You can tell just by looking at this dog that she’s had a rough life – you can see her ribs, the patchy spots of missing fur, she needs a bath, and if you look closely, you can see that she recently had puppies. Yet when I met this dog at the Beaumont Animal Shelter, she was calm and sweet and had such hopeful eyes. I’m not sure what happened to her. In an ideal world, she found a loving home that spoils her and loves her more than anything. But after spending the past couple of months in Beaumont, Texas and volunteering at the shelter, I’m obliged to think happy endings for these dogs are far and few between.
Coming here from Austin, Texas after working at the largest no-kill shelter in the U.S., it’s been pretty traumatic volunteering at a small shelter that still imposes what I consider outdated standards and protocol. I know they have good intentions and want to help the animals that come through their shelter, but they are also struggling in a region that isn’t as open minded and modern in their thinking of how pets and animals should be treated. I first visited Beaumont’s city shelter on my birthday back in May of this year. Here are a few of the dogs I saw —