Yes, I know. I'm starting another one - I really shouldn't but this one has been bugging me for so long...*sigh* I hope you enjoy it.

They don't belong to me....never have and unless I suddenly become the richest person ever, they never will.

He'd always had a place to call home…but not now. He sat among them, silent to human ears, a rebel in his language. Humans looked at them as just another animal – a creature to do their bidding and to stroke and play with…a creature to claim as their own until they were too much and just threw them away,

What many humans didn't know was that when they threw away their animals, they also threw away the endless trust and loyalty that the animal built up for their master. They would die for them in an instant, yet humans tossed away the sacrifice like nothing.

A life was sacred – he just never knew how sacred until now.

He watched the endless humans pass the cage he shared with other animals, but not one stopped to look in at him. He was just another sad face wanting out of the place – out of the place that kept them locked away and put down when they were deemed un-adoptable.

He knew life was rough and he preferred it to the cage where he felt totally useless and helpless. He always hated waiting on help, but this time he had no choice. He hated it when his brothers swooped into the rescue, but this time he waited impatiently for them to come and get his butt out of the cage. He hated the long lectures Leo gave whenever it happened, but now he would chew his own arm off to hear Leo call his name in anger and frustration.

But this time if was different.

He wasn't the familiar green shelled, sai wielding ninja turtle and hothead. He wasn't the red masked brother of mass destruction. He longer wore a mask around his amber eyes, the pads and leather belt or the familiar sai's. He no longer could speak English and walk around on two legs.

He was a new animal…one so common; Raph doubted his brother's would ever find him among the thousands. He doubted his brother's would even look among the thousands for him.

They would be looking for a flash of green and red, the cry of a battle, and the screams of the innocent. That's where they would look for him. Not here.

Not in the cage, surrounded by many other innocent souls like him, who once probably had a family too - one that they swore to protect, but were now locked up like him and wondering when their own knight in shining armor was coming to save them.

Raph never paused to look at the many homeless strays he saw. He never paused to sympathize the starving puppy digging through a dumpster or the old dog that would die alone.

He never once gave them a second look. He doubted he ever gave them a first.

Now he understood and found himself seeking help that wasn't there and wasn't ever coming. He knew what it was like to be a freak, but to be normal in the eyes of humans and still be rejected hurt him more than anything he'd ever known.

After all, he was just one of a thousand.

Now he sat, behind steel bars and metal floors, watching humans pass him and his cellmates. He could hear the whimpers of attention and the barks of want. He could hear the cries of the innocent and the growls of fear.

But they weren't just barks and growls, whimpers and whines – they were words to him; words with meaning and passion, words with hurt and sorrow; words with rage and confusion, loneliness and the wishes.

He could hear them all and he wished he couldn't.

The cry youngest as they called for their mothers.

The growl of the fearful when they knew their time had come.

The howls of the loyal – letting their masters know they would wait for them.

The barks of them all as they waited for fate – as they waited for one soul to decide their life. They had two roads to take and one of them led to death, one of them life.

If one human could look at them with pity in their eyes and take them home, their lives were fine for a time. But if no one came…if no human saw them…

Death lay beyond the farthest door…the one many dogs went in.

But not one came out.

He knew his time was coming…he knew it deep in his heart, though his stubborn side refused to believe it. He knew one day he would be the one being drug across the aisle, nails screeching on the floor for a grip while whines and pleas hit deaf ears as the leather loop tightened around his throat.

He knew it was coming…soon. His brothers would never find him – he was one of many that cried for help.

He barked with the best, growled in death's face, and howled to the moon.

He was Raphael…he was a dog.

Let me know if I should continue!