Although I normally blog about writing, marketing or books, today I’ve been wondering about something that I can’t get out of my mind. It crept up on me in its own sneaky fashion, until I finally realized that there’s no escaping it, and no turning back. It’s an obsession that is fast rivaling my daily writing “fix”.

Have you ever gone to Facebook and clicked on one of these pages set up by animal rescue organizations? I did. Now, it has taken hold of me and won’t let go.  All it takes is one look at a face like this one. You’ll be hooked, too.

The pleas for these animals are desperate. In many states, the organizations work to pull animals from shelters that are known as “kill” shelters. Dogs and cats that come in sick or hurt, or the ones that are aggressive—even if they are just afraid—are the first to be put down.

Yes, I realize that not all stray animals can be saved. But did you know that many animals that are brought to the shelters are “owner surrendered” pets? Why would someone do this? For many reasons—I think one of the main ones being that owners believe that taking an animal to the shelter and ‘dropping it off’ will result in the shelter finding it a good home.

The hard truth is that most shelters are running over. Dropping off your animal is probably not going to result in a preferable outcome of adoption. Most likely, the animal is going to be euthanized within the week.

One story that really tore at me when it was posted was the picture of a sweet golden retriever mix, that was taken in her cell at the shelter. Her eyes were kind. She didn’t understand what had happened to her world. After living with her master for 12 years, she had been “dropped off” at the shelter when her human had to go into a nursing home. I guess no one in the family was able to take her in to finish out her last years. And I can only imagine what anguish her master must have gone through, knowing that his family had surrendered his loving pet to a shelter. “Please help Sadie,” the post began. “She is alone and scared, and doesn’t understand why she’s at the shelter.” Sadie’s story haunted me all day. But it wasn’t the only one.

A few hours later, I saw that Middle Mutts, one of these wonderful organizations, had posted the story of yet another sweet little dog whose family had “surrendered” him as well. Only, they had moved off and left him to fend for himself rather than try to find a home for him. How could a family do this? I pictured them driving away from their home in their mini-van, the dog sitting in the front yard watching them leave, the husband and wife comforting themselves with the hope that “maybe one of the neighbors will take him in…” Nope. Animal control got him first and he went to the shelter, where he awaits certain death if no one adopts him or sponsors him. The picture above is of Zina & Mimi. Mimi is a gorgeous Great Dane/Lab mix around 1.5 years old. She was an owner surrender along with her best friend, Zena, a deaf Boxer. Zena depends on Mimi, and if possible, they’d like to find a home for them together. Please check out a new video of them!

There are too many stories like this to describe in this short post. What I hope to do is to let you know how you can help these animals.

First: Click on the pages for these animal rescue organizations on FB and LIKE them—Here are three wonderful, very worthy animal rescue activist groups that are in the business of working tirelessly to get these sweet fur babies pulled and transported (with help from some guardian angels across this great country of ours!) to their new owners.

Pet Pardons!/petpardons

Middle Mutts!/middlemutts

The Bella Foundation!/BellaFoundation

Second: When these notices begin to come in on your FB page about the animals that are going to be put to sleep (PTS), the ones who are injured and in need of treatment, the pleas for fostering or transportation funding, RESHARE them on your wall. You never know who might see these pictures and stories and want to adopt that dog/cat, or maybe knows of someone else who will. This doesn’t cost a thing and is a wonderful tool to “get the word out” about these animals, especially if you ask your friends to reshare, too!

Third: Most of these animals have a special “CHIP-IN FUND” that has been set up just for their needs. When you donate to it, the money goes to THAT ANIMAL for their shots, medical care (many of them have been abused or neglected terribly) and transportation if necessary. Most people think their contributions won’t matter. I have seen time and again where the contributions inched upward each day and finally reached the amount needed to pay for the “vetting” for these animals. Even $1 is important. It all matters. Some of the animals require surgery or medical treatment for other conditions. These are the ones that desperately need funding to help them get that treatment and get to a new home. If you have a Paypal account, it takes less than a minute to click on the link for the Chip-In and transfer a few bucks over.

Fourth: Talk about it. Blog about it. Get the word out. Not all support has to be financial! We all have to do what we are able to do, and some can do more than others, but many of these people in these organizations are volunteers. Is there something you could do at your local shelter? Could you start a group like this on your own? Fostering dogs until a home can be found for them is a wonderful service to provide if you are able to do this. There’s no monetary gain, but the reward you get from these loving animals will more than make up for it. Many have never had a kind word or loving touch. The picture above is of Pet Pardons’ co-founder Chris Hoar’s dog. Here’s what he has to say about his work:

“You know sometimes even I find it very hard to look at the pictures people post on my own wall, sometimes it seems like this horrific cruelty will never end, sometimes I want to just give up and go hide in a hole. Then I look at my little rescue Jimmy 2 Shoes, and he reminds me that I can never give up, for any reason, because as hard as this is for me sometimes, it is nothing compared to how hard it is for all of them.”  Chris has devoted his life to saving these animals. He’s my hero.

