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Fri Mar 15, 2013, 11:12 PM

I hope everyone who thinks it's OK to "just breed her once" or "just buy one dog" reads this all the

way through.




The shelter manager's letter:

"I am posting this (and it is long) because 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.

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.

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.

No shortage of excuses
The most common excuses I hear are:

We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat).
Really? Where are you moving to that doesn't allow pets?

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 bringing her inside, 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, and how stressful do you think being in a shelter is?

Well, let me tell you. Dead pet walking!

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 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, rottweiler, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted.
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, though not for long. Most pets 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.

The grim reaper
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. That is, until they get to "The Room".

Every one of them freaks out and puts on the breaks 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 their size and how freaked out they are). A euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They 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 it's leg. 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 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? 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?

Liberty, freedom and justice for all
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 do everyday on the way home from work. I hate my job, I hate that it exists and I hate that it will always be there unless 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.
My point to all of this is DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE!

Hate me if you want to - the truth hurts and reality is what it is.
I just hope I maybe changed one person's 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 thing on Facebook and it made me want to adopt".
That would make it all worth it."


http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=341959239243780&set=a.291782660928105.61056.291769590929412&type=1&ref=nf

105 replies, 16502 views

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Reply I hope everyone who thinks it's OK to "just breed her once" or "just buy one dog" reads this all the (Original post)
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 OP
Auntie Bush Mar 2013 #1
tilsammans Mar 2013 #2
Joe Shlabotnik Mar 2013 #3
wickerwoman Mar 2013 #4
Lydia Leftcoast Mar 2013 #5
Scootaloo Mar 2013 #24
Mz Pip Mar 2013 #6
pnwmom Mar 2013 #7
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 #27
pnwmom Mar 2013 #62
roody Mar 2013 #77
Egalitarian Thug Mar 2013 #42
BrotherIvan Mar 2013 #69
BrotherIvan Mar 2013 #45
pnwmom Mar 2013 #63
BrotherIvan Mar 2013 #68
pnwmom Mar 2013 #74
Kali Mar 2013 #53
pnwmom Mar 2013 #64
roody Mar 2013 #78
roody Mar 2013 #75
pnwmom Mar 2013 #76
roody Mar 2013 #92
pnwmom Mar 2013 #95
roody Mar 2013 #96
roody Mar 2013 #97
MsPithy Mar 2013 #85
pnwmom Mar 2013 #86
MadHound Mar 2013 #8
Th1onein Mar 2013 #10
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 #28
sendero Mar 2013 #37
Flatulo Mar 2013 #9
SheilaT Mar 2013 #11
pnwmom Mar 2013 #13
SheilaT Mar 2013 #16
pnwmom Mar 2013 #17
SheilaT Mar 2013 #19
pnwmom Mar 2013 #21
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 #29
pnwmom Mar 2013 #39
SheilaT Mar 2013 #41
Arugula Latte Mar 2013 #44
Scootaloo Mar 2013 #23
Arugula Latte Mar 2013 #18
MADem Mar 2013 #52
Historic NY Mar 2013 #65
bettyellen Mar 2013 #99
savannah43 Mar 2013 #56
SheilaT Mar 2013 #67
TuxedoKat Mar 2013 #61
OwnedByCats Mar 2013 #100
SheilaT Mar 2013 #102
OwnedByCats Mar 2013 #103
SheilaT Mar 2013 #104
OwnedByCats Mar 2013 #105
XemaSab Mar 2013 #12
XemaSab Mar 2013 #14
SheilaT Mar 2013 #15
Arugula Latte Mar 2013 #50
Heidi Mar 2013 #20
laundry_queen Mar 2013 #22
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 #31
Flying Squirrel Mar 2013 #25
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 #32
DonCoquixote Mar 2013 #26
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 #34
PotatoChip Mar 2013 #30
Maraya1969 Mar 2013 #35
xchrom Mar 2013 #33
Eleanors38 Mar 2013 #36
KurtNYC Mar 2013 #38
BrotherIvan Mar 2013 #48
narnian60 Mar 2013 #51
BrotherIvan Mar 2013 #55
savannah43 Mar 2013 #58
Marrah_G Mar 2013 #57
pnwmom Mar 2013 #60
BrotherIvan Mar 2013 #70
pnwmom Mar 2013 #73
yewberry Mar 2013 #89
pnwmom Mar 2013 #94
yewberry Mar 2013 #98
pnwmom Mar 2013 #101
peacebird Mar 2013 #40
Mosby Mar 2013 #43
Faygo Kid Mar 2013 #46
AnnieK401 Mar 2013 #47
OneGrassRoot Mar 2013 #49
Marrah_G Mar 2013 #54
bread_and_roses Mar 2013 #59
agent46 Mar 2013 #66
Pakid Mar 2013 #71
Honeycombe8 Mar 2013 #72
roody Mar 2013 #79
99Forever Mar 2013 #80
yewberry Mar 2013 #88
99Forever Mar 2013 #90
yewberry Mar 2013 #91
appleannie1 Mar 2013 #81
FiggyJay Mar 2013 #82
Witan00 Mar 2013 #83
Disconnect Mar 2013 #84
yewberry Mar 2013 #87
FiggyJay Mar 2013 #93

Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 11:33 PM

1. That's the saddest dog I think I've ever seen.

It's also such a horrible story. I'm glad it's posted...but sorry I read it just before bed.

I hope I can go to sleep. Goodnight!

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 11:39 PM

2. Oh, my.

Very graphic, but people need to know about the tragedy involved.

Will share this. Thanks for posting it.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:19 AM

3. If this could go viral, imagine the difference it would make.

Bookmarking for future reference, then going to give my spoiled dog a big hug. She was a rescue, all because she had the wrong colored fur and nose. She enriches my life everyday.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:22 AM

4. I take the point,

but shit happens in people's lives too.

It's possible to lose your job and have to move to a new city and not be able to find a rental property that will allow pets. It's basically impossible in some places to find an affordable place period let alone one that allows cats or dogs. If it's a choice between being homeless and keeping your dog... well... that's not really a choice for most of us is it, especially when you throw kids in the mix.

I was unemployed/marginally employed for four years, had to move four times to four different cities. I was very, very lucky I could find a relative who could take in my cats and who ultimately adopted them. None of the cities I moved to had affordable rentals that would take pets.

Both of the cats got sick as well. I spent my last dime on surgery for one of them once but it was a shitty, shitty position to be in and the last thing I needed was vets trying to shame me into putting myself at risk for the sake of my pets. I love the hell out of them, but there's a line and (barring abuse or neglect) that line is up to the owner who is facing consequences like homelessness or not being able to afford food or medicine for themselves, not the vet.

Some of those people dropping off dogs and cats are doing it as a result of the most heartbreaking decision of their lives. Do they really need to hear the graphic detail of what comes next?

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:35 AM

5. Then there are my former neighbors, who got rid of their puppy after six weeks

because they were "tired of it."

