It’s a Dog’s Life … Well, For A Third of Them, Anyway.

Over the years, we’ve always had a dog. And they all came from the local Humane Society. No, wait there was that little black one we called Doglet. She wandered into our yard and stayed. But all the rest were mutts from the shelter.

This is our latest, Cookie. Six months ago, she was simply dropped off at the Maui HumaneSociety by her former owners who were moving back to the mainland and couldn’t take her with them for whatever reason. Their loss, our gain.

Lately, the Maui Humane Society has come under criticism in a letters-to-the-editor campaign for not adopting a “no kill” policy. After all, these folks say, other shelters have no-kill policies and the Maui Humane Society should, too.

Just changing the policy sounds simple, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing: Those other shelters don’t accept animals once there’s no more room.So it’s pretty damn easy to brag about your no-kill policy if your capacity is 25 animals and you turn away number 26.

Our Cookie is a lucky dog, because the odds were heavily weighed against her. The Maui Humane Society takes in an average of 22 animals a day, every day, 365 days a year. For each dog or cat that’s adopted, three more arrive to take its place. As an unfortunate and numbingly sad consequence of that math, the other two-thirds are euthanized. And it’s not just here. My guess is that it’s probably pretty much the same where you live.

So the message for today is (1) spay or neuter your pets; (2) contribute to and (3) adopt from your local Humane Society shelter.

I thank you. And so does Cookie.