Have you been inspired yet? I hope so. Many of these stories have wonderfully happy endings thanks to regular people like you and me. Sadie, the 12-year-old golden retriever, was rescued within a couple of days of being posted and reshared again and again.

Another remarkable story is that of Vex, a dog who had been hit by a car in Romania and was paralyzed in his back legs. He had been dragging himself around, wearing his hide off for months. But the money was raised to fly him to America to a new loving home. Someone donated the money for him to have a little cart for his back legs so he could get around on his wheels. What a happy ending! Want to be part of something wonderful? Get involved. You’ll be ‘heart happy’ as soon as you do.

Our own “happy ending”–my daughter, Jessica, with her dog, Embry. This was taken about 2 years ago after Embry had to be treated for menengitis. She adopted him as a puppy from a shelter. He has brought us all so much love and joy I can’t imagine NOT having him around!

If you have questions, please e-mail me at  If we all work together, we can at least make a dent in animal cruelty, abuse and neglect and find loving homes for some wonderful sweet fur babies.

Website | + posts

A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work:
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here:
Follow me on Facebook:

24 thoughts on “HOW CAN I SAVE THEM ALL?”

  1. Cheryl I see your posts on Facebook and they touch my heart, but I haven’t known how to help because these sweet pets are far away. Thank you for explaining what we can do.
    I support another great organization called Best Friends that has a large sanctuary to give unadoptable pets a home for life. Since they’re a few hours from my home, my family has instructions to take my 2 rescue kitties there if anything happens to me and no one will take them.
    But all these wonderful facilities need our help. You’ve done a great service today.
    Love your huge dog.

  2. These stories are so sad. I read your blog with through tear-filled eyes. Animals are so vulnerable and their fate is in the hands of humans. I’ve seen those posts on Facebook and it breaks my heart. I’ll try to help all I can.

  3. Hi Elizabeth,
    A lot of people are unaware that many of these organizations have transport arranged for these animals–I didn’t know it for a long time. But that’s what part of the “Chip In” funding goes for. They have drivers who will take a van with several of these animals to certain places where they go to rescues or new homes. So if you see a dog in TX and you live in CA, most times I think there would be a way to get that pet to you.

    I love “Chip In” so much–I wish all these organizations would do it. You just click on the link and it takes you right to that animal’s page. You can see what the goal is and how much of it has been raised. I never thought we’d get the $5000 for Vex, but we did! We got him and his sweet mama taken care of and flown to Long Island to their new home all the way from Romania. That is a very unusual case, because most of these animals are right here in the USA.

    You’re so smart to have made provisions for your kitties. I wonder how many times things happen as they did with Sadie the dog and the owner gets sick or dies, etc. and the animal is just left behind.

    There are so many compassionate people in the world, I’m just hoping to raise awareness so that more can be done. I literally stumbled into these links and didn’t even know these organizations existed until just a few months ago.

    Thanks for your support, Elizabeth! I appreciate you.

  4. Linda!
    Hey girl. I know. So many of these stories ARE so sad, but you know, I am so appreciative of people like Chris Hoar who totally dedicate their lives to helping these animals and doing good for them, even though it is a very sad thing to see happening all the time. I would have a hard time focusing on the ones I saved, because of all the ones I couldn’t. Still, if we all work together and do even the smallest thing, it all helps! And having a centralized place to donate even the smallest amount of money, or find out what we can do to help in our areas, etc. is such a wonderful thing. I’m so thankful for the internet. It’s always sad to realize how inhumane some people in the world are, even when they don’t do it intentionally, but the good thing is knowing this is a problem we can actually do something about.

    Thanks, Linda, for all your support. I wished you could have come to OK with Phyliss. One of these days…

  5. Char,
    Thank you so much–What I do is nothing compared to some of these everyday heroes who make it their life’s work. There is so much in this old world that we CAN’T do anything about, but this is something that everyone can help with, even if it’s just by resharing or donating a few dollars to help.

    Thanks for your kind words, Char!

  6. Many of my friends on Facebook post about these animals on their pages… It is sad and I so wish I could adopt them all.. but alas I can’t. But I will do what I can…

  7. Hi Kathleen,
    It’s good that so many of your friends do this! No, I’m like you, I’d adopt them all if I could, but I can’t–I’d be divorced! LOL But if we all do whatever we can to help, it goes a long, long way. It’s sad in a lot of ways, but it’s good, too, that we have so many people who are compassionate and loving and want to help in whatever ways they are able. I have two neighbors who foster dogs–I wish I could do that, but my own “granddog” wouldn’t like it and there’d be trouble. LOL

    Thanks so much for coming by today! I appreciate your support.

