Tuesday, August 2

Summertime...the Season to Abandon your Best Friend

A Dog Falls in Vulcano Buono There's been so much 'bad news' out there these days that I have been putting off my annual Dog Days of Summer post time and again. But August is upon us. And the streets of Italy (and many a European country) are emptied. Before long we will hear the mourning of dogs - abandoned - in the night. Or worse. We'll see them chained to lamp posts dying of starvation or lying - stiff - at roadsides. 
But this sad story does have a (sort of) happy ending - and that's the undying love and fatigue and endless hours logged by the thousands of volunteers, veterinarians and good hearted souls who, summer after summer, take these poor creatures into their hospitals, their houses, their hearts. 
And while it feels to me that this utter contempt for pets' lives has improved over the years, I am quite certain that dogs are still abandoned to their fate with - well, reckless abandon. Here's what it looks like: 

This little guy was hit by a car and despite his crushed bones
and probably internal bleeding, he kept his head held high
for hours upon hours, waiting beyond hope - for rescue.
His heart finally gave out and he died on route to the vet.

It is estimated that upwards of 100.000 dogs meet their end at the wheel or bumper of a car. Abandoned on roadways, they zig-zag in and out of traffic, trying to find any familiar scent that would carry them back to the very people they loved and trusted. 
I know about this guy's story thanks to the Facebook Page of Gianna Senatore - She dedicates her life to saving these animals and finding them homes across Italy. Some don't make it through the operation, others are returned to her post-adoption. For every miserable story she posts, you can find many successes and smiling faces in the before & after shots of these traumatized pets.
While they are closing down these sorts of centers, while keeping others open that are nothing short of lagers for animals found starving in cages, the Associazione Zoofila di Nocera Inferiore is a beacon of hope.

So what can we mere mortals do?  

Repost her photos. Help find forever homes. Donate to these centers. Offer to bring dogs with you to their new homes when you travel. Volunteer your time. And, above all, stop your car if you should see a dog lying - still with some life in him - at the side of the road.


Harm said...

Great post (tragically sad as this is). Useful!

Elin // Hidden in a Book said...

This really breaks my heart. :'( It's horrible how we treat non-human animals sometimes.
(However, not "any given European country" has August as their big holiday month. I'm Norwegian, and in Norway, it's July.)

Irreverent Italy said...

July? I think the Germans also do a lot in July...
I stand corrected! Grazie.