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 people who have ever surrendered a pet to a shelter or humane society 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 stop flagging the ads on Craigslist and help these animals find homes. That puppy you just bought will most likely end up in my shelter when it’s not a cute little puppy anymore. Just so you know there’s a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it’s dumped at? Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays”, that come into a shelter are purebred dogs.
The most common excuses: “We are moving and we can’t take our dog (or cat).” Really? 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 & 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 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats & sleeps. It will be depressed & 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 & 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 in 72 hours & the shelter is full in most cases, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn’t full & your dog is good enough & 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 & 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 & will be destroyed because the shelter gets paid a fee to euthanize each animal, & making money is better than spending money to take this animal to the vet.
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 & 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.
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? Or used for the schools to dissect & experiment on? 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 who still have a beating heart & have read this are bawling your eyes out & can’t get the pictures out of your head, I deal w/ this everyday. I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes & start educating the public. Do research, do your homework & know exactly what you are getting into before getting a pet.
These shelters & humane societies exist because people just do not care about animals anymore. Animals were not intended to be disposable but somehow that is what they are these days. Animal shelters are an easy way out when you get tired of your animal & breeders are the ones blamed for this. Animal shelters & rescue orgs are making a hefty profit by keeping this misconception going.
Between 9 & 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters (Humane Society of the US estimates 3-4 million) & only you – as a pet owner can stop it. I just hope I maybe changed one persons mind about taking their dog to a shelter, a humane society, or buying a dog without researching.
For those of you that care— please re-post on this on Facebook or to at least one other Craigslist in another city/state. Let’s see if we can get this all around the US and world and have an impact.
Please THINK before your selfishness begins to take over.