  8. You have such a kind heart, Cheryl, and I love what you’re saying. I have 2 big dogs that I got on the Blackfeet reservation and several cats — and I love animals as though they were family.

    Beware however of these organizations that claim to “rescue” these animals. Did you know (if you do the research) that only 1% of all monies collected by the Humane Society go to the animal welfare? That the rest of the money goes to salaries, promotion, lobbying, and of course supporting causes around the world that are not particularly kind to animals.

    I’ve been caught out so many times supporting these organizations, only to do the research as to what their money goes toward, only to find out that they are funded in part or in main by such suppressive (to animals, as well as to humans) foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation. There an interesting documentary — featuring Norman Dobbs before he died — who was in charge of investigating these “foundations” and what he says is chilling. Edward Griffin hosts the interview. If you have a chance please google it and watch it — very telling.

  9. Hi Kay,

    Yes, I did know that about the Humane Society. Many of these organizations that I’ve talked about, as well as others out there, do not support the Humane Society at all! They are very “down” on them, and for good reason. Kind of like the Heart Association and many other so-called charities that take advantage of people’s desire to help. I know a bit about these three that I mentioned. Pet Pardons is wonderful. Middle Mutts, too. And you can see the animals they’ve saved–it’s kind of like a network where lots of people know each other, so there’s no doubt that what they say is happening is happening. The Bella Foundation is just getting started here in Oklahoma, which is why I listed them. They’re fairly new, and I know a couple of people who work with them as fosters for dogs. I will google the documentary and watch it. But like everything else, you have to take a chance on something sometimes, and though I’m so sorry that the Humane Society (who has a BIG name!) has chosen to do what they’ve done, there are alternatives that are more honestly run and really do have the ANIMALS’ best interests at heart!

    Thanks so much for your kind words. You are a dear friend.

  10. Cheryl, thank you for everything you do to help find homes for needy animals. As far as I can remember, except for one dog, we’ve always had rescue dogs and cats; and we usually have two dogs and two cats at any given time. They’ve given us so many hours of joy. Thanks for sharing your cause with us. We love you for it. P

  11. Aw, Phyliss, you are a dear. I wish I could do so much more for these animals. If I was rich I’d be like Betty White–such an activist for animals! I don’t know what we’d do without our “granddog”, Embry. I think he’s with us permanently now, since Jessica has moved to a place that has no fence. But he is our baby–so ferocious to everyone else, but to the four people in our family, he’s a big old teddy bear.

    Hugs, Phyliss! Thanks for all your kind words and support.

  12. Our second dog was a stray from an animal shelter and was the sweetest dog ever – we had her for 17 yrs. About 20 yrs. ago I started rescuing ferals/strays and have had up to 7 at a time. I have 5 at the moment inside but I also care for outside cats too. I do what I can but there’s always more to do. Especially, with cats. People just throw them out or never take care of them to begin with because “they can fend for themselves” but not really and especially not in PA where the winters can be brutal.

  13. Hi Cheryl:
    Thank you for educating us. I truly hate it when an animal is left behind or abused. I will keep sharing in the hopes someone will care and adopt.

  14. Hi Catslady,
    You are so right about cats–when my daughter got her house, there was a black cat that was a stray she began to feed–the cat was so afraid, it would never come to her, but she’d leave food for it and it would eat once she went inside. As time went by the cat had kittens and by the end of that first year she lived in that house she was taking care of about 5 feral cats along with her own 2 housecats. They got to where they recognized her car when it turned the corner.

  15. Julie, bless your heart! Thanks so much for sharing and helping. These little things add up and they do matter–we just never know who’s going to see a picture we share and decide that is the “one” for them!

  16. bless your heart for doing this post!!!
    i think so many people are truly unaware of this situation
    i did rescue for years out of my home
    it does feel overwhelming but shutting it out doesn’t do any good
    a couple quotes i always liked were
    “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Edward Everett
    “Though saving one dog will no change the world, it will change the world for that one dog” (sorry, no source)
    I met some very AMAZING people in my years of rescue–ones I still keep in touch with today
    And though you’d think seeing the how people treated their dogs would make you bitter, it’s the people who open their hearts up to “unwanted” dogs that really moves you
    I had old, sick dogs that I thought would never find homes…but given time they all did
    Those people that adopt old dogs are angels

