Do not base this question on my other post, I want to know your honest answers. . . (This question does not nessecarily apply to no-kill shelters) In a shelter, when do you decide that the dogs quality of life is suffering? Please answer honestly, and please think rationally.
When a dog is suffering mentally or physically...I think all dogs that are labled "out of control", "food agressive", or in any other way angry can be rehabilitated..almost all..not all. Also, my neighbors dog has 3 legs, been hit by a car, blind, deaf, no teeth and cancer in his throat, but he still wags his tail when you pet him and he still tries to run around...I think if there is a will, there is a way.
When the dog is in pain and only pain medicines can help it, but not cure it. When the dog is so aggressive, that no means of training or trying to see if the dog behaves better around a certain type of person (some dogs like men better, some women, etc.) helps. I don't think just because they have been in a kennel for so long should be a big factor. But I do think that once the dog has been there for longer than 6 months, that the staff should try harder to adopt the dog out by maybe offering the dog at a lower price or putting an ad in the local paper or such. And then if that doesn't help, give it another 6 months, and then yeah, put him down. I think those situations are so depressing though because like aggression, that's not really the dog's fault.
That's the thing. Maybe they all CAN be rehabilitated, but will they ever get the chance? I agree it's cruel to leave them there, waiting. I also feel the shelters need to loosen up a little on their rules and regulations, its just as cruel to keep a dog in jail.
If I were a dog, I couldn't imagine having to eat, sleep, pee and poo in the same 10 x 15 area, not being able to feel the grass in my paws, lick someones face, chase a ball, roll around in the dirt and chase the mailman! I agree..I don't think there should be a timeframe, I just think that they should get out there and bust their butts a little harder to find it a home. After exhausting all of their resources and the pup is still not adopted out...then perhaps putting it to sleep is necessary.
I personally know from doing rescue work for many years that truly the only unadoptable dog is one whom is deemed human aggressive. I have had success getting dogs with severe medical problems adopted as well as dogs who have spent the majority of their lives in shelters. No dog should be in a shelter longer than 6 months. If so then that dog is being overlooked and needs to be highlighted. I have worked in shelters and I know almost every one has a pet of the week/month program (or something similar) and those dogs are normally well publicized and get flooded with adoption applications. I personally do not feel any dog should be euthanized unless it is medically necessary or as I already stated deemed human aggressive.
Merlin, in my last post, has been on the news twice and on the radio three times also I have posters up everywhere, plus he has been Pet of the Week on my site three times. Still nothing. What do you do when that happens? He has been in the shelter(with a three month break) for almost a year now.
This may sound silly and I'm not sure where you live, but here in VA we have dog parks...you'd be surprised the amount of people that would love to have another dog...they may not go to the dog park expecting it, but once they see it and realize that they need a home...people fall in love. Have you tried that at all?
Very tough question... I saw something on Animal Planet the other day about a puppy that was burned by some gang members.... He was burned bad...the vet was determined to save him. Of course, now he is well and someone is happy to have him, but how much pain did that puppy go through? I just wonder when you draw the line.... I guess if he would have died anyway, you could have said, it was not worth it, but since he lived.... it's a tough call. ** I know this is different than your question because the dog you are talking about is not hurt.... I know I will get jumped on, but if all a dog is doing is sitting in a concrete cage with little hope of being adopted and very little human contact, I tend to think they would be better off euthanized. It is NOT like a child or someone in the hospital with a feeding tube. Well maybe it is like someone in the hospital with a feeding tube...who wants to live like that...that is a WHOLE other subject
There is a shelter near my home that is wonderful. It has a fair amount of land, and is totally fenced in. Most dogs are allowed to run free. Certain dogs may not get along with others, so they rotate dogs based on that. They keep separated any that have health issues, etc. (They have a few kennels outside with dog houses, and several buildings that have kennels inside) It is so nice to visit there, vs our local SPCA, which keeps dogs isolated in their own (small) kennel. They also have only limited access to being outside in a small run. I think the answer to your question really depends on the type of shelter they are in, and the quality of life they are given.