According to Dictionary.com, a definition of humanity is, "the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence." Humanity is the state of being humane. Being humane is what makes us human. And humans are capable of great love...for each other and for all living creatures...including sled dogs.
The shocking recent news from a British Columbia CTV News Report about the horrific fate 100 hard-working, innocent, and healthy sled dogs faced last April when they were allegedly slaughtered and dumped into a mass grave, some still alive, has spread like wildfire across the globe, disgusting and horrifying the masses. Myself included. It is beyond reason to me how something like this could occur, especially in this day and age. Help is literally just a keystroke away. How many of us have seen, and in returned "shared" or "retweeted" or "linked" information in the hopes of helping others - most of whom we have never even met before other than through the means of social media - to find new hu-families for the scores of homeless pets in search of their forever homes. Each and every day rescues, animal advocates and animal lovers reach out across the globe sending photos and adoption information of pets in dire need, who are on "death row," have been abandoned, injured, handicapped, are too old or too young, or were purchased from a breeder without first becoming familiar with the animal's need, so they are dumped, abandoned, or surrendered to a shelter.
Then there is that heartbreaking story, as the CTV reported, about those 100 sled dogs. Reportedly healthy, working dogs who lived to work and performed on command. Dogs who were devoted to their work. The very same dogs humans take pleasure in watching run or enjoy experiencing the rush of sled ride pulled by these dogs. How, and that is the million dollar question, can a human then order - and carry out - the slaughter of those very same dedicated dogs as a means to end an economical hardship? In this day of technological wonders when one simple message of "Sled dogs in need of a forever home" could send thousands of ripples across the technological world in a cry for help for these devoted dogs. And in return, receive hundreds of interested queries. Just the other day, a rescue posted a notice about a full-blooded Sibe pup that was in a shelter was going to be put down in less than 12 hours. That notice went viral and within less than one hour, there were many interested parties across the country with three people signed up to adopt him. That's all it took. A message sent by one person across the Internet.
How could this happen? That is the question that will haunt us forever. One of the accounts described one dog as escaping after it was shot in the head. It was running with its eye dangling out from the gunshot. Others had their throats slashed. While the pack members watched and knew what was coming their way and being absolutely powerless to run away or free themselves from the grisly fate that awaited them. What warranted such cruel and inhumane treatment? I do realize that not everyone is an animal lover or advocate. That to some, sled dogs are, simply put, a business expense. I do not know what issues faced the people responsible for those deaths or why they felt that slaughtering the dogs was their only way out. What I do believe is that there is always a choice. There is always help. Maybe not every dog would have been adopted out. But I am certain many good, kind-hearted people would have stepped forward to help. The rescues are so full, yet I know volunteers who keep taking in abandoned, homeless, sick, or lost dogs. If there is no room left at the shelter, people foster them. This world is a large place with many wonderful, kind-hearted, caring people in it. But one has to ask for help in order to be helped.
While there is no consolation for those poor dogs who were innocent victims, their cruel deaths should not - can not - be in vain. We all need to do something positive; to do good in the aftermath of this horrific event. We need to remember and honor those dogs who deserved so much more than what they got. The only way we can truly pay homage to them is to always remember our humanity. In the face of adversity, there is always another way. A humane way. The human way. If we lose site of that, then what is left?
I'm off to give my furbabies several thousand serious hugs.