My cat is "second-hand" from my cousin, who found him after her mother's neighbors had abandoned him and moved away. Just abandoned him. Then her landlord told her that she could not keep him, so she frantically called around until I agreed to take him.

He's an absolute sweetheart and very affectionate, but having had at least two former owners, he gets very anxious when I pack to go away on a trip or even do some major housecleaning or laundry, both of which evidently look like packing in his little cat mind. As someone once said of another cat I knew, "He has abandonment issues."

When I travel, someone comes and stays with him, but my regular catsitter tells me that he walks around the apartment looking for me and meowing for the first couple of days when I'm gone.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:38 AM

24. We had to leave a dog behind once

 

One parent fleeing the abuse of another. Mom took advice from her lawyer to get the hell out of the state ASAP... Well, we're just poor trailer trash at the time, and there was no way we could afford the costs of transporting our fairly large dog with us (by train, then a flight to Alaska). None of our friends could take her in, and we ended up leaving her, not with a shelter, but with the family veterinarian. Who stopped returning calls after we were out of state.

Cases of real desperation on the part of pet owners are probably outweighed, however, by the reality of lazy and / or stupid people who think their new puppy is going to be a fashion accessory.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:36 AM

6. Kick

Everyone should read this.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:40 AM

7. In many communities, there aren't enough dogs in shelters for all the people who want them.

In fact, thanks to the success of some regional spay campaigns in reducing the numbers of unwanted dogs, some shelters actually import dogs -- not only from other states, but other countries. (Mexico, for example.)

In particular, there are few puppies for those who want them. Right now at the King County Humane society, there are available only 6 puppies under the age of a year -- and four of them are Chihuahuas. The last time I checked there was only one dog under the age of a year.

Based on past experience, next time I get a dog it will probably be from a breeder, though I'll look to see what's available at the shelters first. And no dog I have will end up in a shelter. I don't even know anyone who gave a dog up to a shelter. When my uncle died, his daughter took his dog. If she hadn't been able to, I would have. And one of my adult children would take ours if need be.

But I almost forgot. My contract with the breeder said that if I couldn't keep the dog -- rather than giving the dog to any shelter -- I'd promise to give the dog back to her. Responsible breeders want to make sure their dogs are taken care of -- for life.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-01-30-dogs-usat_x.htm

Animal shelters in the USA are casting a wide net from Puerto Rico to as far as Taiwan to fill kennels.

Critics say many shelters have solved the stray problem in their own area but rather than shut down, they become de facto pet stores. Some charge more than $200 per adoption for imported dogs.

"Nobody's been watching this because nobody would have imagined that a hare-brained idea like this could ever get going," says Patti Strand, president of the National Animal Interest Alliance, a group that represents breeders, pet shop owners and others interested in animal welfare. "That's why there are no laws on the books."

In the last seven years, one organization in Puerto Rico has shipped more than 14,000 strays to the states for adoption. Shipments from other countries also appear to be increasing. Most imports are small to medium-size dogs popular among adopters.



http://rohnertpark-cotati.patch.com/articles/chihuahuas-and-pitbulls

If I had a dollar for every time some walked through our shelter and commented on the number of pitbulls and chihuahuas that are available I could easily solve our budget problems. Walk through any animal shelter today and you will be amazed at how prevalent those two breeds are and every combination of mix you can think of.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/12/chihuahuas-flooding-shelters-rescue-groups-warn.html

They're tiny, they're cute and they're besieging animal shelters from San Diego to Northern California.

The Chihuahua glut has become so severe that representatives from half a dozen San Francisco Bay Area shelters, surrounded by 50 yipping, shivering Chihuahuas, begged animal lovers today to help them find homes for the petite pooches.

In Los Angeles, only pit bulls outnumber Chihuahuas in the city's shelters. At the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, 60% of the dogs awaiting adoption are pure or mixed-breed Chihuahuas. At the San Francisco Animal Care and Control shelter, Chihuahuas are 30% of the canine population and rising. At the East Bay SPCA, it's 50%.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 05:53 AM

27. Just because some areas have been very successful and are able to help out dogs from

other countries does not negate the fact that a dog will die just because you have a need for a designer pet. To me you sound just like you are making an excuse. Which I find inexcusable.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #27)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:56 PM

62. Where do you think most dogs in shelters come from?

They're mostly dogs that other people once purchased from pet stores, puppy mills, and backyard breeders -- that for one reason or another finally end up in shelters. In other words, except for the occasional "accidents" (fewer and fewer with spay/neuter campaigns), they're "designer pets" with a new label -- "rescue" or "shelter" animal.

Shelter dogs here are mostly older dogs and often have health and/or behavioral issues because of how they were bred or raised. Responsible breeders, who are concerned about their dogs' physical and emotional health, make their buyers sign a contract that they will give the dog back to the breeder if it needs re-homing, so those dogs don't end up in shelters. Responsible breeders also spay or neuter their dogs, or require the purchasers do so by contract.

No Chihuahua or pitbull in a shelter (and that's what we have here, mostly -- the Chihuahuas are mostly imported from CA) is going to die because I want a "designer pet." It's going to die because too many puppy mills in the business of creating "designer pets" bred those dogs in the first place. My wish for a healthy, medium size dog that won't bother my allergies doesn't lead to an over-abundance of other dogs in shelters, anymore than my wish for a dog instead of a cat leads to an over-abundance of cats.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #62)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:13 PM

77. Most dogs at my county's shelter

are around one year old. The cute puppy got big, is not trained or socialized, and the owners can't handle it. Or they are picked up off the street and nobody comes.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:12 PM

42. Well then obviously this is a liberal plot to undermine the breeding industry.

 


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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #42)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:32 PM

69. I know right?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:48 PM

45. I'm very active in pet rescue and "empty" must be an absolute anomoly

It is the wrong information to push in order to justify your wanting a non-rescue dog. But look any day on petfinder or any number of rescue pages and you will find loads of beautiful pets of ALL breeds. Many rescue orgs will organize transportation to get the dog or cat to you. So this cherry-picked pipe dream that millions of animals aren't dying in shelters is just. not. true.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #45)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 05:02 PM

63. Petfinder may offer transportation from a distance, but I wouldn't want to adopt a dog

sight unseen, anymore than I'd buy one from an online breeder whose operation and dogs I couldn't see myself.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #63)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:29 PM

68. So at least now you're being honest that you are pushing this in order to justify your own decisions

I'm not worried that people will stop adopting dogs because of this faulty information. It's just infuriating when people--innocently or not--push ignorant, untruthful information at the expense of others (in this case animals).

