I wrote this for my English class, and I just wanted to share. It it is modeled after writing style used in The House on Mango Street book. So it's meant to have run-ons and fragments. Anyway, enough with grammar, I just wanted to share this for all the animal lovers. Woof woof woof! Huge dogs, big dogs, medium dogs, small dogs, tiny dogs. Cages upon cages full of dogs. Then, there’s me. Armed with only a pink braided leash, limp in my hand. Check the board, Shaggy needs walking. Down the aisle, cautiously sidestepping a nervous Pomeranian, fighting his return to jail. Ripe urine burns my eyes. Death and sickness hangs heavily in the air. Sad eyes peer from behind unyielding bars, begging me to rescue them. But I am only a volunteer, barely 15 years old. What can I do? The kennel descriptions catch my attention, pulling persistently at my heart. A small peek into the lives of people’s throwaway pets. Once loved and cherished, now carelessly tossed aside like a rotting sandwich. Snow, a small pit bull mix. At only eight years of age, she has mothered a total of 16 litters in her short life. The proof dragging on the floor below her. Used as a machine by some greedy, sick-minded backyard breeder, until she was useful no more. Dumped at the pound with her latest litter, never being given a second thought. Old bite wounds mar her once smooth head and neck. Pale, shiny scars dot her skin like chicken pox on a dying child. Another sad reminder of a terrible past and an uncertain future. Shiloh, her name matches her like Claire matches me. She cowers in the corner, afraid of her own shadow. Sad, pleading eyes beg for people to stop hitting her. She never did anything wrong. Only three years old she has only ever known the pain that human hands inflict. Although her coat is flawless and clean, the damage is in her mind. More scarred than that of the war-stricken plains of Iraq. The damage is deep. The scars will never go away. Then, there is Shaggy. A happy-go-lucky Chihuahua mix. His love of people goes unmatched. Yet, he wonders, why did you leave me here? Why did you drop me off the same day you carried home that brand-new puppy, cradled in your arms? I thought you loved me, I thought you were my human and I was your Shaggy. I thought I was your forever friend, there till the end. I thought wrong. I thought really, really wrong. Just three papers, just three papers out of the four million that get tacked on cages across the country every year. Just three stories out of the giant, crashing sea of forgotten pets. Yet, even this is all too much. Tears prick at my eyes. The harsh reality of human cruelty stabs at me brutally. But what can I do? I am just a volunteer. A volunteer trying to stop the sun from shining, the rain from falling, and the waves from crashing. So I bend down, and clip on Shaggy’s leash. I stand up. Stronger, more determined than I was 10 minutes ago. This is what I care about. This is why I am here on this earth. I will save animals if it is the last thing I do. But for now, I am stuck. Stuck being just a volunteer. Come on Shaggy, let’s go for a walk.