The quote “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle,” was etched on a plaque in the kitchen of my childhood home. My dad now displays it as a bumper sticker on his car, next to Brother Wolf stickers and “who rescued who,” another beloved saying in our family. The quote about kindness reminds us that we don’t know someone else’s whole story and to choose kindness over judgment.
Forty percent of the animals Brother Wolf takes in come from individuals who relinquish their pets into our care. It’s one of the most heartbreaking pieces of our work. With the rising costs of basic needs like housing and food, families are finding themselves in situations they never thought they’d be in. They are struggling to take care of themselves, often missing meals so their animals can eat, and sometimes even living out of their car so they can keep their pets. Two-thirds of U.S. households share their homes with cats and dogs, and many of them are suffering alongside their humans right now.
That’s why Brother Wolf is here, with open arms, kindness, and understanding. We are here to help, not to judge. We understand that sometimes the kindest and most caring option is to surrender an animal. And that’s why you, our compassionate supporters, are here too – to give animals in critical need a safe place to land.
So let’s work on shifting the narrative of “giving up pets” together to create a kinder world for all. Because, unfortunately, we are seeing more and more animals coming to us much too late, with medical conditions that should have been treated earlier and trauma from not knowing when they would eat again. Let’s remember what we likely have in common with these pet caretakers: a deep, loving connection with a four-legged family member who we’d never choose to be separated from. And let’s remember that we have no idea what battles another person is weathering and that if we knew the full story, we’d likely agree that they are doing the best thing for their pet, even when it hurts.
Our staff members see their tears and hear the strain in their voices. They tremble with grief as they hug their beloved pet for the last time, knowing how confused their best friend will be to be left behind. We tell them that we’ll do everything we can to take care of their baby and to make sure they have a great life. And you make it possible for us to follow through with that promise, thank you.
Leah Craig Chumbley, Executive Director