguish her life. Well, it would have had a rescue not stepped up and intervened on her behalf to request she not be spayed (a full term abortion on a dog that they did not know was pregnant). The reason for not spaying her would ultimately be the reason she could have been extinguished, the kennel cough. Disease saves, disease kills, this is such a double edge sword.
Thinking all the paperwork was set and with pups laying on a cement floor in urine and feces, the rescue attempted to pull. Unfortunately that administrative incompetence was still running rampant and Anara and those pups would have to stay another day so that paperwork could be completed. In this twenty four hours, Anara who was emaciated, malnourished and deficient of milk tried to care for her pups. She licked them, she nudged them and she loved them. What she could not do is feed them or keep them warm and dry. People could have done this. If people had been raised to have social responsibility. Instead her pups would go another twenty four hours without food. By the time the rescue would be allowed to pull them, there would be four pups and two of those pups would be barely alive. And then having barely felt the touch of love, the glimmer of hope, they would pass from this world. They would leave behind vet bills for the pulling rescue. Vet bills that could have been avoided had they had medical treatment at that regulated and carefully monitored government controlled facility. These costs would be absorbed by caring individuals. Individuals who had social responsibility. Individuals who had a moral compass. Individuals who were raised to be or had somehow learned how to be competent loving people.
With two remaining pups and a confused and somewhat disadvantaged first time mother, they would be taken care of by a string of caring people. These people, who aren’t being paid (unlike the people in that government run facility) would spend their own time, their own money to make sure the pups and their mom reached their new destination. That is social responsibility. These people would continue to love and support these animals even after they were out of their care. They would do this despite having their own families, their own pets and their own social responsibilities.
The pups would try to overcome the poor prenatal nutrition, they would try to overcome the administration of vaccinations not recommended for pregnant bitches and they would try to overcome the administration of inexpensive antibiotics that would be harmful to pups (when more expensive, less harmful antibiotics are available but not used in that government run facility). They would try to overcome not having any nutrition in the most critical period of their lives, and they would then try to overcome being exposed to kennel cough, canine influenza, and any number of other potentially life threatening illnesses present in that government run facility. They would do this all without the mother’s antibodies and not because their Mom didn’t care. Their Mom loved them despite being a young mom, despite being scared, despite not having any food or nutrition and despite having nothing to feed her babies. Even more so their Mom, still loved humans and she loved them dearly despite what they had done to her.
Despite receiving medical attention, despite the love and despite the attempt for good to triumph evil, Anara’s plump little girl died. Then Anara’s chatty little pup died. She licked and pawed her plump girl. She was frantic when presented with the limp body of her chatty girl. She howled in her room. She searched her blankets. She howled some more. Then she buried her head into a human lap. She feels pain, she feels emotion, she feels the loss. What do you feel?
Anara will be connected for the rest of her life to people who are socially responsible. Anara will be taken care of until she dies. Anara will find the perfect forever home. She was one of the lucky ones. That is if you can define luck merely by not having your life extinguished.
Every night a to be destroyed list comes out. Every morning lives are extinguished. If you are breeding you have a social responsibility to the animals you have brought into this world. If you are a pet owner, you have a social responsibility to the animals you have accepted responsibility for. If you are or are not a pet owner you should be outraged that your hard earned tax dollars pay for this level of incompetence.
We all have the ability to make small changes in our world that cumulatively can bring about large changes. What ACTIONS can you take to change the life of one living being. What will you be remembered for when your time on this earth is extinguished. I live each day, trying to do just a little more than I did the day before. There are still many injustices but if there was just a little more social responsibility and a little more accountability, there would be a little less suffering. That is my gift to Anara, her pups and the countless animals who have needlessly suffered at the hands of socially bankrupt individuals.
~Alyson Rice Zimmerman
Thank you Alyson, Patrick and everyone that tried to give Anara and her pups a chance at life…
(to read more about Anara and Click To Zen, Please visit http://clicktozen.blogspot.com/ )
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
Rest In Peace (Plumpy and Chatty)