Dogs vs. children

I am watching television and a commercial came on for Pedigree animal shelters drive.  The video is called “Heroes.”

It was talking about how animals in shelters are not broken. They have lived and have stories to tell. They have not done anything wrong. The commercial tugs at your heart to adopt one of these little dogs. The message: These dogs whether they were abused, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted are placed in a shelter because of the original home was not able, willing, or fit to continue to care for them.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. I haven’t seen any commercials for this. I haven’t seen a campaign to raise public awareness, let alone millions of dollars. In fact, child welfare is facing major budget cuts, which impacts each family and child.

Where is the commercial that shows the half a million children in foster care or the estimated 16% of those children that are currently waiting for someone to adopt them?

I wish that the compassion that people have towards animals would be placed with children that are in the same situation. We no longer place children in orphanages, we put them in foster care. Having worked in the field for ten years, I can not begin to tell the stories, the stigmas placed on these innocent children – placed on them by other kids, school systems, community members, etc.

Where is the commentary that tugs on the hearts of those who are able to meet the needs of these children. Where is the story that these children are not broken? These kids are hurt, but they haven’t done anything wrong. The did not ask to be abandoned, abused or neglected.

These kids have done nothing wrong. Yes, many act out the things that they have been through, but it is because that is what they have known. It takes time, love, and encouragement to overcome what they have witnessed and to be able to come out on the other side to tell the story they have. It takes time to overcome things.

As I looked for the video online at YouTube, I was offended at comments on other videos that said these dogs need voices, and that children have a voice. I love this great nation we live in, but it seems to me that we need to step up and meet the needs of the innocent children in our society that have the responsibility of making sure that this nation continues.

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