In the U.S. alone, 7.6 million animals enter the shelter system every year. 2.7 million are adopted, and 2.7 million are euthanized. These are the facts, but behind these statistics, there are real dogs, real cats, and real people who bathe them, feed them, dress their wounds, and scratch their ears.
I’m sure there are some people who think of working in a shelter as “just a job.” This isn’t about those people.
I asked Melissa Fogarty, Kennel Supervisor at the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter, a large municipal shelter in Long Island, about the people who work on the ground, day in and day out, with the animals. I asked her about the people who walk dogs, play fetch, and clean cages — the people who think of the shelter dogs as their own.
I then asked Melissa’s coworkers to tell me what they wish they could tell the public about what they see.
This isn’t a story about a specific animal shelter or even animal shelters in general. It’s smaller and more personal than that. This is, quite simply, a story about six individual people who trusted me enough to tell me the truth. This is what they said
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