June 19, 2012

"With plenty of warning to viewers, the film shows what happens at an animal shelter’s last stop..."

"... a fate met by a couple of million dogs each year in the United States. A half-dozen dogs are set into a large metal box. They seem eerily resigned to this moment; no snapping, no squirming, no escape attempts. The lid is shut and sealed, and a worker twists the gas valve. The screams from inside the box are ghastly."

A description of what are probably the most harrowing minutes of the new HBO documentary "One Nation Under Dog." I say probably, because there are also scenes of dogs serving their presumably last days in cages in the shelter — with one dog frantically trying to dig his way under the gate, his paws scraping over the blood-stained concrete. And, in the first segment, covering the law of dangerous dogs, we see a young girl's detached ear and the surgery-prepped site on the side of her head where it will be reattached. By the way, the dog's owner was himself a surgeon, a man who devoted a disturbing amount of time and money to defending his various Rhodesian Ridgebacks from the neighbors they terrorized.

This is an excellent documentary that rolls out the information (and the ultimate message) in a dramatic and compelling way. Simply put, people need to be responsible with their dogs. The ending strongly promotes rescue dogs, and I learned something about where rescue dogs come from. I had thought that it was mostly sick or elderly people getting in touch with the rescue folks and sorrowfully surrendering their beloved pets. Apparently not!

137 comments:

stewati said...

I can't imagine watching this...breaks my heart even to think about it.

Scott said...

PETA kills thousands of dogs every year.

It looks like my partner and I will be giving our Golden Retriever to a rescue organization. It sucks. But we didn't realize that this hyperactive breed has EXTREME needs for attention, and digs huge holes in the backyard. She needs a home where the owner is up to the task.

Growing up in St Paul, people in our neighborhoo would just let dogs run outside at night. I got to know the retrievers at my school bus stop -- they were sweet. But it wasn't the total retriever reality. They are very emotionally needy animals.

EMD said...

I can't imagine watching this...breaks my heart even to think about it.

Me neither.

rhhardin said...

Read Vicki Hearne's _Bandit_ for the other side.

It's fund-raising to solve a problem brought on by themselves.

rhhardin said...

@Scott
Read Vicki Hearne's _Adam's Task_, the essay on Washoe and the essay on How To Say Fetch, and see what you think.

Scott said...

Oh, also, we spayed our dog. Absolutely essential.

Scott said...

@rhhardin: I will check it out, thank you.

Petunia said...

Approximately 13,000 dogs and cats are killed in U.S. animal shelters EVERY DAY. Every. Single. Day.

Many are killed via IV euthanasia solution. Some are killed by heartstick injections. Some are killed in gas chambers.

Most of them are adoptable.

Most animals surrendered to shelters by their owners are surrendered for behavioral reasons. Many of them are taken straight to the back and killed because they don't have to be held for the state-mandated stray period.

Cats and dogs can have 2-3 litters a year. The offspring can begin reproducing as young as four months of age.

There are a lot of great rescue organizations, including many animal shelters, staffed by dedicated employees and volunteers. There are also a lot of hellholes.

Please, if you are thinking of adopting an animal, consider a shelter or rescue animal. And please, DO YOUR RESEARCH beforehand so you aren't surprised by breed characteristics.

And for everyone's sake, GET YOUR ANIMAL SPAYED OR NEUTERED!

--From a former shelter vet.

Sorun said...

It's a slow process, but we (society) are treating animals better than we used to. That's the silver lining.

stewati said...

But we didn't realize that this hyperactive breed has EXTREME needs for attention

Golden Retrievers aren't hyperactive. They ARE a sporting breed (the "retriever" is the clue to that) so they do need lots of exercise. They are also devoted to their owners so if you're wanting to have a occasional relationship with your dog, Golden's aren't the breed for you. They just want to be with you...if you didn't want that, maybe you should look for a nice cat.

Scott said...

Golden Re-Triever Rescue Inc.

Sorun said...

10 Canine Commandments

Christopher in MA said...

Dear God. I could never watch this. I'd be a sobbing wreck. I have two lovely American Eskimo puppies (1 year old today), both spayed, and love them dearly.

Those poor dogs. And yes, PETA does kill thousands every year. I made sure my greener-than-thou nieces learned that over the holidays.

Scott said...

