Carbon Paw Prints on my Heart


“We must sacrifice the few for the many!”

That had been my supervisor’s response…when I inquired about the over abundance of euthanasia, that had succomb the shelter.

Course, that had always been the response.

Than there had been the ‘blue juice’ and the training…

carbon paw print 1

It hurts if it’s not done right.

A poison-filled syringe is jabbed through an animal’s chest wall. The needle punctures layers of nerves on the way to the heart. If the syringe pulsates, it is in the heart.

If not, the animal gets another sharp stab. Once on target, a press of the plunger injects “blue juice” (sodium pentobarbital) into the heart of an unadoptable animal.

I’ve held the needle.  Performed the ‘deed’.  I had been an Adoption Manager, at a local shelter.  But, unlike those who remain in the profession, after a period of 8 years, I could no longer stomach the shelter pledge.

The shelter pledge being:

We are making the lives of those surrendered an abandoned animals…better!

But if we have to kill a few to allow a handful to survive…so be it.

I was not God.  I could not play God.  I do not believe in the textbook version of God.  I do believe that things remain out of control, at the local animal shelter level.  I do believe that my spirituality became a victim to the morals of persons who felt they were substantial enough to…decide who survives and who does not.

Not a day goes by, years after my being asked to,

‘Take leave.  Because your values to not coincide with the shelter any longer.’

…that I suffer with the idea.  The idea that my being had been coerced into taking another’s life.

There is no such thing as…

a no kill shelter.

There is no such thing as…

a low kill shelter.

There is only an owner’s ability to investigate thoroughly the animal shelter and/or breeder, they plan to surrender or adopt an animal from.

**Animal images had been pets who were slated to be euthanized.  They now reside in my home.

Blue Juice

Amass as clues

moments for those who cannot play god.

Replay with every frame

upon a yellowed wall…

once a life is taken,

the choice we’ve made 


the stance we took is

part and parcel to a forever playbook.

carbon paw print 4 carbon paw print 2

Sometimes, reaction turns to regret.

Sails sailing away on conditional debts.

There will always be litters of misfits.

Those few who cannot undo.

Undo what the sheltering majority turns from flesh to blue.

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