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Caring for Our Canine Friends

A Personal Appeal

By Felicity Fox

We need to be good stewards of the canine part of God's creation. What I write about dogs could also be applied to other animals. However, I refer to dogs because my own vocation is to help dogs who have been let down by human beings.

Twelve years volunteering in a shelter and rescue kennel have taught me that every dog is an individual with his/her own personality, feelings, emotions, every single one a precious child of God.

I am convinced that God loves God’s canine children. For a period of four years from 1996 to 2000, I was constantly coming across abandoned or stray (probably also abandoned) dogs and puppies. It reached the point where I could hardly venture out of my house without finding a dog on the sidewalk. It finally dawned on me that God wanted me to help dogs in need. Once I realized that and got involved in volunteering, the constant stream of dogs ceased—so I am sure God just wanted to get the message to me. I am ashamed it took 4 years for me to 'get it'!

There are many ways in which we could be better stewards of our canine friends:

(1) Spay/neuter pets: by reducing the number of dogs being born we reduce the number being killed for no better reason than that they have no home—5 million a year in the USA.

(2) Do not buy puppies, whether it is from a breeder or pet shop. This only perpetuates the plight of dogs in shelters and costs a life. 

(3) Adopt dogs and puppies from shelters to get them out of shelters so as to make room for all the others waiting to come in—and prevent others from being killed for lack of space.

I often think of the shortest verse in the Bible "Jesus wept." I do believe God weeps at the way we let down these precious children, every one of those 5 million lives taken is a unique individual.

I believe we should make a public commitment in our personal Covenant with Creation:
"Volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue kennel."

I know the importance of socializing and walking the dogs that live in a kennel until they find a forever home with a human being who is more loving and responsible than the one who let them down. There is a reason why dogs are known as a “human’s best friend.” And they deserve to be treated as such.