They don't call it the graveyard shift for nothing.
For some workers at the City Pound, working the night shift means being surrounded by death.
I read with interest a story about the amount of strays that walk through the doors of the Pound. The story focused on the unfortunate ones who never leave. So many dogs are put to sleep.
There are different reasons, of course, like the countless canines that have been so horribly mistreated they'd never successfully fit into a family setting -- put to death because of abusive owners with demented intentions. Others are sickly or just too old to deal with the stress of starting over with new families.
The plight of these pathetic pooches caught my attention. The officer at the front desk of the Pound and I became acquainted on a first name basis because everyday, my husband Bill and I, would take our hour long ride down to see if our Hannah happened to be there.
We learned the hard way that this could be a lost dog's destination after our older dog Holly was picked up and taken there awhile back. At the time, we scoured every last cage at our local Animal Welfare League. We were assured that if she got picked up that's definitely where she'd be.
Lucky for us, on the fifth day of her disappearance, my harried husband had a hunch. He decided to run down to the Pound on the off chance that maybe, just maybe, she was there.
To our surprise and utter relief there she was. We found out that she had been at the Pound since the afternoon she wandered out of our backyard.
Hurricane Hannah, as we like to call her, is a runner that takes off in a hurry. Leave a door ajar or a gate slightly open and she's off in a flash.
On a bright and sunny Saturday morning, a few weeks ago, we noticed the back gate open and no Hannah in sight. It was the last we saw her for a week. We'd go to the Pound and carefully inspect each and every cage. We knew the routine well.
First we'd go through the doors of Pavillion A then B, and by the time we reached Pavillion C, I'd be saying a prayer that we'd find our Hannah.
Thankfully, we found her! Not at the Pound, but in the safety of a loving family who took good care of her for the week she was away from home. For us, it was a happy ending.
However, that's not the case for the rows and rows of cages that confine man's best friend at the Pound. My heart went out to the well cared for pups that you could tell belonged to loving homes. Those were the ones who would just glance up at you as if to say, "I know you're not my owner but would you please tell them I'm here?"
Then there were the scruffy ones that even a mother would have a hard time loving. They'd almost stand at attention, trying to give their best pose, paws poking through the bars of the cage, just hoping for a pat on the head or a soothing praise of "good dog".
From the looks of the packed Pound it was obvious that many of their owners must wrongly assume that their faithful Fido couldn't possibly be there. Night after night, there are innocent animals being put down because the Pound cannot keep up with the plethora of pets that come through the doors.
What a hopeless shame for loving owners to lose a pet because they didn't think to look at the Pound. What a grievous injustice to our 4-legged companions whom, for one reason or another, find themselves separated from their human family. So many dogs, so many needless deaths.
For some employees, this is life on the graveyard shift at the City Pound.