AC Pup: ‘Tis the season to save a pet’s life

The Christmas season is such a beautiful time of year. Decorations are up everywhere, parties are hosted, and friends and family visit. It’s a wonderful time to connect with those we love.

It’s also a time to reflect on things that are important in our lives. One of the most important things in my life at Christmas time, and all the time, is saving adoptable, homeless animals. Lucky for the animals, this is important to others as well.

One of those people is Mr. Shane Smith. He goes around the country to high-kill pounds and conducts pardons to save all the animals in the building. The government leaders and director of the pound sign a contract agreeing to save every healthy adoptable animal in the building for the duration of the pardon. Mr. Shane has saved thousands of animals this way.

My nonprofit group, Central Georgia CARES, has been able to help with local pardons. CARES was instrumental in helping Mr. Shane save tons of dogs from animal shelters in Monroe and Jones counties this past summer. It was a very rewarding experience.

The latest pardon was recently held in Dublin. Mr. Shane organized the event with the support of Laurens County government officials as well as the support of the community.

As he does in all the high-kill shelters he visits, Mr. Shane assesses the situation and conditions of the shelter and begins his work of saving lives. In traditional animal control shelters, euthanasia is used as an attempt to manage the overpopulation crisis, although it is rarely effective in doing so. But at least for the extent of the pardon, no healthy animals are euthanized.

So far the Dublin pardon has saved more than 150 animals, and the final number may be even higher. Animals have been adopted, and many have been transferred to rescue groups up North where they have a shortage of available pets.

In every pardon there are touching stories of rescue, and the Dublin pardon is no exception. That’s the case for Socks and Sissy, two elderly sisters aged 15 and 18. Their owner is suffering from an illness that prevents him from caring for them any longer, and they were relinquished to the shelter.

Had it not been for the pardon in progress in Dublin, I would venture to say these girls would’ve had a different outcome. You see, being selected for adoption in a high-kill shelter is very competitive. Typically the first chosen are cute, fuzzy puppies or kittens and young, light-colored pets.

Unfortunately, black pets and old pets usually don’t fare so well. But thank goodness for the pardon because a wonderful rescue group in Michigan snatched Socks and Sissy. They will be placed in the perfect home to live out the rest of their lives.

Christmas came early in Dublin. And Santa Claus, dressed up as Shane Smith, delivered the best gift ever to Socks, Sissy and 148 other lucky pets.

Won’t you show the love this holiday season by doing what you can to help homeless pets? Everybody can do something.

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