Adoption Day for Kentucky Pup Who Was on Death’s Door
It was a beautiful day of smiles, laughter and tears at the Kentucky Humane Society on Wednesday. Ethan was dumped at the shelter fighting for his life on January 29th, 2021. Truly with just hours to live he was saved. What happened next is a story of community, resilience and a will to live. Meet this superdog, who has become a social media sensation, and see how you can support the mission of the Kentucky Humane Society.
I struggle so much writing articles like this. I struggle because I can't wrap my mind around how someone can mistreat a helpless animal. Who can starve an animal to death. Not care whatsoever if your furry family member lives or dies. It's callous and unacceptable. Who dumps their loving, trusting pet like a piece of trash. Ethan's previous owner, that's who. It's quite obvious that Ethan has been neglected and abused for his entire young life. Luckily, Ethan has been given a second chance at a brand-new life!
I can't post the pictures of what Ethan looked like when he was found in the parking lot at the shelter. I just can't. It was bad. So, very bad. I'd rather share Ethan today. A happy, loved and joyful pup, who will NEVER be abused again.
The Kentucky Humane Society told some of Ethan's story on social media this week. "Today we take one final walk down memory lane as we prepare for Ethan to go to his forever home. When Ethan was rushed back to our Veterinary Services department after being dumped in our parking lot, we had no idea if he would make it. Starved to the point of complete muscle loss and unable to hold his head up, we worked tirelessly to save his life. We've been asked what makes so Ethan special. And really, in some ways, he isn’t. There are dogs and cats like him all over the world that are in the shape he was in or worse, and fighting for their lives. On the other hand, Ethan is very special because he caught your attention. He caught the world's attention. His near death and struggles have touched everyone’s hearts and brought people together in a way we haven't seen in a long time. Ethan has served as a beacon of hope for so many and has shown what the power of love, hope and courage can really do. Today, we celebrate our magical friend and all he has overcome to get to this point. Tomorrow, we continue our lifesaving work to heal the thousands of Ethan's of the world and ensure they have a bright future. If Ethan's story has inspired you, please consider making a donation in his honor. Your gift will help us continue to save lives and heal the broken."
Ethan even has his own Facebook Page! Follow his journey HERE. You can also follow Ethan on Instagram at @EthanAlmighty. You can even purchase Team Ethan merchandise and support the Kentucky Humane Society.
His new family is beyond excited to provide Ethan with the loving home that he deserves. "I just want to thank everyone so much for their overwhelming support of Ethan, the Kentucky Humane Society, myself and my family. Words simply cannot describe the kindness shown to us during this time. We are so, so excited to be able to adopt Ethan! He is already such a huge part of our family. From the very beginning, it’s always been about Ethan and what is best for him and his future. I believe with all my heart he is in the right place. There’s nothing we wouldn't do for him. We love him so very much and are very grateful for all the love of every single person that has followed his story from the beginning. Thank you again!", from Jeff, his new Dad.
What an exciting day this was for the Henderson family who got to visit a now healthy Ethan. On January 29th, 2021 this family saved Ethan's life. They stopped by the Kentucky Humane Society to drop off some toy donations. What they found in the parking lot was alarming and disturbing. They thought that there was a dead pup lying in front of them. They acted quickly, swept up Ethan, and rushed him into the building so that he could get the immediate care that he so badly needed. Thank you to this beautiful family for not only making a donation, but for your quick thinking! #blessed
What an exciting adoption day for Ethan, his new family, the Kentucky Humane Society, and for all following Ethan and his inspiring journey! Many prayers were answered.
People From All Around the Country Prayed for Ethan
This was written by an anonymous shelter manager and it tells the story of what happens when an animal is dropped off at a shelter.
WARNING - Some parts are very hard to read. Grab a tissue.
The shelter manager's letter:
"I am posting this (and it is long) because I think our society needs a huge wake-up call.
As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all - a view from the inside, if you will.
Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know - that puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore.
How would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at - purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays" that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.
No shortage of excuses. The most common excuses I hear are:
We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat). Really? Where are you moving to that doesn't allow pets?
The dog got bigger than we thought it would. How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?
We don't have time for her. Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!
She's tearing up our yard. How about bringing her inside, making her a part of your family?
They always tell me: We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her. We know she'll get adopted - she's a good dog. Odds are your pet won't get adopted, and how stressful do you think being in a shelter is?
Well, let me tell you. Dead pet walking!
Your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off, sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies.
Your pet will be confined to a small run / kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers that day to take him / her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the "bully" breeds (pit bull, rottweiler, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted. If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed.
If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed, it may get a stay of execution, though not for long. Most pets get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles, chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.
Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down". First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk - happy, wagging their tails. That is, until they get to "The Room".
Every one of them freaks out and puts on the breaks when we get to the door. It must smell like death, or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there. It's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs (depending on their size and how freaked out they are). A euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk it's leg. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood, and been deafened by the yelps and screams.
They all don't just "go to sleep" - sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves. When it all ends, your pet's corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back, with all of the other animals that were killed, waiting to be picked up like garbage.
What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know, and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal, and you can always buy another one, right?
I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head. I do everyday on the way home from work. I hate my job, I hate that it exists and I hate that it will always be there unless people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.
Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes. My point to all of this is DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE!
Hate me if you want to - the truth hurts and reality is what it is. I just hope I maybe changed one person's mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog. I hope that someone will walk into my shelter and say "I saw this on Facebook and it made me want to adopt". That would make it all worth it."