When I was a kid, before my family moved to the US, I spent a good portion of my childhood helping animals. Unfortunately, in my native country, there were a lot of stray dogs and cats. I don’t even know if they had neutering programs back then at all, but if they did, no one there knew about it because all the dogs and cats were in tact.
We looked after quite a few puppy litters, made sure they had blankets, food and water and when they were old enough, we would find them homes. Same with kittens, we would go into dark, scary building basements (because that’s where cats gave birth most of the time, not too sure as to why) with flashlights and take care of the them and then would find babushkas who would take them in.
There was one dog, Lada, who was like a neighborhood dog and me, my sister and her friends always took care of her and she followed us everywhere we went. She was honestly the nicest dog ever! She had a couple of litters and we found homes for every one of her pups. Then one day, she had another litter and we brought a couple of outside puppies we had found abandoned by a hospital and she was taking care of all of them. We found a few families who were going to take in almost all of the puppies and we felt so good about it!
It was about a week before the pups went to their new homes when a man that had just moved into the neighborhood decided to call animal control. I don’t know if he hated dogs or kids more, because part of me felt like he did it just to get us upset.
Animal control doesn’t work the same way they do here, they won’t take dogs/cats to a shelter and try to give them a second chance at life, they come and they exterminate. They put down each and every one of the 8 puppies and shot the mama dog and left her there to die.
It was so heartbreaking but made me realize and understand just how much I really love animals. I can never picture my life without a pet in it, they’re so important to me and each and every one of them has altered my life in one way or another, but it’s always for the better!