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Monday, October 31, 2011

Pets and Responsibility

I got this picture this morning and it has stuck with me all damned day.

Cats in a freezer holding area after being euthanized
It could be the orange tabbies in the foreground, it could be the sheer number of felines, but it makes me cry.  It would be the same reaction if they were of the canid variety.

And I will tell you why.

We have domesticated these animals for selfish reasons and for useful reasons and because of us, their lives changed.  The are completely dependent on us to take care of them.  We've bred the wolf out of the dog so we could use them for shepherding and hunting, and they wouldn't know how to bring down another animal for food.

To anyone reading this who has ever abandoned an animal because you were too lazy to take care of it, I hate you in a way that is rare even in the human race.  You and your ilk are people I could gleefully torture to death just for the fun of watching you suffer.  And then I could walk away feeling guilt free.  Because you are beneath scum.  In my eyes you have no rights, you are not human, you are not sentient, so I'm not really killing anything more than bacteria.  Yes,  I would invent horrific ways for you to die and practice on other like you just so when you died your absolute suffering and humility would be maximized.  It is my fondest wish to see you burn to death. Also, I hope your children hate you.

I grew up on a small ranch in Wyoming and have lived a lot of my life off the beaten path.  Why people would drive all the way out to where I lived just to drop off their unwanted pets was always a mystery to me.  Why they thought it was any easier for us to shoot them when they started bothering our livestock made me scratch my head.  Did they really think that little Fluffy would suddenly learn to catch and eat field mice?  Did they think we wouldn't be upset that my dad had to kill the cat for getting into our chicken house? Did they think my dad got off on shooting someone's dog for chasing horses?  Did they have any idea that it killed him to come back home to his own dogs?

There are very few humans on this earth that I hate more than stupid, lazy people who let other people and animals suffer for their short-sighted, impulses.  Just in case you don't quite get my rage, read the following:

A Letter from a Shelter Manager - anonymous in North Carolina

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.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day. 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. So 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.

The most common excuses I hear are; "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving too that doesn't allow pets? Or they say "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 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 & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, 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 in 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, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door.

Those dogs just don't get adopted. It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are.

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, but not for long . Most dogs 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.

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. Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes 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 the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will 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. 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 pets 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?

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 deal with everyday on the way home from work.

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you 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.


Hate me if you want to. The truth hurts and reality is what it is. I just hope I maybe changed one persons 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 and it made me want to adopt". THAT WOULD MAKE IT WORTH IT.

I have three dogs.  The oldest is Stormie, a shitzu-poodle mix who was found at a dumpster by my ex-husband.  My eldest daughter took her in and we have cared for her for 7 years now with love and she has brought us nothing but happiness.  Sam is our 4 year old German Shepherd/Border Collie mix.  She's shy, very skittish but we adore her and she loves to play.  Zeus, our German Shepherd was abandoned out in the middle of Bosque County.  We took him in because he is just so lovable.  We just had him neutered to make his live longer and happier.  We've done that to each one of our pets.  Our cats were both taken from people who had taken in pregnant cats and then given kittens to homes where they knew they would be cared for, then got momma neutered.

Think before you purchase.  No reputable breeder will sell a dog before it is 4 months old.  This is time enough for the dog to learn how to be a dog from its parents and socialization that is extremely important with pack animals.

I will say one thing though, the glamour pet trend has given me an idea.  Can we euthanize the welfare idiots who have become too expensive and burdensome to care for?  I mean, they're just not fun anymore... would anyone really miss them.

And one more thing to the pet abandoners, seriously motherf$cker, how do you sleep at night?

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