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5 a.m. She is just waking up. She doesn’t understand. She knows she is cold and hungry, but she remembers when she fell asleep she was snuggled with her mama and brother and sisters. What could have happened? She is only 5 weeks old. She is alone.

7 a.m. She is exhausted and so hungry and cold. She has tried for two hours to find her mama. She is so small and weak. She keeps expecting her mama to come and save her.

9 a.m. She is too tired to move, she doesn’t understand why she was abandoned.

11 a.m. A man jogging by see’s the puppy. She is half dead and unresponsive. But she feels the warmth of the man’s hands and when she is snuggled up against him, his warmth gives her hope. He tries to feed her a little food but she is too weak to eat.

1 p.m. The man brings her to the local county shelter. She senses the care of the people working at the shelter. They hold her, warm her little body and gently and slowly feed her. She is beginning to regain some of her strength. She is still missing her mama. The people at the shelter put her in a room with other puppies and lots of big dogs. She is scared. There is so much noise and she senses the sadness in the other dogs. They too seem scared and lonely.

5 p.m. The people at the shelter leave. She is terrified. The other puppies are bigger than her and won’t let her get any food.

8:30 a.m. She hears the sound of people coming in. Her little tail starts wagging and she can’t wait to be picked up again. She just wants what any baby wants, love and security. But no one picks her up.

3 p.m. She hears the people talking, they are saying that some of the dogs have been here for over a week and with more and more dogs coming every day, they have to make room. The people come and take several of the dogs. She doesn’t realize that this is the last time she will see them.

This puppy doesn’t know she is facing the same fate. She is only 5 weeks old and even though the shelter staff gave her as much love and care as they could, there are just too many dogs and cats. They can’t keep them all. For a little while this puppy knew human compassion, but now if you don’t act, she will die.

You and I can change the end of this story. We can show this puppy and all the puppies, dogs, kittens and cats like her that we are a caring and loving community. We can show them their lives are worth a little inconvenience. We can provide them temporary foster homes. We can provide them forever homes. We can save their precious lives. All we have to do is act and act now before another animal dies.

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We believe in Second Chances! Do you?

The above story (while a figment of my imagination) is played out every day right here in Orangeburg. These sweet, loving animals are saved only to die a few days later.

When I walk into the shelter, the dogs’ tails start wagging and they lick my hands, some are crying. All of them just want a little love and attention. They look at me with such intelligence in their eyes and I want to take them all home. But I have two rescued dogs and four cats and I can’t take anymore.

When I leave the shelter I feel as if I left a piece of my soul. What I can do is be their spokesperson and do everything I can to encourage you to act now. Foster applications are available. Please email cbs1008@aol.com or juliefersner@yahoo.com and we will respond immediately with an application.

— Cindy B. Smith, Orangeburg

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