For those of us who work at a rescue, a humane shelter, or as a pet advocate, we will all tell you hate our jobs, we hat the fact that it even has to exist.
Every day, we bear witness to the unspeakable acts of cruelty, neglect, abandonment and abuse by the hands of humans to innocent companion animals.
Every day is spent trying to do whatever we can to piece back together their broken bodies and broken spirits.
When an owner comes in and surrenders a pet that has been part of their family for years and walks out the door without a care or even a pet on the head goodbye, we are the ones left taking this confused, shaking and terrified pet to a cell, we are the ones who hears its cries for hours and days for its owner, we are the ones who have to see it eagerly waiting at the kennel gate for the return of its owner, and we are the ones who have to see it each day begin to give up and lose hope.
It's very stressful and can be overwhelming and in time, you begin to feel like it's hopeless and no matter what you do, people just don't really care.
It was near closing time at the shelter last Tuesday when I was making my way toward the lobby when I noticed a woman and two young girls, with their arms full of items, standing at the counter.
I asked if I could help them and the woman replied, "Yes. It was my daughter's birthday and for her party, she asked her friends to bring things for the animals at the shelter instead of presents for her."
I felt a lump come up in my throat and was at a loss for words as I looked back toward this young girl whose huge gift bag was splitting at the seams from all the gifts in it.
I was so humbled by her gesture that all I wanted to do was give her a big hug so I asked her if I could, with a big smile on her face, she replied, "Sure!"
I hugged each girl telling them thank you and how impressed I was with their kindness and compassion.
I asked their permission to take their pictures and they graciously granted me permission.
Not only did she have all the gifts she brought with her, but she also informed me she had three dogs houses too that her and her dad would be bringing later in the week.
I offered to take the girls on a private tour of the facility and as we went to ever kennel and I told each dog's story, you could see her compassion and love, as she interacted with each one.
Her intelligence and maturity amazed me as we talked about the struggles these orphans have to face being placed in a shelter and the need to educate people to be responsible owners.
It was 10-year-old Bailey Thacker and her unselfish act of kindness and compassion that restored my faith in humanity and renewed by strength.
But most of all, she gave me hope again that maybe one day, society wouldn't think of pets as disposable and would see that an animal's life does have value.
It was an honor and a pleasure to have had the opportunity to meet you, Bailey, and your cousin, Miranda Thompson.
Thank you for your generosity and the gifts for the orphans at Clay County Humane Society.
Clay County Humane Society Secretary