I wanted to quit this week. So many sad stories, so many lies have come out and it baffles me because there were people who knew what was happening at an animal refuge in Texas. A place that had once been lauded for their work with unadoptable dogs, but the curtain was peeled back last week and behind it lay abuse, neglect, and greed. This tragedy will leave distrust in its wake for the rescue world. Now I don’t know who to trust, whose good intentions today will turn into covering up tomorrow and who is not telling what they know.
Somebody knew, somebody always knows and in this case many suspected and were already wary and it’s unacceptable that the suffering went on as long as it did. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes to keep this from happening again, but as a rescue community we need to figure it out and start from a place of respect for each other and concern for the animals. We need to be able to say, “I have concerns about something I’ve heard or seen.” or “I’m in over my head, please help.” We cannot be afraid to shine a light and we cannot fear the light, we must hold each other accountable and be ready and willing to help one other.
There was a movie called “Amazing Grace and Chuck” and the plot of the movie was that a young boy, alarmed by the thought of nuclear weapons, decided to quit talking until people started talking about how to rid the world of this threat. The story goes on and finally the boy meets the President of the United States who by this time is taking much heat from citizens to do something about the nuclear threat. The President asks to speak to the boy alone and tries to impress upon him that it’s not good to stir things up and frighten people. He says something to the effect, “You don’t run into a crowded building and yell “Fire.” The boy looks at the President and on a piece of paper he writes, “But what if there is a fire?”
There was a fire in Texas, there was a fire at Penn State, and there was a fire in the life of a lone gunman in Colorado. There are too many fires where no one is yelling.