Sunday, April 5, 2009
The Dangerous Rainbow
We have color system on the doors at the Shelter—Green, Yellow, Blue, Red, and Purple. It is a dangerous rainbow.
The Green Room is the best room for the dogs—it’s the Adoption Room, and thus it provides the primary ticket out of the Shelter. The Yellow Room has cats (for adoption) and animals still being kept under the stray-hold. The Blue Room houses more of the same, but officially is meant be for the puppies—although this is not a hard-and-fast. The Red Room is for bite cases and other critical issues—the door is locked and you can’t go in without an Animal Control officer. I haven’t been in the Red Room yet. The Purple Room is for incoming animals and worse, it’s where the animals slated for euthanizing are put—at least for now. Our Shelter is expanding, and the door colors have changed several times.
The Shelter staff will be euthanizing animals this week. No one is happy about this. The month of February was an experiment in No-Kill, and the euthanasia rates were held in check through March. But the parade of animals into the shelter is up-ticking with the litters of puppies and kittens, so the killing will resume.
I did a walk-through of the Purple Room this afternoon. It was depressing and horrifying—three skinny mamma dogs with baggy teats and mange, a grey, scarred, crop-eared pit bull, an older lab with cherry eye, several terrified LBDs (Little Brown Dogs) of indeterminate breeding who lie curled up and unresponsive. Some kennel cards have the word “SAVE” scrawled across the intake information in yellow highlighter. Other cards have messages of hope—“Show to Dr. M.” or “Rescue Called.”
But most of the cards have no notes. Most of these dogs have no names. For these animals, death is near. We know. They know too. The rainbow is dangerous.
Photo credit: Flickr; Creative Commons; Thank you-heureux- Vienna, Austria