Can anyone help my cousin Sadie?
Copyright Jim Willis 2001
I’m addressing this to all humans. I need help! My name is Stella and I’m a pure bred dog – what you’d call a “breeder”. I live in a huge high-volume kennel in Missouri. There are a couple of thousand dogs here. I’ve been here about 8 years (that’s human years) and I figure I’ve had at least 200 puppies. At least.
Oh, I don’t want to give you the wrong idea ... I’m not in any danger, or anything like that. There are people here who take care of us. They probably each have about 100 dogs with litters of puppies to take care of, but they eventually get around to each of us. I know I get at least one pat on the head per day, I have a stainless steel cage and there’s room enough to lie down and turn around. We get two meals a day, just dry kibble, but at least the water is clean.
They even have veterinarians who work here. At first it struck us as odd that they could find doctors who studied medicine and then took an oath about compassionate care of animals to work here, but they did.
But enough about me, it’s my cousin Sadie I’m worried about. You see, I haven’t seen her since we were puppies. We can’t write or call, of course, but I hear things occasionally through the “grapevine”. Some of the delivery trucks that take all the puppies from where I am to pet shops, also stop at the place where Sadie is, in Kansas. I hear things ... that’s what worries me.
I’ve heard Sadie lives in a cold and drafty barn. That’s how it is in the winter, in the summer time it’s an oven. The man who runs that place hardly has any help, and Sadie’s in there with a couple hundred dogs. They have their cages up off the floor with wire bottoms, so that they’re easy to clean (although I hear they rarely clean them), and I’m afraid that must hurt Sadie’s paws. I’ve also heard the dogs get mouldy food once a day; that their water, if they have it at all, is days old and dirty. Sadie has had even more puppies that I’ve had and I’ve heard about half of them have died.
Poor Sadie! I’m just heartsick over this and I don’t think there’s a thing I can do about it. I expect I’ll be here over the next couple of years, and after that, who knows? But I’d at least like to know how Sadie is, and I know if she were here with me, she’d join me in asking just one more question.
If you all have enough puppies now, do you think we might go home sometime soon? I’m not really sure what a “home” is, but I hear the people here talk about going “home” at the end of the day, and they tell me my puppies have all gone to “homes”.
I figure me and Sadie might like to try out a “home” someday and see if it’s to our liking.
Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated!
Your friend, Stella