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #68)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:00 PM

74. What have I said that is not true? n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:55 PM

53. your first article is 10 years old

bet the economy has changed that situation quite a bit

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Response to Kali (Reply #53)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 05:09 PM

64. Here's one from a month ago.

Apparently much of the problem here is from California, which has such an over-abundance of dogs in its shelters that it's shipping them all over the country. (Not just to Oregon and Washington.) Why does CA in particular have so many unwanted dogs? Maybe they should be spending more money there promoting spaying and neutering campaigns. But it's not the fault of responsible breeders in Washington that too many Chihuahuas are being sold and abandoned in California.

http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/cindy-bruckart/impact-importing-dogs

And here's a website of one of the many orgs that imports dogs from shelters all over the world and imports them to shelters in the US -- this org, specifically to Northern California. From there, they get shipped all over the country if they're not quickly adopted out.

If these orgs wanted to do some real good, they should also be putting efforts into spay/neuter campaigns in these other countries, not just shipping their excess here.

http://cwob.org/rescue.html

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #64)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:16 PM

78. Responsible breeder is an oxymoron.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:09 PM

75. Where are the millions of euthanizations

coming from?

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Response to roody (Reply #75)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:12 PM

76. Many more euthanizations are cats than dogs, for one thing.

And the dogs that are euthanized often have serious behavioral and/or health issues.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #76)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:46 PM

92. Millions of adoptable dogs are euthanized yearly. nt

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Response to roody (Reply #92)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:54 PM

95. Do you have a link for that? nt

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 10:52 PM

85. Before you buy from a breeder, please consider

breed rescues. People who foster rescues from a specific breed can give you very accurate descriptions of a dog's temperament, charming qualities or problem areas.

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Response to MsPithy (Reply #85)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 10:59 PM

86. I am aware of breed rescues, and I will consider them. When I looked last time, though,

they didn't have any available puppy and that's what we wanted. (We've trained all our dogs as puppies so we know how to do that -- and we enjoy going through all the stages.)

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:53 AM

8. I agree with the entire point being made in this post, but.

 

Whatever shelter this person is working at needs to be shut down, restructured and restaffed. Because the procedures and practices that they're using are barbaric, even by the standards in place thirty years ago when I worked at a Humane society.

First of all, how they are putting these poor animals down is criminally cruel, and it doesn't have to be. Yes, the dogs know what "the room" is, which is why you take them someplace else in the facility, give them a sedative and then take them to "the room". If the "pink stuff" they're using is causing defecating, spasming and gasping for air, then they need to switch to something else that is faster acting and more humane.

I don't care how short staffed you are, as a shelter worker you always take time to interact with the animals, that is your job. Not just a walk and a quick scritch when you're feeding them, I mean really take some time to pet, play and interact with the animal individually. That in and of itself will cut down on the crying, barking and depression.

And seventy two hours, really? That's it? Then as a manager you're not doing your job, developing a foster home network that allows you to take on special cases, take in overflow, and give the animal at least a solid week out there, if not more. Our local shelter sounds about the size of this one, and they've developed a foster network that gives virtually any animal a good two weeks or more, and that includes the bully breeds(though yes, they can be problematic, but now with some sensibility taking over concerning bully breeds, even they get a good shot).

Wherever this place is, whoever this manager is, they aren't doing their job. Since they hate it, that could very well be effecting the quality of their work, and it is time for them to move on.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:03 AM

10. Absolutely. And there ARE shelters that don't euthanize animals after

72 hours.

As far as I'm concerned this is not a "shelter," by any definition.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:11 AM

28. I paid to have one of my dogs put down at a veternarian, just like the others when they

got so old and sick that it was the most humane thing I could do and when the vet gave my dog the shot, (I thought he was just giving him a "relax shot", my dog howled in pain and was all stiff like for the last seconds of his life. That was how he left this earth and after the trauma of it all I just wanted to euthanize the vet. I paid well over $100 for this and it was about 10 years ago. I've never stepped foot into that animal hospital again.

So I can believe that some dogs go out suffering needlessly and maybe this shelter does not have the money for the "relax" drug that was supposed to be given to my dog first. And maybe they are not trained to give the dog a drug straight into their veins, (which that vet didn't do with my dog with Maurice). Other dogs that I have had to put down were shaved on their leg and the drug was administered right into the vein and they just went quickly off to sleep.

Maybe he was exaggerating for effect in this piece but a dog does loose its bowel control after death. It you pick them up or put any pressure on their stomachs it will just come out. I found this out after taking Maurice home and was going to bury him.



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Response to MadHound (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:07 AM

37. I agree with you to a point..

... but having visited (and adopted from) many shelters in a 50 mile radius, I can tell you that practices vary widely probably based mostly on funding.

Given the text of the OP I doubt very much that this person has not made every effort to ameliorate the situation.

The answer is clear - if you want a pet please adopt. You might have to do some legwork and it might not be as convenient as just buying from a breeder, but it is the right way on many levels.

We have a Jack Russell terrier and a Heeler/Rottweiler mix that we adopted at different times. They are both wonderful dogs, other than being fascinated with skunks you couldn't ask for more

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:54 AM

9. Heartbreaking. People need to understand that they are bringing a sentient being into their

 

homes and lives. But there are people who abandon children, so to figure.

I love my dog so much that I can't imagine abandoning her under any circumstances. Fortunately I'm retired now, and we can spend every moment together. We even sleep cuddled up to each other for warmth. I get woken up with her licking my face, and I go to sleep with her head on my lap.

It's one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling relationships I've had with another soul.

I think the worst job in the world has to be euthanizing healthy companion animals.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:05 AM

11. Thank you.

 

I did volunteer work in a shelter some years back, and I can attest to just about everything you said. The only thing I would question is the euthanasia. I never witnessed it at the shelter, but I have three times with my own cats, and I never saw them spasming or defecating on themselves.

And while I do understand that things can change and keeping a pet can become difficult, I agree that everyone needs to understand the realities of animal shelters. I also want to note the fundamental hypocrisy of "no kill" shelters. You see, those shelters either farm out their euthanasia, or simply stop accepting animals when they are full. Yes, the animals that make it to them will live out their lives, but meanwhile other animals WILL be euthanized.

When I was working at the shelter, we had a little flier to underscore the enormity of the animal overpopulation problem. I forget the exact numbers, but the essential truth is still here: For no cats or dogs to be euthanized, every single family in this country would need to have three dogs and six cats, or maybe it was seven dogs and two cats. I don't recall, but the combined numbers were well above what the average family would be willing or able to have.

As an adult I've had four cats. The first one came with the house we bought. After she lived out her life, we adopted another from a shelter. Less than a year later I adopted one from our vet. Vets often have cats or dogs they've taken in and can be adopted. The last was a stray who showed up in our front yard, determined that we were her last, best hope for life. She'd been someone's well-loved pet, and it still bothers me that she wound up on her own. She must have been at least 13 or 14 years old by then, and was starving, supporting herself by hunting. She was so thin that the vertebra on her spine were like needles, they were so sharp. She was flea infested and probably no more than two days from death when we started giving her water and feeding her. After about a week I took her to the vet, got the fleas taken care of, then took her inside. It took a while for her and the other two cats to adjust to each other, and I never regretted for a minute that we took her in. That was nearly seven years ago, and she as well as the other two have passed on. At present I am without any cats, but someday I will take in more. I'll go to a shelter and say, "I want the oldest cat you have here." When I was a volunteer I'd see elderly cats whose human had died or gone into a nursing home and there was no one who would take them in. Those are the sorts of cats I will someday take into my life. Right now, I can't take any, but it will happen again.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:09 AM

13. In recent decades spay and neuter campaigns have caused such a significant drop in unwanted dogs

in many regions that we're actually importing them from other countries.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-01-30-dogs-usat_x.htm

Animal shelters in the USA are casting a wide net from Puerto Rico to as far as Taiwan to fill kennels.

