It was my first personal encounter with the realities of shelters and what happens when people don't make provisions for their animals in case of their own death.
Some years later, a dear friend who also volunteered with animal rescue work unexpectedly died. She had four small dogs of her own, and she always told me that if anything ever happened to her, her family would take the dogs. But that was not the case.
After she died, no one in her family stepped up. My husband and I took in her dogs temporarily. We had six of our own rescue pets, so could not possibly take on any more permanently. Thankfully, with the help of a local rescue, we were able to find them homes.