A dog who has lost everything hugs a thrown-out stuffed animal for comfort. He has lost his home, his family, and a safe place to live, and he is struggling to survive day by day on the streets. The lucky ones make it for a while before they are hit by a car or taken by cruel people to use as bait dogs. Some of the dogs are shot for “fun” or poisoned. Their lives hang on a fragile thread, and each day is precious.
Every day the volunteers must choose which ones to try to save and which ones to feed and leave on their own. It’s a heartbreaking task, but without the food and water that the volunteers provide, many more dogs would die of starvation or injury. Lingering, painful deaths.
This dog is just one of hundreds of stray dogs roaming the streets of Houston, Texas (and Miami Dade County in Florida). Both places have stray dogs who are so numerous that there is no way any rescue or shelter could take them all in. So local volunteers go daily to find the dogs, feed them, get medical care for the injured ones and rescue for others when they can.
The photographer wrote:
When I first saw this dog lying on this tattered and torn soft toy my first reaction was “oh how cute is that”. But then reality really sunk in once I started taking the picture. Here is a stray dog taking comfort in a worn out, discarded toy. How many of the dogs that we see are also thrown out on the street once they have served their purpose?
As one of the feeders we are always faced with the dilemma of deciding which dog to send out a plea of help for. This dog absolutely broke my heart but it a dog that was in relatively good shape and unfortunately, the sad truth is, a dog in this condition would be much harder to find a foster for than any others we find in worse shape. We can feed up to 50 dogs in one day. Out of those, we are lucky if we rescue just one because fosters are so hard to come by.
I took this picture a few months back. To be honest, today is the first time I have gone back to look at the picture. It was truly one of the saddest sights I have seen in the 5th Ward.”
This dog was not rescued. The volunteers don’t know where he is now or even if he is alive. He is just one of many. If you have room in your house and your heart, offer to foster a dog through a local rescue. There are thousands of dogs just like this one who have lost everything and just need a foster home to save their lives. Please be part of the solution. Please save a dog (or cat).
This is the link to the original Facebook post. There are groups who help dogs like this one. Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project helps dogs in Houston and here is a link to their wish lists on Amazon if you care to donate: Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project.