It Should Not Have Ended This Way.

Posted on
It Should Not Have Ended This Way.

Sweet Ramona’s face is burned into my memory now. An indictment against me for my empty sentiment — feeling badly for her but not acting in time to actually save her. I saw the post yesterday on Instagram begging someone to save Ramona, but I didn’t act in time. Instead, I saved the post while I did the “responsible” thing — sleep on it overnight, review my already stressed bank account to calculate how it could feed another mouth, and figure out if I could squeeze yet another dog into my rescue pack. Is it irresponsible to keep adding rescue pets when my home is already bursting at the seams? My friends and family already call me crazy. This is the life and daily dilemma of a “career” pet rescuer.

Damn The Cost — It’s A Life.

When I considered all things logically, on paper, I just couldn’t make it work this time. I’ve been rescuing discarded, vulnerable animals for many decades, paying out of my own pocket to feed and care for them, living on a shoestring budget. And now common sense is nudging me to start saving for retirement, or end up homeless like all my rescue pets when they first show up at my doorstep for help.

But Ramona’s face stayed with me as I slept last night. When I woke up this morning with Ramona still on my heart, I knew I needed to try — somehow I had to make it work. At least I would get her out of the shelter to safety and then figure out the bigger picture for her.

No Second Chance. It’s Done.

But Ramona was already dead. She had been killed by the shelter before anyone would save her. When I woke this morning, before even getting out of bed, I grabbed my phone and pulled up the saved Instagram post for the Texas shelter’s contact information. I was going to call and ask them to pull Ramona from the euthanasia list and keep her safe until I could figure out how to get her to me here in Phoenix.

The words in the updated post screamed out at me — Ramona’s dead. No one stepped up, and the shelter didn’t bother to advocate for her. She’s dead and that’s that. Another precious life extinguished, and we all will just go on our way. My heart has been shredded all day, and I’m writing this post with tears on fire and the stinging guilt of having been party to letting it happen. I hesitated, and they killed her.

Why Was She Not Save-able?

I’m wondering why no one wanted Ramona. Was she not beautiful enough? Was her back story not tragic enough? Is it because she was a pitbull? But a life is a life – those things should not have mattered, right?  Although they must have — because no one wanted her and, at the end of her broken life story, she died alone. Sweet Jesus, I am so so so sorry.

I keep going back to the post and looking at Ramona’s face. She knew — she knew no one was coming for her. She knew she would die there without anyone to care. Look at Ramona’s face — there’s no hope left in her. She knows. She will die there alone, unloved, and unremembered by most. And that’s exactly what happened. Ramona’s life didn’t matter.

Prayer For Those We Let Down.

Ramona’s heartbreaking story reminds me of my first prayer back in 1998 when I started Milagro Senior Pet Refuge. As I embarked on this most beautiful and difficult life chapter in pet rescue, I recognized that we wouldn’t be able to save them all no matter how hard we were going to try. So I asked God to be extra loving to the precious souls we wouldn’t be able to save, and to love them in a way we would fail to do here in this life. When I lay my head down to rest at night and try uselessly to shed the guilt that inevitably comes with being a pet rescuer, God still gives me moments of peace knowing that He continues to answer that first prayer every day. Today, however, I’m not feeling peace. My heart is broken for Ramona.


Ramona’s sad and senseless end underscores the importance to ACT QUICKLY! There are SO MANY MANY more animals like Ramona in high-kill shelters that don’t have the luxury of time to wait while we figure things out.  Shelters are, after all, just killing machines in disguise.  We must get the animals safely out of those shelters FIRST, and worry about the details later. Had I adhered to my own advice, Ramona would be safely and happily with us today, knowing love … maybe for the first time. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Just Save The Life — God will help you fill in the blanks later.

Rest In Peace, Dear Ramona. God’s Got You Now.  ❤ 

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
God Bless and Happy Pet Parenting!

With love and good wishes,
jeannie.   ?

About jeannie:  I’ve been pro-actively involved in pet rescue all of my life. I founded Milagro Senior Pet Refuge© (Phoenix) in 1998, and BareFootPets (TM) in 2008. Animal welfare has always been and will always be my heart’s work. If my only legacy is that I save a handful of precious souls that would not survive otherwise, I’m good with that.