MAKE SURE YOU
NEVER PLACE A PET
SITUATION LIKE THIS
very similar to this happens 6-8 million times each year
in the United States alone.!!!
thousand times daily!!
SHARE THIS STORY!!! MAKE SURE THAT YOU AND THOSE AROUND
YOU DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE FURTHERANCE OF THIS
YOU ARE YOUR ANIMALS' "LOVING HOME" A True
Told by Jim Willis
Personally, I think it would be a good idea if every
animal shelter kept
copies of this story at the front desk and asked
an animal to spend a few minutes with their pet while
they read it. I
realize some shelters use my own story "How Could You?"
purpose. The difference between my fictional story and
the below is that
in my story, the dog behaves well in the shelter
environment. The below
is the other side of the coin - the animals who can't
separation from their guardian, the noise, the
confinement, the stress,
and who behave badly. There is also a lesson to be
learned for those who
think a shelter is the proper environment for evaluating
temperament and behavior. Animals, being resilient,
usually adapt and
learn to trust another human, but first we have to get
them out of the
shelter, or stop them from ending up there in the first
"My Animals Need A Loving Home! - A True Story
The man walked into the lobby of the animal shelter.
Behind him, two
dogs followed faithfully, without leashes. Both dogs
were calm, obedient
and apparently well-trained Chow mixes. Their guardian
The man waited nervously on a line of other people
to the pound. His eyes were desperate as the two dogs
stood quietly beside
him. He frantically looked around the lobby. He
spotted me with two cats
in carriers as I was taking papers from a shelter worker
and preparing to leave.
He quickly sensed a rescue situation and begged me if I
could also take his
dogs. "My dogs are wonderful," he told me. "They are
well trained, gentle,
affectionate, good with kids. They are only two years
old. I am moving and cannot
take them with me. My animals need a loving home!"
I could see his dogs were nice dogs. One of them licked
my hand when I petted him.
But, I could not take them. I explained to the
desparage man that while I could not
immediately take his dogs, I would get their intake
numbers and let him know what
was happening with the animals. I promised,
if possible, I would try to find a placement
situation for them. He gave me his pager number as he
did not yet have a phone. He
then reluctantly signed his dogs over to the shelter.
When a shelter worker came to take the
animals away, both dogs tried desperately pulling back
towards their former owner. The
former guardian fought back tears and then forced
himself to look the other way
-- and exit the shelter doors.
That evening I called the shelter to check on the status
of the dogs. One had already been
"put to sleep." I was told that both dogs behaved
"aggressively" in the shelter. One had
been euthanized because he had attempted to bite a
shelter worker. The other was
being held for another day or two for a "reevaluation."
I asked if I could see the surviving
dog and was told I could.
I raced to the shelter to see the dog who still was
alive. From the back
of the cage, this formerly friendly and loving dog was
now snarling and
assumed a defensive/aggressive posture. The same dog who
my hand, now threatened to lunge at me. I dared not
attempt to pet him.
He was terrified.
Upon arriving home, I immediately called the former
owner's pager number.
Less than five minutes later he called me back. I told
him what happened and
about his surviving dog. "If you want this dog to live,
you need to get to the
shelter and reclaim him immediately! He is not
going into adoptions."
The man started screaming hysterically on the phone.
"THEY KILLED MY
DOG??!!" I tried to explain that his sweet, loving dogs
had become fearful and
stressed in the shelter. There was no way the shelter
could have placed
them, but the man was no longer listening to me.
The next day the Director of the Shelter called
to scream at me for
giving the man the information. "The man caused a scene
in the shelter!
We had to return the dog to him. We cannot have this
kind of chaos!" I
told him he should be happy that his shelter had one
less dog to kill. But, all
he was interested in was keeping the actions of the
shelter workers secretive
so that others would not find out how little chance most
of these animals
truly ever get.
This happened to me several years ago. Since then I have
hundreds of formerly loved and loving pets suddenly
personality changes when subjected to the stresses,
depression and fears
associated with abandonment and being thrust into
frightening surroundings. Sadly, as the 'owners' leave
with the promise that
the shelter staff would do what they could for the pets,
most of them die.
Many of them way too soon.
The lesson to be learned is that the acquisition of
animals is a
responsibility. When one's bond to a pet is broken for
too often, there is no one else to "pick up the pieces"
of that broken
commitment. Shelters and rescue groups are not the
"solution." We are
merely a stopgap for SOME animals. But, quite literally
through the cracks. The real solution is in human
responsibility: Education can
also be very helpful as most everyone who brings their
pet to the shelter, seems to
believe that they have no other options, but they do.
They think that we can spend
the time to get to know this pet, and therefore have an
easier time in placing him/her.
We can't. It's not bad enough that so many adults are
simply being irresponsible and
sentencing their poor and usually innocent pets to a
certain death. Then we have so many
other adults unable to understand WE HAVE TOO MANY DOGS
RIGHT NOW! We need them to understand how important it
is to have their
pets fixed so we don't bring more into the world right
ARE YOUR ANIMALS' BEST "LOVING HOME."
Nobody else, but YOU!!