I know by being honest about my situation, I've opened myself up to every sanctimonious scold in the commentherria. Oh well. Please try to restrain yourselves.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

My folks are involved with a Doberman rescue (they have three rescue Dobies themselves), a cat rescue, and a feral cat colony spay-neuter operation. I have two rescue cats, one of whom came from a feral cat colony in my folks' neck of the woods as a kitten.

There are literally unadoptable dogs -- dogs too vicious or too badly abused (often it comes to the same thing) to be placed.

There are also unadoptable cats. Either they are unsocializable (you can't really socialize a feral cat at more than about 8 weeks of age), or they have unfortunate habits, like peeing wherever they feel like it. (This is why the spay/neuter/pick up all the young kittens approach to feral cat colonies makes sense. An adult feral cat is basically a wild animal. You just leave them outdoors, sterile, and the adoptable kittens you bring inside and give homes. My Charlie is an absolute sweetheart that no one would think was once feral.)

That shelters still routinely kill animals is both shocking and entirely predictable. What's horrifying to me is that they do it in that wholesale way. There exist reasonably pain-free euthanasia protocols for animals, but we're still at the "throw them all in a big box and then suck all the air out" stage.

Paco Wové said...

Totally off-topic, but I when I read one of the comments on the item Sorun linked to above, I immediately thought of the Althouse site!

10 Trollish Commandments:

1. My life is way too long. Any lack of response from you is painful to me. Please feed me.

2. Give me some of your time! Can’t you understand I want you to feed me?

3. Turn your angst and anger on me. It’s crucial to my well being.

4. Stay VERY angry with me since you cannot punish me. Yeah, sure, you have work and friends… but I need you to be MY entertainment!

5. Spit venom at me! Wish death upon me! Call me names! Just don’t ignore me!

6. Be aware I’ll keep zipping back here to get any crumbs of attention! Please don’t forget me!

7. Remember before you lash out at me… that’s my only goal. It’s all I can accomplish. I’m begging you: FEED ME!

8. This one is pretty much the same….hmm.

9. Don’t let my comments grow old!

10. I refuse to journey out of my mother’s basement! I need your feedback to help me feel like I have a life!

REMEMBER! FEED ME!

neomom said...

Daniel, the dog who survived the gas chamber. There is also a link to vote in the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards... Daniel's cause is to bring awareness to the issue and ban gas chambers.

http://www.surfdogricochet.com/Vote%20for%20Daniel...%20save%20innocent%20lives.htm

I Callahan said...

But we didn't realize that this hyperactive breed has EXTREME needs for attention, and digs huge holes in the backyard

Please try to restrain yourselves.

Sorry, but you're part of the problem. If you had done a modicum of research on the breed, you'd have at least known what you were getting into. Let me guess - the dog was cute as a puppy, so that was the selling point.

How about taking the dog to a professional trainer? How about doing what a responsible owner should do by training the dog yourself (yes, it's hard work, but you should have known that)?

Maybe I'm in the minority, but it's this callousness that makes me lose my faith in the human race. I'm not a big fan of HBO, and I couldn't watch this myself without having a nervous breakdown, but God bless them for airing this so people can see how selfish they are.

traditionalguy said...

If you love your dog, then you will care for her. But if the dog is just another toy or status symbol then it is abandoned when things change.

The real hard decision is spending many thousands of Vet dollars on an old dog to have her live in pain a few more years.

X said...

I can't imagine watching this...breaks my heart even to think about it.


I objected when my girlfriend wanted to watch. I had to walk out after they started loading more dogs in the gas chamber on top of the dead dogs.

Titus said...

This is something I know about but would never ever watch.

stewati said...

I know by being honest about my situation, I've opened myself up to every sanctimonious scold in the commentherria.

I didn't mean to scold you Scott, just trying to correct the misstatement that Golden's are hyperactive as a breed. They aren't. Your dog is acting out because she probably wants to be with you more. Goldens are happy to do the things that you do, whether you jog, walk, hike or just hang around the house. They don't require outlandish amounts of attention, they just to be part of your life. Its very sad that you have to give her up. I hope you give her another chance.

Petunia said...

Scott, you and your partner deserve credit for realizing that Goldens aren't the dogs for you and wanting to find a good home for yours. There are a lot of good Golden rescues out there. I hope you can find another breed or mixed breed that is better for you.

Fortunately, as Sorun said, things ARE getting better, in this country at least. In the 1980s about 20 million animals were killed in shelters each year. Now it's 4-5 million. Still far too high, of course.

