I have seen the words high kill shelter. I never really fathomed what it meant. I knew that they put down dogs; I just didn’t realize the degree. Miami – Dade gets over 34,000 dogs and cats a year. They euthanize over 10,000 dogs annually. That’s a lot of dogs, almost thirty dogs a day, put to sleep. This is a story about a dog that beat the odds. Meet Gabe.

Gabe is a big, strapping Belgian Malinois. A beautiful red dog with a massive head and hulking shoulders. Gabe is not just a pretty face either, he has the sweetest disposition, a gentle giant. But Gabe was just a stray, roaming the streets of Miami, ribs poking out. One of the Forgotten. He was taken in to Miami-Dade on June 25th, 2008. He had 5 days to be claimed. No one came for Gabe. Time was not Gabe’s only enemy. Gabe was heartworm positive.

On July 2nd the powers to be sentenced Gabe to euthanasia. He walked down the hall to be put down, trotting happily I imagine, wagging his tail. The staff was preparing him for his final hurrah when he did something. I don’t know if it was the wag of his tail, or his knowing sad eyes, or the way he likes to lay his great big head on your lap, but Gabe reached out to the staff and they responded. The leash was snapped back on and Gabe was taken to another room. Instead of being put to sleep Gabe was neutered and ABMC was called. It was like a call from the Governor. Now the real work begins.