By Tom Stewart
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article features an image and a written depiction of an injured animal. Reader discretion is advised.
Her name was “Ramona.” At least that is the name that Ashley McCalvin at the Corsicana Animal Shelter gave her. Her story began with a Facebook post the week before Easter. She was a stray that ended up in someone’s yard. I guess we will never know if she belonged to someone.
Kathy Asta, the Shelter director had the day off and saw the post on Facebook. She commented to the person who posted that she would be happy to send an officer by to pick up the dog and take her to the shelter. That was followed by several other comments stating to never take a dog to the shelter. To make a long story short, the offer was not accepted and Ramona either escaped or was let go.
The story continues the next morning when Ramona was hit by a car. A lady witnessed it, and picked Ramona up to take her to a local business. They contacted an Animal Control Officer, who picked up and took Ramona to the shelter.
This is where I entered the picture. I received a call from Ashley at the Corsicana Animal Shelter, asking if I were available to take an injured dog to the emergency vet clinic in Athens. I periodically volunteer for transport, so I said yes. The next hour will forever be etched in my mind. I drove to Athens listening to her moan and cry with each bump in the road. Ashley had said that she thought Ramona could be saved. I had my doubts.
Unfortunately, she could not. Her injuries were too severe. Both hips and her pelvis were crushed. After all, that we said goodbye to a dog we barely knew.
I can’t forget her or all the efforts that were made trying to save her. I don’t want her life to end as an afterthought. She deserves a voice. The Corsicana Animal Shelter, or really the workers there, go through this on an almost daily basis. There is so much misinformation and plain ignorance about the shelter, I don’t know where to begin. Here are some facts:
- Last year the Corsicana Animal Shelter took in 1,705 dogs.
- Of those 1,225 went to rescue organizations. These are mostly transported out of state
- 98 dogs were adopted from the shelter locally. 2020 was a slow year due to COVID-19.
- 164 were reclaimed by their owners.
- 213 were euthanized. 144 of those were aggressive.
- The remaining 69 were too sick or were injured and could not be saved. Ramona falls in here.
It has been over five years since the Corsicana Animal Shelter euthanized a dog for lack of space, and it is not done as a matter of course. The staff makes every effort to treat injured animals, to get them back to their owners, to adopt them to good homes, or to get them into reputable rescue programs. These are fine, caring individuals who take their job seriously.
Today, 39 dogs left the Corsicana Animal Shelter for homes in Wisconsin. Each and every dog is getting their second chance because of caring volunteers and the hard work of Kathy and Ashley. These people deserve our support. The next time someone criticizes the shelter, remember Ramona and what could have been.