A reprint from Animal Sheltering Magazine: From the January-February 2001 Issue The Loneliest Victim Many wonderful people open their homes to the victimized pets made famous by media reports, but close their hearts to the other animals in the shelter By Linda Backer Buddy is ugly. Really. He's a good dog, a Shar Pei mix (OK, I admit, I'm no fan of Shar-Peis) with a bristly coat. He's already neutered, walks well on a leash, four years old, a little overweight (read fat), and he loves people. He also has entropion, a slight case that will cost extra to fix for a potential new owner. His owner leans down to him, rests his forehead on Buddy's, and when he lifts his head, he's crying. He signs the paper and turns away, without looking back. Buddy follows me willingly, as he has done everything in his life. "Why'd he sign him over?"I ask the staffer at the front desk. "His wife is pregnant, and won't let Buddy in the house anymore. She says Buddy belongs in a house with his people." I nod. Whew. That's a tough one. I silently send up a prayer for that marriage, and a hope that the wife will see her husband's broken heart and send him back for Buddy. Two days later and that hasn't happened. Buddy is still here, on the decision list. Along with eight other dogs, including a Doberman pup who had his throat slashed in a domestic argument. That one will find a home. He's been on the news, and there are five people, at least, willing to adopt him and love him and save him. The pup is poorly socialized, still has some hefty vet bills and training problems to work through, and he has to recover enough from the initial assault to be anesthetized for his neuter surgery. Meanwhile, we screen the list of candidates to decide who gets him. It happens every time a dog or cat makes the news with a pitiful story of abuse or neglect. Many wonderful people call in or show up, wanting to adopt the animal who has been treated so horribly. They open their homes to dogs or cats who have long lists of problems, but close their hearts to the others in our kennels—dogs like Buddy, who has probably never been mistreated in his life, who deserves and misses, probably more than any other, a loving home, and would be willing to give his heart and soul to a new family. Buddy's not a victim, though; no one lines up to save him. The kennels are full, and he has this eye problem. So I hang Buddy's tag down, and mark him on the list. Tomorrow morning, after we feed the dogs and before we open for business, Buddy will be euthanized humanely. Because he's not a victim. Someone oughta tell Buddy.
I just got this article sent to me, and it's funny because I have wondered this myself. Isn't it interesting when an abused dog gets in the news, is held at a shelter, and HUNDREDS of people line up to adopt? While I think it's wonderful that people do that, where the heck are they in all the other cases? summer, how many dogs and cats come into your shelter that have been abused? Can they be rehabilitated from your experience?
It is very true. What I hate is how pwople will practically wait in line for a purebred, maybe not a good dog. But there are better, sweeter, healthier mixes out there that would make fine pets. It's all status. People think they are saving a life and havinga heart when really they are not helping the animals at all.
Many dogs and cats come in that are abused, actually in about 2 weeks I will be getting a dog named Teddy from there that has been horribly abused by men and I am taking him into foster care and we are going to start working on socialization with my fiancee' first and then move him out wards. There are alot of them who come in who can't be helped because it has just been to much and they becom fear biters which makes them unpredictable and unadoptable. But for the most part, time and socialization(that saying if they don't need medical care) will do wonders on an abused animal. Teddy is so bad that he first tries to run when he sees a guy but when they get close he will cower and start peeing all over the floor, he is just petrified of guys. There was a guy who brought a puppy in because he had seen these teens in a park kicking him like a football, they ended up fracturing some bones and making the pup extremely scared of people but he found a home and is slowly learning that people are okay. We get alot of cats in that are basically wild, and (this is something I have done since I was a very young kid) through time and patience, that cat will come around, I have my own techniques on how I calm animals down and get them to trust me. But in general yes I do believe that most animals can be rehabilitated and I believe that ALL should be given the chance.
there was a story in Baltimore ( I used to live there) a few years back. a pitbull puppy was being burned alive by a group of kids in a park. Thank God someone saw and rescued the dog. The dog was treated, turned out more or less alright and was held at the shelter I volunteered at. This made the news and over two hundred people called to the shelter, interested in adopting him. Now this was a purebred pitbull. We had pits and pit mixes in the shelter and they stayed in there FOREVER before finding a home. didn't matter how sweet they were, or that they passed the tempermant test. But since this particular story was in the news, all these people just came out of the woodwork. I sometimes wonder if a lot of those people truly have the best interest of the dog their trying to adopt?
I will for sure keep everyone updated and I will put pictures of him up. We don't have the issue if landlords, thank goodness, but I don't know how many more animals my fiancee' wants me to foster. Nah, he is really cool about it but I think that sometimes he wishes I would just take a break and have it be just our own animals for a while but when you work in a shelter you can't just tell the animal no. Ahh, he'll live. lol