And while gassing and heartsticks are still used, that is diminishing too. Alabama just outlawed gassing at the end of last year.

Paradoxically Hurricane Katrina seems to have benefitted animals in the long run. Thousands of volunteers, including me, went to the Gulf Coast to help out, and rescue transport networks were started that still exist today.

Thousands of animals each year are transported from southern shelters, mostly to the midwest and northeast, where in some places there are actually shortages of adoptable dogs, particularly smaller breeds.

And many southern shelters, including the one for which I volunteer long-distance via internet networking (plus fostering eight animals and adopting one dog), are saving most of the adoptable dogs who come in.

It's heartbreaking work, and no matter how much you do, it's never enough. BUT progress is being made.

My profile picture is the dog I brought back from the Gulf Coast; she was so mangy she was on the death list, so I took her. And she's beautiful.

phx said...

This is probably one of the reasons why my religion discourages owning pets.

MadisonMan said...

td; ww

(Too Depressing; won't watch).

I watch TV to escape from reality, not to have reality punch me in the face.

Scott, it sounds like you're trying to do right with your dog, and you've gained wisdom. Don't let the scolds here dishearten you.

Titus said...

Many people have shelter dogs here in Mass.

All of them have come from the South or Puerto Rico.

Not sure why.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

traditionalguy,

If you love your dog, then you will care for her. But if the dog is just another toy or status symbol then it is abandoned when things change.

The deal with Charlie (a cat, of course, not a dog) was that he was adopted by an 86-year-old man who had gotten an undertaking from his relatives that they'd take care of the cat when he died. Of course, when he did die, the relatives forgot all about the undertaking and dumped him back at the shelter. My Mom had been fostering him for eight months or so when I adopted him.

wv: ecocide 61. Seriously?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Petunia,

Paradoxically Hurricane Katrina seems to have benefitted animals in the long run. Thousands of volunteers, including me, went to the Gulf Coast to help out, and rescue transport networks were started that still exist today.

Before we moved from the SF Bay Area, I met two Katrina rescue dogs there. It seems to have been a tremendous effort.

T J Sawyer said...

Oh, for crying out loud.l You should see what happens to cattle hogs and chickens.

What makes a dog any more special? At least Obama got that right.

Ben Calvin said...

Scott, as said above, you got a breed that is inappropriate for you and your household. Goldens, like Labrador Retrievers, are hunting dogs. If they are not working, they need a substitute for that in their lives. Lots of exercise and stimulating activity, such as agility or seeking courses. I see a lot of bored and needy Labs in the city I live in, but when I saw one in the field that was trained to hunt it was a completely different animal.

All dogs need exercise, walks and attention, although the amount varies by breed. My 11 pound Rat Terrier gets at least an hour of exercise a day.

If you find a responsible rescue organization, and surrender your dog to them (hopefully with a nice cash donation if you can afford it) you will be doing your dog a service.

And there are any number of breeds that can fit one’s lifestyle. But you need to start with what you want your dog to do (be a companion, hunt, guard your industrial property, whatever) then work out what type of dog is best for you.

Uwe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I Callahan said...

Oh, for crying out loud.l You should see what happens to cattle hogs and chickens.

Right, because dogs and cats are the same as cattle hogs and chickens. And besides, what happens to cattle hogs and chickens should happen to every living thing.

Asinine, to say it nicely.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

Scott:

Grrand is one of the very best Golden rescues. They may be able to recommend one closer to you.

phx said...

Oh, for crying out loud. You should see what happens to cattle hogs and chickens.
What makes a dog any more special?


Personally I think that sentiment is correct. But I don't think it makes what happens to these animals any better.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I have a general dislike for "animal shelters" that are about as effective in "sheltering" animals as the UN was in making Srebenica a "safe haven" for Bosnian Muslims. Back when it was called "animal control" it was a mite more honest.

It's very difficult to run a no-kill shelter. It's expensive, it's cumbersome, and inevitably you end up with an increasing percentage of the unadoptable, as the cute kittens and puppies fly out the door and the older/damaged/unfriendly animals do not. But, honestly, what are you in this business for, anyway? Find ways to make it work.

gerry said...

I know by being honest about my situation, I've opened myself up to every sanctimonious scold in the commentherria. Oh well. Please try to restrain yourselves.

You and your partner are trying to do what is the best for your pet. You should be commended.

Deborah said...