Critics say many shelters have solved the stray problem in their own area but rather than shut down, they become de facto pet stores. Some charge more than $200 per adoption for imported dogs.

"Nobody's been watching this because nobody would have imagined that a hare-brained idea like this could ever get going," says Patti Strand, president of the National Animal Interest Alliance, a group that represents breeders, pet shop owners and others interested in animal welfare. "That's why there are no laws on the books."

In the last seven years, one organization in Puerto Rico has shipped more than 14,000 strays to the states for adoption. Shipments from other countries also appear to be increasing. Most imports are small to medium-size dogs popular among adopters.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:22 AM

16. I have read of dogs being sent from

 

other states to the NYC area because of a shortage of dogs in NYC. The only reason I find that surprising is that I would have thought that the sheer number of humans in NYC would have resulted in an excess of dogs.

I know less about dogs than I do about cats. I know that cats can reproduce almost ferociously and that excess cats are a huge problem almost everywhere. There is also a profound ignorance about the idiocy of not spaying and neutering that makes you want to do damage to people.

Right now my life is such that I can't accommodate any cats. That will eventually change.

I agree with the person who will never again adopt a puppy. I will never adopt a kitten. The older animals need homes so desperately, and it's been my observation that they are incredibly appreciative of their new homes.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:27 AM

17. Cats are in a different situation. For whatever reason, there is more of an excess of cats.

But cats and dogs aren't interchangeable. Most people who want a dog aren't going to decide to take a cat instead.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:43 AM

19. Oh, absolutely.

 

For one thing, cats reproduce much more rapidly and efficiently than dogs ever dreamed of. And for the most part, you're either a dog person or a cat person. I happen to be a cat person. But when I was first volunteering at my animal shelter, I was working the reception desk on weekends, and the dog walkers had to come by me to walk the dogs. At first it was annoying, but then I realized how completely wonderful it was that every single dog wanted to greet every single human that he came across.

And even though I'm still not all that crazy about dogs, I am in awe of how they connect to us humans. I really do enjoy it when I'm on a walk in my neighborhood and I come across someone with her dog. I will always stop and greet the dogs, pet them with permission, and appreciate their sheer dog-ness. Recently a woman expressed amazement and gratitude that I'd taken that time -- she left the impression that most people ignored or in some way dissed her dogs. What's wrong with those people? Her dogs were just great, and this is coming from a non dog person!

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:14 AM

21. Have you read about how dogs connect better with human body language than most apes do?

Not only can dogs understand what people are doing when they point at something -- many dogs are so attuned, you can just point at something with your EYES, and the dog understands. They point at things with THEIR eyes and then look back and expect US to understand.

Maybe some cats do this too, but I haven't read about that. I've just heard it about dogs, and it's part of what makes their connection with people so strong.

I don't know whether I'd have ever been a cat person, even if my eyes didn't itch and water whenever I'm around them. Dogs are much better hiking partners. . . .

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:20 AM

29. I had a little Pomerainian that used to do that eye thing. She loved bananas and when

I brought bananas into the house, after a day or so she would smell what she wanted and go into the kitchen and bark. So I'd ask her what she wanted and she would point with her eyes to the top of the counter, (which she could not see) to tell me she knew there were bananas there and she wanted some.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Reply #29)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:55 AM

39. Hah! It shows she had some concept that you could think, too.

She must have thought you were a pretty smart human, being able to follow her eyes like that.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:10 PM

41. Given that dogs have lived with humans

 

for who knows how many thousands of years, and almost no apes ever have, that's not at all surprising.

Interestingly enough, one of the characteristics of a child with Asperger's, is that they never point at things, and rarely look to see what you're pointing at.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:23 PM

44. I've had amazing eye contact with all my kitties over the years.

 

If you squint at a kitty, the kitty will return the squint. It's a way of expressing pleasure, well-being and affection.

I also love the amazing range of vocalizations kitties have, from little chrips and blurps to full-throated meows. I'm low tolerance on barking; I guess that's one of the reasons I never became a dog person.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:30 AM

23. Cats are more successful ferals, for a number of reasons.

 

1) They're smaller. This means they can get into more places, but also helps them pass below human radar; a pack of feral dogs is something communities register as "dangerous" because they hassle livestock, tear up garbage cans, attack people, etc. A colony of feral cats is relatively unobtrusive.

2) Despite having a more rigid diet (cats are obligate carnivores, dogs are opportunist omnivores) cats have more food sources. They catch and eat birds and rodents, frogs and lizards, and for some damn reason, people have a bad habit of actually putting out food "for the strays." Dogs generally need larger meals, which are much harder to come by in most communities.

3) Cats trend towards larger litters than dogs. Additionally, all cat breeds are pretty much the same, physiologically speaking, and feral mixes won't usually result in the weird complications that the broad variety of dog phenotypes can cause.

Cats are also much easier to capture, for pretty much all these reasons; smaller animals require smaller traps, their diets are easily used as bait, and the general uniformity means you know what you're getting out of a captured cat. A feral dog has a lot more variables going on.

...And that's why there are usually more shelter cats than dogs.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:31 AM

18. We just adopted a 9-year-old cat from a no-kill shelter.

 

I always wanted to help an older kitty, too, and having two cats just wasn't enough for us after losing our very old sweetie pie. We needed three to feel "whole" again.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #13)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:51 PM

52. In New England, many of the "rescue" dogs come from the south--Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas--and

Puerto Rico (lots of Pacos and Panchos and Perritos and so forth--they give them names to make them more appealing).

Not long ago they got a pile of chihuahuas out of the west coast who were victims of the Paris Hilton Wear-a-Dog craze that went out of fashion.

They occasionally get dogs from closed down puppy mills, too.

But no, here in the cold northeast, we don't have tons of "strays" and not many local rescues, either. We also have more than a few "No Kill" shelters.

The price to adopt a mutt can be as high as four hundred dollars, because a "transportation fee" is also factored into the costs.

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Response to MADem (Reply #52)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 05:54 PM

65. My brothers dog came from Georgia after all the storms... some yrs back.

It was expensive but she is a homebody...can't let the mailman, Fed Ex or the brown truck go by.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 12:23 AM

99. northern generally states pick up the overflow from the south and south west

 

and they charge 100- 200$ to help pay costs. What's so awful abut that?

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 03:09 PM

56. "...spasming or defecating on themselves.'

