Monday, January 28, 2013

Dogs in Danger - Adopt, Rescue and SAVE


A shelter manager's letter:

"I am posting this (and it is long) because I think our society needs a huge wake-up call.

As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all - a view from the inside, if you will.

... Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know - that puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore.

How would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at - purebred or not! 

About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays" that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

No shortage of excuses
The most common excuses I hear are:
We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat).
Really? Where are you moving to that doesn't allow pets?

The dog got bigger than we thought it would.
How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?

We don't have time for her.
Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!

She's tearing up our yard.
How about bringing her inside, making her a part of your family?

They always tell me:
We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her. We know she'll get adopted - she's a good dog. Odds are your pet won't get adopted, and how stressful do you think being in a shelter is?

Well, let me tell you. Dead pet walking!

Your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off, sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy.
If it sniffles, it dies.

Your pet will be confined to a small run / kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it.

If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers that day to take him / her for a walk. 

If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.

If your dog is big, black or any of the "bully" breeds (pit bull, rottweiler, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted.
If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed.

If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed, it may get a stay of execution, though not for long. Most pets get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.

If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles, chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

The grim reaper
Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down".
First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk - happy, wagging their tails. That is, until they get to "The Room".

Every one of them freaks out and puts on the breaks when we get to the door. It must smell like death, or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there. It's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs (depending on their size and how freaked out they are). A euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk it's leg. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood, and been deafened by the yelps and screams.

They all don't just "go to sleep" - sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pet's corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back, with all of the other animals that were killed, waiting to be picked up like garbage.

What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know, and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal, and you can always buy another one, right?

Liberty, freedom and justice for all
I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head. I do everyday on the way home from work. I hate my job, I hate that it exists and I hate that it will always be there unless people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.
My point to all of this is DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE!

Hate me if you want to - the truth hurts and reality is what it is.
I just hope I maybe changed one person's mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog. I hope that someone will walk into my shelter and say "I saw this on Facebook and it made me want to adopt".
That would make it all worth it."

THINK before your BUY
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debbie53dog said...

Derrick this is so sad but so true. Just to think of my two babies ending up like that horrifies me. It's always a good idea to have someone designated to take care of your kids if something bad was to happen to us. There are still places out there that use the gas method and the video that's out there is more cruel than the injection. If I ever end up with another pup it will be from an individual who can't take care of their pet or at one of our many shelters. Just like the climate change that we must make changes in our lifestyle to make things better we also have to change how we look at adopting a new friends. Great blog and I passed it along to Facebook and Twitter.

Sandy Wolf said...

All my dogs are & always have been rescues. I lost my old boy 2 months ago & I feel the best way to honor him is to save another one . I still have 3 at home & one more won't hurt. I've also had dogs with disabilities. They are just as wonderful as my other dogs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for be the voice of defendless criatures, i rescue two cats
And i treaten like my family i wish people who read your article shared with others to create a concience and change

Anonymous said...

Thank you for be the voice of defendless criatures, i rescue two cats
And i treaten like my family i wish people who read your article shared with others to create a concience and change

Unknown said...

I wish I could get over the hatred I have for owners who surrender their pets but I can't. Knowing how much I love my 4 (yes 3 rescues) I cannot imagine putting them in a shelter. I cry when I see pictures of shelter dogs and see the fear and confusion in their eyes. Thank you for this. Maybe it will save one dog.

Anonymous said...

This is sad, but true. And sadly this will only get through to some people. Most people will not adopt a dog from a shelter because of the idea that a shelter dog grew up in a different environment and probably wont adapt to the new home, and family. ( but lets be honest its not true for the majority of the dogs) And all because we really don't know what type of lifestyle it had. Its sad, and ignorant in a way to think that way. but you cant blame them either, shelters really don't know where the dog came from. what i don't get is, why people get a pet and never really realize that pets are a lifetime commitment.

Anonymous said...

where is the Share button?I scrolled up and down 5 times and couldn't find any option to share on fb.

Anonymous said...

this breaks my heart. I have three dogs. I love them so much, I have vowed to only have rescue animals from now on.

Anonymous said...

Why kill? There is no excuse for any shelter to kill. Only sadistic morons who like to see animals suffer kill them. They can be kept healthy, happy and alive. Shelters that kill should be.put put of business and charged with cruelty.

Cristina said...

They should never be killed! 2 or 10days is not enough time. This is more an extermination camp.
Gather funds and people to help.