If you're in California and wanting to adopt a pet Beagles and Buddies are great! http://www.beaglesandbuddies.com/
I found my dog there in 2005.
She's my first dog. I couldn't have asked for a better dog.
They do take in other dogs besides Beagles. Mine is a Bichon-poo.

The other most important thing to do is get proper obedience training.
If you don't want a misbehaving dog take training classes! My dog and the dogs in the class loved it. They were very affordable too.

I can't watch the documentary I'll have nightmares forever afterwords.

Joe said...

Is it also possible that we've over-sentimentalized pets? Seems to me that more people have pets now than when I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. It also seems that more people have multiple pets. I'm still surprised at how many people have not just one dog and maybe a cat, but two, three or four dogs and two or three cats.

(Growing up, my neighbor had a purebred something that was the most well trained dog I've ever seen. The neighbors across the street had a pair of the most vicious, mean dogs you could imagine. Our dog was a useless pile of barking fur.)

Sklar Hast said...

This past Saturday I decided to euthanize my oldest dog.

She was 17 years old, blind, nearly deaf and had three teeth left. She moved from her place at the end of the couch about twice in every twenty four hours to get a bite to eat and a drink. She was in pain from uncontrollable eye inflammation aggravated by lack of grooming. She would not allow me to cut the hair from her face any longer and gave every sign of being willing to fight to the death to prevent it even though I had done this every couple of weeks for her entire life. She could walk only poorly and had recently lost her ability to reach the back yard on her own. This was humiliating to her. She showed emotion in her last weeks only when she broke her house training or when she sought affection.

In short, I had every reason to believe that she had enjoyed everything in life that she would have wished to enjoy. For seventeen years I had cared for her even though she came to me in the beginning because she was abandoned as a puppy after only a week by the person who bought her. She was enduring her painful last decline. I had only one thing left that I could give her.

Even given all this it was hard for me to let her go and I certainly delayed longer than was good for her. Watching her last breaths was nearly as difficult as anything I will be called on to bear in my life. She went easily and, I think, with relief. So it seemed to me. Maybe it was just the anesthetic. But I know she was hurting.

I cried all day as I dug her grave. The ground was hard and I planted her deep. I felt mean to have ended her life even though I also felt mean for letting her go on for so long. I can't bear to see dogs mistreated and I can't stand the thought that I could have done more. This thought creeps in against all the reasons to think otherwise.

So who are the people who can let their dogs suffer so easily? I can't understand it. I'm not rational about dogs. I know this. But are people who mistreat them not less rational? I have nothing against people who eat dogs but just cannot fathom anyone who could mistreat one.

There is only one fit companion for humans among all the animals and that is dogs. Dogs made and ancient bargain with humans that has benefited them immensely but it's a double edged bargain for many of them. I wonder whether they haven't changed us as much as we have changed them. Probably not or we would be better for it.

When the worst of us become fit companions for dogs we will have come far.

John M Auston said...

Not going to watch the video, but this is a good a thread as any we are likely to get to say something I've wanted to say for awhile for the most numerous of victim here.

Pit bulls are a WONDERFUL breed. As sweet as pie, great with kids, loyal, smart, etc.

In fact, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the breed, and it's perception, that wouldn't be immediately fixed if only we could ban certain Americans from owning them.

And I bet you know who I mean.

Sometimes disparate impact can be a good thing.

PatCA said...

I won't be watching. Sounds horrible.

Truth is, fewer animals are being euthanized each year. Volunteers help civil shelters to accomplish this. So go volunteer and stop showing snuff videos!

One of the reasons for the pet explosion is the effective lobbying of the pet food/services industry. They want NO laws restricting ownership and they promote the culture of pet ownership. It's not for everybody. So we end up with packs of feral abandoned dogs and cats in cities.

I have a cat b/c, sorry, I'm not spending all day picking up poop. And a cat's costly and time consuming enough.

phx said...

PETA does euthanize some animals. Whatever else might be said against PETA, I don't see this as wrong if there's no other way to alleviate an animal's suffering.

CatherineM said...

I watched it, but fast forwarded through the gassing and some other parts because I know about it, but can't take witnessing it.

All my cats have been rescues of some sort and all have been awesome, loving, entertaining (lots of hijinx) cats. There is nothing better than having your furry room mate dive bomb you with loving head butts and kisses just because you woke up in the morning!