That's from giving too little of the killing drug. Who sets the cheap and cruel standards at your shelter?

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Response to savannah43 (Reply #56)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:04 PM

67. Umm, I said I've never witnessed that

 

when I've had my cats euthanized. I think you want to direct your comment to the OP.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:42 PM

61. Good for you

I'm so glad that cat found you. One of my friends died unexpectedly three years ago and had five cats. Two of the cats were ones that I had been taking care of but she wanted to adopt so I took those two back plus another one of hers when the home for that one fell through. So now I have five cats and one dog.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 12:42 AM

100. I euthanized two of my cats

First one was back in 2005 because he was dying of acute liver failure and he was going to die anyway probably that day, so instead of just leaving him to die at the vet's office I chose to euthanize him. He was essentially in a coma, so it seemed, but just in case he was suffering I had it done.

The second was just last December. He had advanced stomach cancer, there was nothing the vet could do for him so when he began suffering, I had him euthanized. It was probably the hardest thing I ever did, and I have done some pretty hard things in my life, but that was the worst. With my first, he suddenly became ill and he was already at the vet when I made the decision. With this one, when I got the diagnosis, he wasn't suffering yet so I actually had to choose when it was the right time. Taking him to the vet knowing he wasn't coming home broke my heart in a million pieces. I'm still pretty sad about it, having a hard time figuring out the best way to grieve. I have at least stopped crying every day, but it's still incredibly painful for me.

Now I had read about things that can happen during the process, it's scary to read. Luckily for me and my two cats, it couldn't have gone better both times. First the sedation, then the barbiturate - both passed quickly and peacefully. No reactions from either and no loss of bowel or bladder.

I think some "no kill" shelters do contract out euthanasia. I once read an article, I believe it was Reader's Digest, it had asked different vets questions about things, and while I don't remember the question and why this was mentioned, but one vet said that some of these "no kill" shelters will ask vets to perform euthanasia, because they don't perform the euthanasia themselves they can call themselves a no kill shelter. That seems so very wrong to me. What difference does it make who does it? If they ask someone else to do it, does that not make them a kill shelter anyway?

I agree that we should adopt animals, at least until we can get the population under control - which God only knows when that will happen. I keep waiting for there to be enough responsible owners out there to change this problem, sadly it doesn't seem to be going away, even though in the US alone we euthanize millions of homeless a year. When are people going to learn?

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Response to OwnedByCats (Reply #100)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 01:37 AM

102. What bothers me is that some of the "no-kill" shelters are

 

being essentially dishonest. No, they do not euthanize. But they usually severely limit what animals they will take in. I know that there are some which actually do provide life-long homes no matter what, but others just quietly turn over to other shelters the ones they know won't be adopted. The reality is, there can only be a tiny fraction of shelters that can call themselves "no-kill" because there are simply so many millions of excess cats and dogs that there is no way to keep them all alive. Not to mention feral cats that cannot live with humans, or dogs who have been so abused or badly trained that they cannot live with humans.

The main reason there are so many excess cats and dogs is that a lot of humans are totally irresponsible. I'm not talking about those (like some who have posted here) who have some huge change in their life and they can no longer keep an animal. I'm talking about the ones who mistakenly believe that a female cat or dog must have at least one litter to be somehow whole. Or they fantasize that they can keep the female inside and away from amorous males. Or that their children deserve to witness "the miracle of birth" without remembering that there will be puppies or kittens around afterwards.

And if, as has been mentioned here, shelters in some parts of the country have a distinct shortage of adoptable dogs, that means that in those parts of the country spaying and neutering is being highly effective, and not very many people are needing to give up good dogs they can no longer keep.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #102)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 02:26 AM

103. I have to believe

spaying and neutering is making a difference, just doesn't feel like it sometimes when you're still seeing tons of homeless animals. I find the whole thing incredibly heartbreaking. I also live in an area where people drop their cats off on my road, they end up at my house and I HAVE to do SOMETHING because I can't stand to see them like that. It's like these people know I'm just going to handle their irresponsible decision, even though I know they don't know me.

The whole thing of having a dog or cat have one litter never made any sense to me. The only time in my life that I ended up with a pet, a cat, who had kittens was when I found a stray who was already pregnant. I spay and neuter always, even though my cats do not even go outside, but you never know. Cats and dogs don't "need" to have one litter, much less many litters. I don't know why people get that idea. Then there is the case of my aunt, she has 4 dogs. The two males are neutered and the two females are not spayed. Her boyfriend, who was not in her life when she got her males neutered but was when she adopted the girls, didn't think it was "right" to spay/neuter dogs so my aunt did not have the girls done. What happened? One of the girls went into heat and my aunt thought as long as she kept them at home, there would not be a problem. Unfortunately it was a problem. She got out somehow (and from what I understand dogs and cats can be pretty crafty about finding a way outside when they are in heat) and she ended up pregnant. I was so mad, but what can I do? My aunt knows it was a bad decision to not have them spayed, yet she let her stupid boyfriend talk her out of it. I just hope she changes her mind and gets them done.

But yeah, irresponsible humans - just can't believe how many are that way. It makes my blood boil. I understand about changes in circumstances - sometimes people don't have a choice. The only problem I have with most likely a small percentage of those people are the ones that don't bother to find a shelter or an alternative home, they just abandon them. I just don't understand how anyone can do that.

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Response to OwnedByCats (Reply #103)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 01:00 PM

104. Some people seem to think

 

that if they abandon an animal it's more likely to find a new home than if they bring it to a shelter. At least at the shelter it will be treated decently, and if they must euthanize it's generally done humanely. An abandoned animal? It will starve to death, or get hit by a car, or fall victim to some predator.

If it weren't that the circumstances in my life are not currently favorable, I'd be taking off to the local animal shelter right away to find a new cat for me. Someday.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #104)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 02:47 PM

105. I agree

All manner of things can happen if you abandon them - I just don't get it.

But yeah, shelter is the best option when you have no others.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:09 AM

12. I've adopted two dogs from the shelter

Both of them were picked up as strays, and both of them are sweethearts.

One of them was in her last few days, and the other one, I went in and asked for a dog I thought nobody would want.

It's too bad they hate each other.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:10 AM

14. Also, I wonder if it's not that people dump dogs when they're no longer puppies

I wonder if people are like "Damn, this dog is over a year and he tore up the THIRD COUCH!"

I am never getting another puppy.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:17 AM

15. Perhaps after enough time they will get along.

 

Dogs are, after all, pack animals, and one of the joys of having dogs is that they so often get along quite happily with others of their species.

Cats, my preferred companion animal, are not very happy about having other cats in the household. I wound up with three cats. The first one should have been adopted by an elderly lady whose idea of being really affectionate was to be in the same room. The second one was of the opinion that EVERYONE was her friend, and it took many, many rejections from cat number one to finally stop trying. Cat number three, the stray, had apparently spent her previous life in a household where the humans were men (she REALLY preferred men to women) and there were several large dogs, as she had a number of dog behaviors.

