Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Loyal Dog and Her Not-So-Loyal Owner

According to the Humane Society of the United States, an estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters in the US each year. Only 3 to 4 million of these animals are adopted out. Only 30% of shelter dogs are reclaimed by their owners and 2% to 5% of shelter cats are reclaimed by their owners.

depositphotos/gabczi

During the Holiday Season, pets are a popular "gift" and as a result many will end up at shelters eventually. Pets are for life and should not be thrown away like trash when a person no longer desires to keep them. This is something everyone should think about before taking a new pet into their life.

I was deeply moved to talk about this subject today because of something that happened to me yesterday. I want to vent and I want more people to be aware of this problem. Although, realistically only the people who already realize that pets are not trash will be the ones reading this.

I was asked to help find a family member's stolen dog yesterday. I love this dog and even though she is not "mine" I would still consider her part of my family. The dog was stolen approximately 10 days ago, although I did not know this until yesterday.

Immediately, I was on the case thinking of ways I could locate the dog and reunite her with her dad once again. I was determined that I was going to help with a reunion between loyal dog and loving owner. Within 15 minutes of making a few phone calls, I had a great lead on where the dog was or had been. 10 days. That is how long the dog had been gone, and I had found her in a mere 15 minutes.

The stolen dog. 

My hopes and dreams of a spectacular reunion were destroyed with what I learned next. The family member I was helping didn't want the dog back. He "wanted his friends to adopt her from where ever she was at"...

There would be no reunion between loyal dog and not-so-loyal owner. And I find it both depressing and infuriating.

I'm not an emotional person. I don't get teary-eyed over things that most people do. Perhaps this is one of the "strengths" that allowed me to become a good veterinary technician. This, however, made me cry.

This dog was adopted from the animal shelter about 3 years ago. After about a year, those people no longer wanted her so my family member took her in. Now, he no longer wants her so someone else will take her. How many more times will she face this same situation? Will she be thrown out like trash again when she's old and sick?


This is a good dog and she deserves so much better than this. All dogs, cats, birds, rats, rabbits, and so on deserve better than this.

So I guess it's up to the people who know better to educate those who don't. If you have a friend or family member that wants to get a new pet, tell them that pets are a lifelong commitment. Ask them if they are prepared to care for that animal during the entire duration of their life.

I do realize situations occur in some peoples' life that don't always permit this. If those situations should arise, we should be prepared to do the very best we can for our pets.

Tell your friends and family. Pets are for life. They are not objects that we can just toss around however we please and throw away when we aren't interested in them anymore. They deserve better than that.

19 comments:

  1. UGH! What a horrible horrible situation. First, I am so sorry you are going through this with one of your own family members, second, I know exactly how you feel. My brother has put me through this before, not once but twice! He always gets doing good for himself, then decides he wants a pet (against me trying to explain it is just not the right time for him) and in the end, 2 of the pets have ended up with me. Not any of my current pets, this was some time ago but still.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. Yes, it's happened before... maybe it's just more frustrating since it's so close to home. I also see old friends that do the same thing and it's just disheartening.

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  2. That is really a sad situation. It is so hard to get that fact that a pet is for life over to people. There are just too few people that will go to the trouble of taking care of a pet. It is way too sad. That situation of yours is a little strange. Why did the guy tell you the dog was stolen and to help him find it?? That sounds weird to me.

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    1. I know... at first I thought it was because he wanted her back. But, then he told me he wanted some friends to adopt her. Mostly, he just wants to know what happened to her I guess. The whole story is long and confusing and a little ridiculous.

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  3. I read your FB posts yesterday and just couldn't believe it. I am so sorry this happened Miss Ann...for your family and that lovely doggie. People need to remember pets are for FOREVER. I sure hope that poor doggie can find a FOREVER loving home.
    Oz

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    1. Me too Oz and thanks for listening :)

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  4. Humans like that make us so angry too. I so hope that karma bites them on the buttocks.

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  5. I'm so sad.... humans like that deserved NO dog. Hope someone treats this people once like they treated this dog.
    Easy Rider

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  6. It is so sad to hear this story, no dog deserves to be thrown around from home to home. It is why I could not buy a dog when there are so many out there who are being thrown out for no reason. I really like when rescues stop allowing adoption for the holidays, even the one that I work with MAGDRL wont let anyone adopt a dog from Dec 15-Jan 1, at least it helps a few dogs from just being "presents."
    www.southernfolly.com

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  7. This is heartbreaking. I have to force myself to either stay off animal classified sites or keep my cool this time of year. So many people want pets right now that are just going to be returned in a few months. I just don't understand how people can do something like that.

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  8. It's truly heartbreaking. I'd like to consider myself a "strong" person as well but when someone abandons their dog I lose it. On weekends I volunteer at a local shelter and I enjoy all but one part. I don't mind picking up poop, cleaning, walking the dogs. What I absolutely hate is being near the intake area. Hearing the (mostly) horrible excuses for turning in their dogs. Then as their owners leave watching the dogs panic and just stare out the door for them. If we didn't take them back they'd probably stay there for days. I can't stand that part. I'm so sorry to hear about your story; it really is just heartbreaking.

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    1. I had to help my mother take a lost dog to the shelter once and got to experience what you explained while I was there. The lady was dropping off her old dog because she had a boyfriend with a young dog and they weren't getting along. The lady was clearly upset, but I almost wanted to roll my eyes. She wanted to know if the dog would be euthanized or adopted... it was just not something I could probably deal with every day.

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  9. It never amazes us how some humans are. They should never ever ever be allowed to have a pet again. It's just so sad.

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  10. I was so hoping for another outcome Ann, so sorry. the only comfort I can muster in words for you my friend is perhaps this will be this beautiful pup's true "forever home." I agree with so much you've written here, if by sharing this with others can reach at least one person who will think twice before leaping into the role of pet parenting without really giving it adequate thought - then consider it done my friend.

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  11. Ugh... this just breaks my heart. I really hope the best for this sweet pup and hope that a true forever home is just around the corner.

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  12. Ann, I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. It's difficult enough for animal lovers like us to even just read these stories....it's beyond our comprehension how anyone can treat animals so carelessly. But to be so close to it has to be just so heartbreaking for you. The only hope is that this pup is in a good place now or at least ends up in a true forever home. I think it's so great of you to share the story so that hopefully word can be passed along that people need to be reminded that getting a pet is a lifetime commitment.

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    1. Thank you Jan. You know, I try to keep the blog upbeat usually but I just could not stop thinking about this when it happened. It was really hindering my productivity that day. After writing it out to share, I felt much better.

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  13. I'm so sorry, Ann. What a heartbreaking story.

    It does make me appreciate the people who take their responsibilities so seriously. An acquaintance of mine expressed interest in adopting Zoe, our recent foster puppy. Based on what I know of him, he would provide a great home. But as much as he loved her, he decided he needed to spend at least 48 hours thinking very seriously about whether now was a good time to bring a puppy into his life.

    It looks like he has decided against it. And as great a dog person as he is, he demonstrates it best by deciding not to have a dog when he doesn't think he has the time to give her everything he needs.

    And that's what makes a loyal dog person: it's the person who thinks more about the dog's needs than their own.

    I hope this poor pup ends up in a happy home at last.

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