My first edition of Boomer's Voice. I've been searching for a topic to get this whole thing started again, and today I heard it. Literally, my phone rang and the topic was brought to my attention. This is something that lights my fire everytime it is brought to my attention.
A female voice on the other end said she needed my help. She had acquired a dog (pit bull mix) from a dying friend. He is dog aggressive and she has a yorkie that has been the target one too many times for her liking. Could I please help her find the dog a home. She told me that she had tried surrendering him to a shelter, but either has not received a response or was told she would be placed on a waiting list. She felt her only other option was to euthanize the dog.
First of all, I applaud the woman for accepting responsibility for a dying man's wish. I don't know if she knew the dog had issues or not, but she did what she felt would help her friend rest in peace. Secondly, she reached out to others for help. She is not willing to keep both dogs and continually have them separated. I can't say I blame her. It is stressful for everyone involved. I've had to do it more than once, but I always knew that it was only temporary.
What's irritating to me is why a shelter/rescue, or whatever name you want to give it, won't take an owner surrender. No, animals should not be disposable, but ''stuff'' happens in people's lives. Instead of ignoring people's pleas for help because you don't think they care about the animal, are bad owners for wanting to get rid of the pet or whatever demeaning reason you can come up with, why don't you offer suggestions to them. Sometimes people just need the tools and a little guidance for them to accomplish their goal. You may even be able to give them enough education and support that they no longer feel helpless with the issue, but can tackle it head on and keep the pet.
But when a shelter/rescue refuses to even talk with someone that is having a problem all they are creating are desperate people and desperate times call for desperate measures. They learn that if an animal is found as a stray, he is immediately accepted into a shelter or animal control facility. So, they load up Fido, head for a gravel road and open the door. This puts the animal at risk of being hit by a car, shot, attacked by another animal, or starving to death. When Fido is found, he is emaciated, dehydrated, and wounded. Now the shelter gets to accept an animal with big medical bills and possibly some issues due to the trauma he has endured.
Tell me, who is in the wrong here? The shelter, because they refused to offer any sort of assistance, or the desperate owner for doing what they felt forced to do? I'm smart enough to know that there are people that would abuse this option. But, if we are in it for the animals why are we not putting our human attitude aside and helping the dog? Who is really suffering here? You can choose to accept the animal from the owner and actually find out information about the dog, making it much easier and quicker to adopt them out, or you can wait to pick them up at impound where they are under a lot of stress, possibly sick or injured, and you know absolutely nothing about them.
I would even be willing to say that many people that surrender their animal may even be willing to help at the shelter if they are made to feel like a human instead of the bottom of the barrel because something happened in their life that forced them to give up a pet. Never underestimate the power of compassion.