Eventually, they all got along, and I have various photographs of the three of them curled up on my bed, all of them pretending she's alone.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #15)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:40 PM

50. It depends on the cat, though. A lot really do prefer having a kitty companion..or 2 ... or 3 ...

 

My two older boys are good buddies who curl up with each other. They're six years apart. We just got a new kitty closer to the "middle child's" age and they are all working stuff out...so far so good, for the most part...

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:55 AM

20. Kick!

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:27 AM

22. How sad.

Although I agree with the poster up thread - this person needs a new job and this shelter needs a new manager. That said...

I tried to adopt a dog from a local shelter once. I got screened out. See, I was young (20 at the time) and they weren't sure I was 'mature' enough for a dog, despite the fact I already had one. Also, they wanted a notarized letter (at a cost to us) from my landlord stating he would let me have dogs (again, despite the fact I already had a dog and had brought the dog to see which shelter dog would get along with him). My landlord offered to fax them a signed letter and gave them his number. That wasn't good enough, they said. No dog for you! I was sad as my dog and I had bonded with a particular dog while waiting.
So, my boyfriend and I went and bought a dog from a farm nearby (this was at my bf's insistence) We loved that sweet dog for 5 months until she developed extremely severe hip dysplasia and it was recommended we put her down as she couldn't walk at all at that point and was in severe pain. The vet said it was the worst case he had ever seen (her hip joints had never formed), and that her only chance at surviving would be a series of hip replacements (up to 3 in the next 18 months or so) at $2000/hip plus possible rehab costs. This was 20 years ago and my boyfriend and I didn't have that kind of money. Now, a lot of people would say it served us right for buying a farm dog, but that dog was loved on so much and had a wonderful life until her last couple of weeks - I'm glad we bought her, as her fate may not have been so great had she stayed on that farm. And I wouldn't have loved a shelter dog any less which makes me sad for the shelter, thinking of all the great pet parents they may be turning away because of overly strict rules.

My experience makes me leery of trying again. Plus, I have developed very horrible allergies, so can only get the kinds of breeds that are hard to find - poodle, yorkie, maltese etc. and cats are out of the question (me AND all of my kids have allergies to cats). I'm not sure what to do.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #22)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:45 AM

31. I would tell your local newspaper about their adoption process. When I got my last dog

at the shelter the woman asked me all sorts of questions, which she had "the answers" to and when I got one wrong she would just ask more. Like the name of the previous dog I adopted I had changed her name so when she asked me who I had adopted she "concluded" that I was lying for some reason. I had also adopted a 16 year old chihuahua from a different shelter knowing that he was just going to spend his twilight years with me and when he became so senile I brought him to this place to be put down because I didn't have $250 it would cost to take him to a vet. Well they wrote down that I turned in a dog that was in "very poor condition" even thought I told them that he needed to be euthanized. First it made me think of how long they made him suffer before they put him down since they thought he was a return and second it just pissed me off that they would write such a thing.

So in order to get Paco, (my male chihuahua) they made someone come to my home to check to see it I treated my pets good. It scared the crap out of me because I thought they would take my other chihuahua, Peanut.

But I finally got the OK and got Paco. Now I have Paco and Peanut and I love them with all my heart. And thankfully this time they are both younger, (I had adopted other older dogs) so I will get to spend a good long time with them.

Paco is on the left and Peanut is on the right. My two babies.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 05:28 AM

25. I had to give up a lab/rottweiler mix once.

 

I had lost my job - was in middle of a divorce - the dog ("Foster" was six years old and needed daily medication. I stayed in this house that I couldn't afford for two years, because I couldn't bear the alternative. The day finally came, however, when I realized I could no longer care for him. I got in touch with a friend of my mom's who does animal rescues, and he was placed in a good home. If someone does end up having to give up a dog, I highly recommend this process as opposed to bringing the dog to a shelter or trying to give it away online (there are people who should have gone into acting, who will pretend they're going to love your pet and then sell it to a research lab.)

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Response to Flying Squirrel (Reply #25)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:50 AM

32. Right. Go to petfinder dot come and just keep calling every name on the list. My allergy

and sinus doctor told me that my cats, (who were both strays when I got them) were causing big polyps in my nose. I have such a problem with allergies as it is, (just started the shots) that he scared me enough to find a place to put them where they would be fostered until they were adopted. I was a long and tedious process but if you keep at it you can find someone who will take your pet.

I refused to take them to animal control where they might be euthanized.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 05:33 AM

26. as the economy sucks

many people will be forced into this, only to be laughed at by the GOP scumbag who buys his mutt an air conditined doghouse. My suster lost her home, and was forced to give up her dog, whom Iloved as well. However...there is a aprtical thing you can do...if youlove your dog,look for a no kill shelter. I went two counties down to one, but it is one of the best decisions I made, especially as I found out the dog got adopted.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:53 AM

34. You can now get food stamps to feed your dog.

http://www.kjct8.com/news/Food-Stamps-for-Pets/-/163152/19148598/-/skxcmjz/-/index.html

A new donation-based program is aiming to provide food stamps for pets of low income families who may not be able to afford to feed their pets.

The program, called Pet Food Stamps, is based out of New York and it's open to anyone in the United States.

How it works is once the need and income is verified, the families will receive pet food each month from pet food direct, for a six month period.

Local experts say this is a great option for struggling pet owners. "A lot of pet owners aren't able to afford food especially with the hard economic times that we've had, sometimes pets get put back to the back burner, so it's a really good option for people who can not afford pet food for their dogs," said Kourtni Weinischke from Tiara Rado Animal Hospital.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:32 AM

30. This is so very tragic and sad, not to mention preventable...

...If people would just get through their thick heads that their pets are not some kind of disposable object that can be 'thrown away' over any minor inconvenience. A little training time investment goes a long way in making for a faithful and loving companion.

Where I live, this sort of thing is more commonly a problem for cats than dogs. Alot of dog lovers around here.

Nonetheless, I hate to see this happen anywhere, whether it be cats or dogs. People can be infuriating in their 'disposable pet' mentality as demonstrated by the letter in the OP.

...And don't even get me started on people who refuse to spay/neuter their pets, or provide adequate veterinary care!

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #30)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 07:00 AM

35. The people behind me left their beautiful white cat behind when they moved. I did not know

them very well and did not know the cat had been left behind until I saw her in my kitchen in the middle of the night eating my cat's food.

I kept her in the house for a little bit before deciding what to do with her and one morning I woke up and she had had kittens! They didn't even bother to spay her!

I am all for the mobile spay/neuter programs that go around and fix animals in areas where people can't afford to do it. But then again around here at the humane society you can have your pet fixed for free.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:51 AM

33. du rec. nt

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 07:40 AM

36. And there is this attitude....

 

Recently, a lady brought a species of desert tortoise she obtained to an outdoor animal friendly place in town so everyone could admire its colorful shell. Knowing this type of animal would grow large and be on the move, requiring more space, and could only thrive in arid climates, I asked what her future plans were. She answered:

"I'm not concerned, there is an animal (welfare) group which will take of in."