    I took in death row dogs from a local shelter. Some of them turned out to be the most amazing dogs of all. They were often to be put down for their color (black labs are the most frequently put down) or their behavior (hyper and barking–though those were often just very intelligent and loving dogs who were too frustrated with the shelter to cope)
    I have amazing stories and memories about so many of these dogs.
    I really encourage people to adopt from a shelter or rescue. You can get all breeds and all ages, puppies included.
    However–I really feel that adult dogs have an appreciation for their second chance–also-you know what you are getting (size, temperment, etc)
    Mixed breeds have less health and behavior problems overall than purebreds as well
    and many dogs aren’t abused with troubled pasts-but, like you said–family dogs that became inconvient. is a great place to find the dog you are looking for. you can search by breed, age, sex, size, etc
    most shelters and rescues are in desperate needs of foster homes as well
    the more room they have the less dogs that get put down
    plus dogs do so much better in a home environment

    i got on a rant there…
    thank you for sharing this information
    many people are unaware of how many dogs are euthanized and what a problem pet overpopulation is
    so many people just let their dog have puppies because they are cute
    it’s easy to find homes for puppies…but a good portion of those puppies end up in the shelter down the road–or at the very least–take a home away from a dog waiting for a second chance that is in the shelter already
    and…if you do decide to “buy” a puppy
    you should only be buying from reputable breeders
    not out of the classified section and most certainly not from pet shops!
    change only happens if we make it

  17. Tabitha…you are a dear person to speak so passionately about this situation. I can tell that you are one of those rare and special people who put their beliefs into action, and that is so wonderful! You can go on a rant anytime you want! LOL I believe, like you, that people are just unaware of how huge this problem is. I know I was unaware before I started seeing these posts on FB–it’s only through raising awareness that others can also participate and help in whatever ways they can. How I wish I could do more! I will never buy a puppy –well, I’ve never BOUGHT one yet! Mine have been rescued from different places. Thanks so much for those beautiful quotes–I’m writing them down and keeping them handy. And thanks for adding yet another great organization to the list of “animal angels” here on earth. I get passionate about neglect and cruelty to animals because it is something I can help do something about, in whatever small way possible. It doesn’t mean I feel any less passionate about cruelty or neglect of children or helpless old people, but those are things I can’t do anything about, whereas the animal treatment and awareness is something I can take a hand in. Bless you for taking in those poor animals and giving them a second chance at having a wonderful loving home. There is no better gift than that. Thanks so much once more for coming by and adding your comments! I appreciate you!

  18. aw, thanks cheryl!
    how nice of you to write such a nice reply
    i’m so glad that more and more people like you are becoming aware and involved
    there is no effort too small
    anything is something and that always beats nothing 🙂
    i’m sure you changed some lives today with your post
    thanks again!
    and thanks for adopting your dog(s)
    when you do, you not only save the dog you adopt…but you also make room for another dog that wouldn’t have gotten the chance at a home!
    blessings to you!

  19. An important subject and a good discussion. I avoid these sites because it is much too depressing. I concentrate instead on the local animal shelters where I can help directly. We fostered for the county shelter for several years. We kept a lab mix from the first litter we fostered and a terrier mix from the last litter. During that time we took care of a variety of litters and an elderly toy poodle whose owner was in a car accident and ended up in a nursing home. We were able to find a home for it, We currently have dogs, cats, a snake, and peacocks that are all rescue animals of one sort or another. I think every pet we have ever had has come to us that way. My daughter has continued the tradition, but has many more in number and variety. The shelters are not always cooperative, but it is hard to blame them. It boils down to irresponsible owners in most cases. In our small county in NE TN the shelter has gotten as many as 90 cats and dogs (kittens and puppies) in a single week. It is impossible to find homes for that many animals. People still refuse to have their cats and dogs neutered and spayed and dump off the result for someone else to take care of. The Northeast has been so successful in their spay and neuter programs, that they have a shortage of kittens and puppies to adopt out. They come down here to the local shelter, select them and take them north for adoption.
    I would love to see no kill shelters, but if 90 animals a week are turned in, there will be no room left in a short period of time. They have started having the animals neutered or spayed before the new owners can take them home. Before, you paid for the procedure and were responsible for taking it to the vet. Unfortunately, too many new owners were not following through.

    Thanks for a post that will get people thinking.

  20. Patricia,
    I agree. It is depressing to see all these animals in need. I wish I could take every one of them in to live with me. (My husband wouldn’t last long, though!) LOL I think it’s great that you do so much and that your daughter is, too. When I think about being just one person and not being able to make much of a change in the world, I think of Mother Teresa and all the good SHE did in her lifetime as just one person. No, I’m definitely NOT Mother Teresa, and most of us aren’t, but at least it gives us the incentive that yes, we CAN make a bit of a difference in whatever way we choose in this problem with so many animals that have no homes. I wish all new pet owners would get their pets spayed or neutered and help solve this problem of overcrowding and so many of them being put to sleep or gassed. Thanks so much for commenting, Patricia, and reminding everyone that you CAN do something close to home, as well as on the internet!

  21. hey there and thank you for your info ? I have certainly picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise a few technical points using this web site, since I experienced
    to reload the website many times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining,
    but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing
    with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and
    could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content.
    Ensure that you update this again soon.

Comments are closed.