“Sugar Man I love you,” I said repeatedly, for a part of me thought he may die in my arms. I said a prayer.”
Over 200 formerly abused and neglected companion animals will finally be laid to rest with a ceremony on Thursday, October 27th at 6:00 pm. Reverend Nancy McGwire will lead the ceremony and candlelight vigil as the ashes are spread from the Benton Park Pond Bridge. A champagne toast will follow.
Sugar Man did end up dying from the abuse he endured. I think of Chai whose spinal cord was severed, Brownie burned to death while alive, or Anthony frozen to death while his friend, Cleopatra, nestled her body against his. These stories are common and poignantly illustrate the extreme, everyday hardships these dogs face at the mercy of man. These are stories that challenge us to empathize with those who have been abused, urging us to see that hate has its grip on our community. It's also a stark reminder of why we all must work together as a community to put an end to the mistreatment of "Man's Best Friend."
Stray Rescue is well known throughout the country for being no-kill, but that doesn’t mean we do not have deaths. We have multiple deaths every week because sometimes the abuse is just too severe – even amongst the miracles we also see every day. Even when we go to great lengths and spare no expense to heal the shocking and disturbing pain inflicted on the innocent, sometimes the pain is just too great, and they can’t hold on.
Why does this matter? Even with the overpopulation of unwanted animals, why should we care about Sugar Man, Chai, Brownie, Anthony and countless others who didn’t make it? Because their lives and stories were relevant. They are part of the Stray Rescue Family, even in death. We mourn them because of the unfairness of their deaths, and because we loved them. Despite all efforts, we just couldn’t save them.
The abuse and neglect they suffered says something about our culture and the community we live in. When we spread their ashes and remember them at the candlelight vigil, we send a collective message and shine a light on the travesty of injustice they were forced to suffer. By making this an annual event, we will turn the tides of our community from senseless suffering and hate to comfort and love.
Join us on Thursday, October 27th at 6:00pm at the Benton Park Pond Bridge to remember those we have lost and be a part of the tides of change for the animals of St. Louis. Together we are strong.
Join our Facebook event here and share with your friends.
Love & Woof,