As a requirement for my lab animal class we watched a video called “Dealing Dogs.” I knew that it would be a difficult video to watch as it focused on the animal abuse that was being perpetrated at Martin Creek Kennels in Arkansas. Before going into the vet tech program, I had watched a great deal of the Animal Cops series on Animal Planet and I was thinking the movie would involve images like those in the Animal Cops show. I was so wrong and I was so not prepared for what I had to watch.
It physically hurts me to see an animal in pain. This is one of the reasons why I believe that euthanasia is the last, great act of love an owner can show for a beloved pet. This is also why I was so incredibly upset by what I saw happening at Martin Creek Kennels. The documentary follows an undercover animal rights activist into the heart of the abuse. He becomes “friends” with the assholes (sorry, but there is no other word for these people) who see an animal only as a means to a profit.
I know that it must have been difficult for this man, who loves animals just as much as I do, to take part in the abuse, killing, and torture that occurred at the kennels. I have such a hard time putting myself in his shoes. He stood by with a hidden camera and watched the men shoot a dog. The reason the dog had to die? The dog tried to bite the men after being kicked, hit, and yelled at by these “Christian men of God”.
The movie made me feel so hopeless. There were so many animals that were sick, near death, and dead. So many that I felt I would never be able to do anything. I almost gave up that day. I almost stopped trying to help thinking it was too much for me to do as a veterinarian or veterinary technician.
And then I saw this quote when I got home: “Saving one animal won’t change the world…but for that one animal the world will change…Forever.”
And then I remembered Wiley. A small dog who was never abused but was given up by a loving family who knew they couldn’t give him the love he needed. Then I remembered crusading to convince my parents to adopt Wiley. They did and I remembered how happy he looks with a huge backyard where he can run like there’s no tomorrow.
And then I realized…I had made a difference and because of that everything I’m working for is worth it.
I cannot give up now.