MeLissa Webber Article Pt 2 by JohnSibley

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									                              so God has me here ...
                              by not one sparrow on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 10:22pm ·

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                              This is part two of MeLissa Webber's post about being a shelter adminstrator, and a
    Notes About Me            Christian (please see yesterday for pt. one):

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Get Notes via RSS             At work, I’m responsible for the operation of our shelter. The shelter and field services
Report                        supervisors report directly to me, and I report to the executive director. We have roughly
                              two hundred animals right now, and about fifty of them are in foster care.

                              We are an open admissions shelter which means that, at times, we do have to euthanize.
                              Being part of a coalition that ascribes to the Asilomar Accords, we have been fortunate not
                              to have had to euthanize a healthy animal in over two years. When we do euthanize, it's
                              due to illness or behavioral issues. But, we do our best with the resources, time and money
                              available to us.

                              Many people think that when they send donations to one of the national agencies, such as
                              the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the Humane Society of the
                              United States, that all local humane societies also get a piece of the pie. Unfortunately
                              that’s not true. We’re all autonomous, non-profit entities that have to find donor support
                              of our own. Now the ASPCA and HSUS do a great deal of good, so I’m not begrudging
                              them. I’m only hoping to dispel a common myth.

                              Sometimes I find myself asking why exactly God has me in my current position. Is it to
                              bring a heart of prayer and faith to the environment where I work, and to encourage other
                              Christians I work with? (But what about when I have to let a Christian go?) Or is it to be a
                              witness to my faith and be available to answer all the questions nonbelievers come up
                              with? And then there’s the animals, what about them? What does God want me to do with
                              them and for them? Of course I’m meant to love them, feed them and respect them. But
                              what about when I have to euthanize them?

                              I sign all euthanasia paperwork. And I don’t believe animals cross the “rainbow bridge,” or
                              go to heaven individually when they die. At best, I hope that animals in general will be with
                              us in heaven. So how do I get the world to realize how much we’re contributing to pet
                              overpopulation by not spaying and neutering our animals? As an aside, please don’t breed
                              or buy while shelter pets die. We must stop breeding more animals before we find homes
                              for the ones that are currently with us. But I could go for ages about spay and neuter ...

                              When it comes to the No Kill movement specifically, what I’ve seen with my own eyes is that
                              it can be cruel to keep animals alive in a shelter for too long. And if you don’t control your
                              shelter’s population, it makes a poor situation for all the animals, and the people too. You
                              can’t properly care for anybody. That said, it breaks my heart to have to euthanize animals
                              that could be saved if they just had timely access to owners and homes. It’s so difficult
                              having to sacrifice one for the many.
Some weeks are especially hard for me, and some days I have to make some extremely
tough calls. Specific animals haunt me, and sometimes I don’t get the opportunity to have
a good cry, and I can get a bit overwhelmed and depressed. Ironically, it’s my Christian
coworker and I who make the selections for euthanasia right now. I pray for God’s wisdom
in the process. He knows the animals and He knows our resources. He knows which of
them it’s cruel to keep in a kennel one more day, and who can live happily in the shelter for
a year. He knows the people who are out there thinking about a new pet, and He knows the
perfect pet for them. He is the perfect matchmaker, and He is on the throne.

Having been blessed to work in animal welfare, my eyes have been opened to some
wonderful movements. It was through searching for an HSUS blog that I found Not One
Sparrow (another God shot), and was able to start corresponding with Ben and discover that
there are many Christians out there who care about animal welfare as a whole, not just pet

I’ve been happily challenged to rethink my eating habits, and to consider the treatment of
all animals. As a Christian, I feel compelled to repent of my greedy consumption and my
vanity, and I regret the animals that have been sacrificed to feed both of those hungers.
I’m only beginning to read and learn about these issues, but I’m blessed. It’s my hope that
the more I learn, the more I can reach out to my Christian brothers and sisters and share
what I’ve learned with them.

And being in the animal advocacy world where animals are sometimes considered to equal
to humans, I can share the love and truth of Christ with them. I want them to not have to
rely solely on animals for their love, but to be enlightened by Christ’s love and His Spirit,
and to draw on this motivation to be the responsible stewards that all of us as humans are
called to be.

(photo and post courtesy and copyright MeLissa Webber)

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