I remember reading about this mountain climber.
He had tried many times and invested thousands of dollars to reach the peak of Mt. Everest.
On his last trip he came face to face with a life-changing decision. He came across a fellow climber who was passed by and left for dead by many other “fellow” climbers. This Good Samaritan climber choose to stop and try to save another climber’s life, giving up his own dream so another might live.
I often think of this selfless man, because I am often stopping for the dying myself; dying or left-for-dead animals in the roads in central North Carolina where I live.
Chatham County, like everywhere, has its share of wildlife accidents.
So often, folks will drive by an injured animal on the road assuming that it’s dead, if they even see it.
I feel compelled to.
I move the animals that are dead out of the road so that other animals that are drawn to it are not killed.
And, every so often, the turtle, vulture, squirrel, or opossum is alive and in need of medical attention. I have had all of these species in my car at one time or another, and it was off to the wildlife center.
The turkey vulture was the most interesting passenger, and the by far the smelliest! I learned a long time ago that turtles are often still alive and suffering a slow and painful death, while many a motorist zip by with the convenient assumption that they are dead.
Why, if we revere life, do we so quickly assume that these wild animals are dead?
A few years ago I was asked to look at the possibility of building an Adoption Center for cats and dogs in Chatham County.
As I stepped up to the plate for that project, knowing as I do that it is not uncommon for up to 50% of all cats and dogs in shelters to get euthanized, I also could not forget all those road rescues…
So the plan we’ve developed for Guardians of Angels’ Adoption Center for cats and dogs also includes plans for a triage center for wildlife.
We know that far too many kittens, puppies, dogs and cats suffer every day, and we even have some statistics about that. With wildlife, we know they suffer and die, but we don’t know how many.
What I do know is that if folks were encouraged to keep an eye out and were educated about what to do, knowing that there was a wildlife triage station in their area, they would be more likely to bring an animal in need where it can get help.
We are not only co-creators with The Creator, we are also re-creators of our community.
To be compassionate means to suffer with, and if we are human enough to suffer with God’s innocent creatures, then we can bring our human resources to bear to save them.
My vision for a Chatham County Adoption Center includes a Wildlife Triage Station. It is my hope that we will have a county full of Good Samaritans who will stop to save or bless a life.
I have no doubt that Chatham County will benefit and the very fiber of our community will be strengthened.
To save one animal is to save them all. In the end, it is to save our own humanity.
Terry Dorsey founded Guardians of Angels, and served in the role of communications director. Like their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/GuardiansofAngels.