She could have just smiled and farted on my beer, but no

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:30 AM

38. Abandoning a 4 month old puppy is abuse

The number of dogs put down annually in the USA is unknown but Canada keeps records and they kill over 5 million a year (!) so I really think even the 11 million number is low.

I think there should be a written test, much like the one for a driver's license, that you must pass before you can own your first dog. People see 2 episodes of Cesar Milan or they watch Marley & Me and think it is all fun and that they are instant experts.

Dogs would do anything for us but what we do to them collectively as a country is criminal.

No one should ever give a dog as a gift because having a dog is a commitment, a big one.

And btw a big F-U to Paris Hilton for making teens think a living creature is a fashion accessory.

Spay and neuter.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:31 PM

48. YES!!!!!

I pay for all my neighbors pets' spay and neutering because it seems that most people don't know how or why it should be done. There are many no/low cost programs in my city because they have found it is so much cheaper than dealing with the huge amounts of unwanted pets.

People are too lazy to spay or neuter, or it seems too expensive, or they are afraid they are causing their animal pain which is no true at all. Or my favorite, dudes who somehow feel a male dog should always have his balls out of some misplaced fear of losing his own. That is why there are so many of the "bully" dogs who were bought for a macho display and not neutered and have now inter-bred with everything.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #48)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:48 PM

51. Thank you for being so humane.

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Response to narnian60 (Reply #51)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 03:07 PM

55. Thanks!

I can't take any credit, and somehow feel it's one of the only things I have done that is worthy in my life.

I am very disappointed by the BS that is being pushed in this thread that there is a shortage of adoptable pets or that adopting pets is too expensive. Some shelters and rescue groups have raised their prices in order to just keep the doors open. But also, they have realized that if a person can't pay anything to adopt a pet, they will also not be able to afford to take care of them properly.

I love the pet food stamps program and always try to donate to pet charities during natural disasters such as Katrina and Sandy, because when families are displaced from their homes, their pets also suffer. Some give out food, or will temporarily house a pet while a family gets on their feet. It's just one way to help take a little bit of stress of a family going through incredible hardship already. Who wants to lose or give away a beloved family member on top of everything?

If you want to help your local shelter or rescue group, please contact them to see what they need. Towels or cleaning supplies are always a big request and I can't tell you how many towels I used to throw away that now our shelters are so grateful for.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #48)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 03:14 PM

58. "Friends of Animals" will sell anyone a really inexpensive certificate for very low cost

neutering. Here's their web site.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 03:12 PM

57. ^THIS!!!!!!!

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #38)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:26 PM

60. Does Canada have successful spay and neuter programs?

And do its shelters import truckloads of stray dogs from countries that do not (as US shelters do)?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #60)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 06:45 PM

70. You must be a backyard breeder or a puppy mill owner

To keep tenaciously pushing this line. It's so transparent. Please stop.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #70)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 07:59 PM

73. No, but I did buy two puppies from responsible breeders

who cared about the health and well being of their dogs.

Making personal accusations like this is rude and doesn't add anything worthwhile to a discussion. Please stop.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #73)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:25 PM

89. I do think you are part of the problem.

That is not a rude accusation, that is a simple assessment. AFAIR, you were denied an application for adoption at an animal shelter, and since then have championed breeders and their position.

The reality is that people who buy dogs create a market for more animals at the same time as millions of unwanted animals are euthanized annually in the US. Supporting the commodification of living beings and encouraging demand for more 'desirable' animals is shameful, and a complete abandonment of our role as caretakers.

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Response to yewberry (Reply #89)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:53 PM

94. People have to buy dogs from shelters, which disguise their prices as "fees"

and often charge as much for a puppy-- that came from a puppy mill -- as a responsible breeder would charge for a dog that had been bred with attention to its health, and in a home instead of a cage.

There are some wonderful people working in some wonderful shelters -- but there are also some wonderful breeders.

Personal accusations are what people with no good argument resort to, and your post is no exception.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #94)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 12:14 AM

98. This is utterly ridiculous.

You know it.

You hate shelters because you were refused as an applicant, yes?

Shelters charge fees because they have to care for animals, and that costs money, not because they are making a profit.This is not a 'disguise.'

Breeders charge fees to make a profit, because to them, animals are a commodity. Whether you think a breeder is 'responsible' or not, they are making a profit out of making some animals more desirable than others, and that is completely disgusting.

I have made no personal accusations; you are simply unwilling to accept your culpability. Creating more demand for animals while loving, deserving animals are killed by the million is just plain wrong.

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Response to yewberry (Reply #98)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 12:51 AM

101. No, I was never refused, although there was a time

when the local shelters had policies against people adopting who didn't have fenced in yards.

My sister, in another state, adopted a wonderful dog from a shelter. I wouldn't rule out such a possibility but when I've been looking for a puppy, I've never seen a suitable one available at a shelter or a rescue.

I am not "culpable" for the acts of puppy mills which overproduce popular breeds or irresponsible dog owners who dump dogs when they stop being cute puppies.

My act of buying a medium size, non-shedding, healthy dog from a breeder is no more hurtful to any other dog than my purchase of a dog is hurtful to all the cats who are left in shelters. A cat isn't an acceptable substitute for a dog and a Chihuahua isn't an acceptable substitute for the kind of dog I would want.

Here is something from an operator of a rescue org, explaining their high "fees." Their motives may be well-intended (they use the profits from puppies to subsidize older and sicker dogs), but the fact remains that people who pay exorbitant prices for puppies from shelters are often paying breeder prices for puppy-mill dogs.

(And shelters that import truckloads of dogs from countries without spay/neuter programs are encouraging those countries to continue sloughing off their excess dogs to us instead of developing their own spay/neuter programs.)

http://www.examiner.com/article/why-does-rescue-charge-so-much-for-puppies



We recently listed a couple of ridiculously adorable dachshund / bichon puppies for adoption for the equally ridiculous-seeming donation amount of $450 each ... and that's in addition to the $100 spay deposit.

SNIP

So why do we charge such a ridiculously high fee for puppies? Because we can. Seriously!

Hey, we're realists. We know that people will pay a lot of money for cute puppies. Although we would never, ever, EVER condone breeding dogs for a profit, we're comfortable asking a high fee for puppies people bring to rescue. Like any other nonprofit, we need every blessed cent we can get so that we can continue to do the work we do.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 09:06 AM

40. Went to the FB post and shared it on my page..... Very sad.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 12:19 PM

43. its disgraceful how we treat companion animals

The entire system is fucked up, professional breeders, backyard breeders and pet owners are responsible for this ongoing animal holocaust.

We should all be ashamed.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:01 PM

46. Making a donation today because of this reminder

I'm just stunned every time I think of our unbelievable capacity for cruelty.

Our animals have been beloved. Our 13 year old dog is fading now, but she's with us and taken care of until the time comes. On the other hand, our 16 year old cat is still going strong.

