PulseLine, February 19, 2015

During this horrible weather – sub-zero cold, snow and wind – I pause to wonder why, we as volunteers at the Westfield Regional Animal Shelter, endure such pain. Have you ever wondered why we do the things we do? We do it for the love we have for the animals. We feel the rewards of helping the helpless, the homeless and the abused. It makes us feel that we make a difference, in a better way, to these poor beings.
It is our way to redeem ourselves as part of the human race. To see the cruelty of man is heartbreaking. We see the starved by lack of sustenance and lack of love. We want to heal the hurt. We want to heal the psychological pain these poor animals have endured. We try to reach each and every one that we have cared for. Some we will never be able to reach and my heart aches for them. We will never stop trying to undo the damage inflicted on them and we won’t stop our efforts.
We try to protect our hearts from breaking at the sight of man’s cruelty to animals. We put the pitiful memories of skinny bodies, scabby skin, long toenails reaching out to embed themselves into the skin making it difficult to walk and the sad eyes… so many sad eyes.
The truth in animal rescue is it tries to harden you, it tries to break you, it makes you angry and it destroys your confidence in the good of humankind. With each and every rescue you think it can’t get any worse than this but it does. We can’t ever give up trying to stop this insanity because if we do it will grow and multiply. I know we can’t stop it but we can make life better for the ones who come to us. It astounds me to know that a dog coming into our shelter is one of the lucky ones as this is probably the best care it has ever known, it is the best life has to offer them.
So this is why we do what we do. It is our way to give what we have to offer. There will always be bad days but the good days make it all worthwhile. Think of all that have passed through our doors to go on to live the way they were meant to live. In comfort, love, companionship and peace.
So to all of you who wonder why we do what we do, the answer is because we can bring some good where there was none. Look into their eyes and see yourself looking back. Be proud of what you see as you are a shining light in the darkness of their lives.
– A volunteer at WRAS

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