After a night of tossing and turning, and a 5mile run at 4:30am, I have decided to stop thinking and take action. Yesterday my faith and trust in the safety of my family, when I am not home, was shattered. I grew up hearing heart-warming rescue stories of animals in burning buildings or cats been rescued from trees, but yesterday I was taught the harsh reality, that pets, animals, are not seen as worthy enough to rescue.
I returned home from groceries at about 5:00pm yesterday, and as I was turning on my street I realized it was blocked by a cop car. My first thought was that there was an accident and I naturally hoped that everyone was safe and that no one was injured. As I pulled through and around the back parking lot of the bank to get to another entrance of my street I realized that all entrances to the parking lot at my building were blocked off. There was a fire truck, firemen and the cop that was blocking the street. I was confused, and at this point scared because my three babies were in my home which was blocked off meaning they were potentially in serious danger. The cop put his sirens on and yelled at me to back off and go away. This scared me more. I parked my car and went up to the cop car and told him that I live there, and with no compassion in his voice he told me I cannot go near the building and pulled up his window with zero explanation.
I made my way over to the large group of people who had evacuated the buildings in my complex and saw that many of them had their pets on leashes or in portable cages. This is when I found out that there was a gas leak and that my girls were in danger. I quickly went back to the cop with tears in my eyes and told him that I need to get my dogs. He once again said it was not going to happen.
I called my fiancé who was on a veterinary rotation and he came right away. He tried speaking to the cop who was quick to dismiss us. We went to the firemen who said they had finished evacuating the people out of the buildings but that they were checking the gas levels and no one was allowed near the buildings. After they said we could not get our dogs, we asked if they could do it for us, seeing as how they were fully equipped and trained to save lives. They contacted their captain who said no, we were devastated. We kindly insisted that we would get our pets and that they were in the closest building, furthest from the gas leak. The firemen explained that they were on ‘the bottom of the line’ and that they could not do much for us. The cop came back and threatened us that if we tried to save our family we would be arrested.
I no longer feel comfortable leaving home knowing that if there was an accident in my building and my pets were in danger they would not be rescued. We were told numerous times that humans are priority and even though they were all safe after the firemen went throughout the buildings to make sure, nothing was being done about all of the pets stuck in the life-threatening buildings. Our love for our pets meant nothing to people who are trained to save lives. I have not experienced a worse feeling than to be powerless and prevented from saving the lives of my family, a family that if I had lost that day, my heart would have never healed in knowing that they could have been saved. Two eyes, to ears, legs, a heart, a brain, where do you draw the line at a life worthy to save? Changes need to be made.