In the past three years, we have lost two 15 year old dogs, two 18 year old cats and one 5 year old cat to feline leukemia. All went peacefully and with love.

I know people come first, but that's no excuse for not caring for animals, whether they live with us or in the wild.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 01:10 PM

47. Thanks for the inside info.

Honestly, I knew it was bad, but not that bad. Thanks for letting people know.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:31 PM

49. K&R n/t

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 02:58 PM

54. We have contract with the breeder of our dog

If we want to breed her we have to get her okay and she has to okay the sire. Also if we ever had something happen where we could no longer care for her, she goes back to the breeder. We chose who we bought from carefully and waited a year for her to arrive

The cats are all rescues, but we wanted a specific breed and it's one that is difficult to train as an adult dog. We looked at some recues, but could not find a good match.

My first dog was a rescue, but sadly it did not work out well and eventually we had to give her up for safety reasons.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 04:09 PM

59. This going viral will make no difference at all - the solutions are inadequate

The "solution" boils down to individual action and responsibility. "Don't buy a dog, adopt instead; don't breed." Good words, but not enough, any more any other social problem can be solved by some "people should" prescription. People "should" do a lot of things that "people" don't.

We could solve this. We could make it VERY expensive to have an intact dog or cat - not just require but enforce licensing for all and make the fee for an intact animal extremely high. We could in addition require a license and periodic inspections for an owner to breed - in addition to the license for the animal. Make that very high as well, and graduated so breeding one dog cost $x, two $XX, etc. We could spend the $$ for enough animal officers to enforce licensing laws and make it a misdemeanor and impose fines for allowing an unlicensed animal or unlicensed owner to breed.

We don't have those sort of laws because we really don't care enough. Not enough to fight the AKC and the Puppy Millers who would I imagine scream bloody murder. They don't care either.

That I am sitting here bawling my eyes out over this, as others will, makes no difference at all. Law and regulation would make a difference.

As to the person claiming we have no unwanted problem - huh? I'm sure that within the last few years I've read estimates that 4-6 million are killed at shelters every year in the US. That sounds like a problem to me.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 05:54 PM

66. Here is some more current information from "No Kill Revolution"

https://www.facebook.com/#!/NoKillRevolution?fref=ts

The problem is real and there's still a hidden holocaust of animal cruelty and abuse going on in this country. Heartbreaking, but there is reason to hope for change these days as activists are networking and social media is getting the word out like never before.

There is also a deplorable trend in the treatment of wild and domestic horses and burros, as well as so-called wild "pest" animals.

http://rtfitchauthor.com/2013/03/10/have-we-lost-our-horse-sense/

&feature=youtu.be

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Animal-Cruelty-Exposed/363725540304160

http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/animal-torture-called-regular-practice-within-federal-wildlife-agency/

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 07:37 PM

71. We like to think that by getting this out it will make a differences

Gods now how much I hope it can. The facts say otherwise the people who take there dog or cat to a shelter don't care if they did the dog or cat would still have a home. My wife and I have adopted many dogs from shelter over the last 35 years and they have all been great dogs and even better best friends. I would rather spend my time with a dog than most of the people I know dogs are much better listeners and will never let you down!

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 07:58 PM

72. One of the most disturbing pics I've seen of a dog. How sad. I hope to get more

rescues in later years. I can't swing it right now. I have two in my small place. But I think...one day....

I have had dreams of buying a purebreed little lap dog. But no more. In my heart I know I can't do that. I must rescue a dog, when I get another one (or two).

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:28 PM

79. Thank you. I'm glad to see that

breeding is not popular at DU.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:34 PM

80. I have a slightly different view...

.. but over all agree with what you are trying to get across. Having worked in a Humane Society Shelter, I can't help but wonder, that why what you call "a little euthanasia 101" is far different from what I experienced. It was awful enough that so many had to be put down for lack of placing availability, but it wasn't anything like the chamber of horrors you describe.

Nor is it a zero sum equation that someone who takes a specific breed (purchased) pup into their family would have necessarily taken on a "rescue" instead. Perhaps in a perfect world, but then, in a perfect world there wouldn't be a need for shelters, would there?

I lost count years ago of how many rescues we have taken in and loved, but I refuse to criticize others just because they can't do the same. And sorry to have to inform you, friend, but in an economy such as today's, sometimes shit happens to people they didn't see coming. Maybe if you had as much compassion for your fellow human beings as you do animals, you'd a little less quick to judge them without walking a mile in their shoes.

Just saying.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #80)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:17 PM

88. I'd say this post is really addressed at people who breed or buy animals

while millions of loving, deserving animals are euthanized in the US each year.

Unfortunately, too many people don't get the message.

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Response to yewberry (Reply #88)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:29 PM

90. I understand who it's addressed to.

If only it were as simple as laying a guilt trip on people to change it. It's just not that easy. I can see this from more than one perspective, is all I am saying.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #90)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:44 PM

91. Well, yeah, I can see it from more than one perspective too.

This isn't just about guilt. I worked in a vet's office and volunteered at a shelter. I've fished bags of dead puppies out of a pond, stolen an abused & starved dog from her owner, fostered 'dangerous' dogs, and adopted from the shelter.

However, as the OP clearly states (and as is evidenced in this thread), people who breed animals and people who buy animals need to understand that they bear some responsibility for the deaths of millions of animals, and they sure don't accept that culpability.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:45 PM

81. Both of mine are rescues. I have always either taken in strays or had rescues.

All my dogs and cats are neutered. I think it is criminal to breed animals when thousands of homeless animals are put to sleep daily.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 09:21 PM

82. Thank you for posting this!

I am a retired veterinarian and, when I was in practice, I tried to convince my clients to spay and neuter by offering low costs, bartering, monthly payments, or whatever it took to get the job done. I got my whole clinic painted by two young ladies who had a boatload of rescued cats that they wanted spayed. At one point, my hubby and I had 9 cats and 2 dogs (all "throw away" pets). Now we choose older pets from our local humane society. We encourage everyone who is considering a pet to go check out the great pets at the shelter!

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 09:32 PM

83. This is gonna haunt me for quite a while. n/t

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 10:47 PM

84. Why all this concern??

 

Why all this concern about dogs and cats, PETS, when we have human children being abused and neglected everyday?? Where are the "cutesy" articles about them???

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Response to Disconnect (Reply #84)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:11 PM

87. You can only care about one thing at a time?

If we fall into the trap of refusing to address any of our societal problems until all of the other problems are solved, we are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

That helps no one.

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Response to Disconnect (Reply #84)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:53 PM

93. Oh gosh

I forgot to mention that, along with our menagerie of rescued pets, we adopted our wonderful daughter from an Indian orphanage. We were lucky - she almost died from malnutrition before the police took her to the orphanage.
Our adoption social worker told us that she was suspicious of folks who didn't have compassion for animals as well as people. I think she might have been talking about you.

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