People will say, "go to a non-kill shelter," and I think, I want to rescue one from being killed. I have also personally rescued and found homes for adoptable strays, but I remind myself I can't save them all.

Scott, I am sure you have learned something and I am glad you are not just dropping your dog at a shelter.

I volunteered at a shelter and we would say, "this retriever needs lots of excercise, running and attention," and people would just ignore that and bring him back a week later saying, "he needs too much attention."

Don't go for the pretty face. Be honest about your lifestyle and how much attention you can bring. I would love a dog, but with my schedule, cats (since they have a toilet inside and don't need to be walked) are the better option, yet I still make sure they have plenty of entertainment when I am not home.

CatherineM said...

Like Ann, I also didn't understand the Dr. with the Ridgebacks. There was obviously an aggressive streak in his line, but he kept making more from the same line! And then using "invisible fencing" rather than a real fence for the dog.

What a jerk. I still felt sorry for the dogs because it's not their fault they were irresponsibly bred.

CatherineM said...

I am glad they made the point about purebreds in shelters. There are plenty.

I have a friend who gets a certain breed every 8 years or so (as the last one passes on) and spends thousands of dollars for it. She is anti-rescue dog because, "my neighbor had a rescue and it was impossible to house train." I told her my boss has a purebred and it pees in the house and in his closet regularly. Means nothing.

galdosiana said...

@Sklar Hast: That was beautifully said. I have tears in my eyes after reading it, and feel your pain. Putting a beloved animal to sleep is one of the worst things you have to do in life.

And I agree about pit bulls: every one I have ever known has been a wonderful, kind, eager-to-please dog. Although certain breeds definitely have certain personality traits, I have always believed that the owner makes the biggest impact on how the dog will turn out. Unfortunately, many people who own pit bulls get them to caress their egos, and use them in ways that dogs should never be used. It makes me very, very sad. Moral of the story: don't blame the breed: blame the owner!

Synova said...

"It also seems that more people have multiple pets. I'm still surprised at how many people have not just one dog and maybe a cat, but two, three or four dogs and two or three cats."

If you think about it, not getting that additional puppy or kitten is abandoning them to a horrible fate, yes? So a person full of compassion considers the situation and decides that five cats is really not that many more than four cats after all.

Supposedly the classic "cat ladies" have so many because they can't bear to let them go to an uncertain life. Rescue places get like that, too. Can't let them go. What if someone else doesn't care for them right? Make rules that new owners can't even find a new home themselves if it doesn't work out.

We've all been so guilted that we get all twisted up about not being able to ensure what will happen if the animal is out of our own sight.

Also, people used to put down their own problem dogs and kept cats outside. Now outside cats just mean you're a very bad person and if you bring your problem dog to be put down (I had one who had mauled another dog and nearly killed it just out of the blue with no warning at all) you get asked if you've considered rescue!

I was all like... yes, this is breaking my heart, but what part of *dangerous* did you not understand?

We're a mess, and I don't think it's the fault of the puppy mills.

CatherineM said...

They showed Hartsdale pet cemetary in the doc. I took 2 of my cats there for cremation after they passed and they were great. I had a fear of someone mistreating them in death after they were so well cared for in life, so I delivered them myself. They allowed me to take them right to the crematory and watch that there was no other cat in there (and paranoid, I stayed and watched). They were really great and understanding.

Synova said...

"Growing up in St Paul, people in our neighborhoo would just let dogs run outside at night. I got to know the retrievers at my school bus stop -- they were sweet. But it wasn't the total retriever reality. They are very emotionally needy animals."

This is another thing.

People used to let the dog run and not have them fenced and didn't have them kept in the house either.

And while there was risk to this free life, I don't know how we can say that the animal didn't prefer it. They got to run and explore and chase stuff and socialize with dogs in the neighborhood. If they got out of hand it was likely someone would shoot them, but it was a grand life while it lasted.

But I think it's pretty clear that the result was far fewer psychotic dogs.

And a whole lot of people remember those non-psychotic dogs from their childhood and wonder why their dog, who is forced to stay in the house alone all day, ate the couch.

CatherineM said...

Synova, my parents had a dog for 2 years that they adored. But as it got older, it became more aggressive. It scarred my mom, put it's head through a window to bark at another dog (and bleeding with glass in it's neck wouldn't start barking) among other things (crazy things). They tried training, they tried drugs, and the last straw was when it cornered my sisters and had to be coaxed away with baloney. He mutilated his own face at one point. They had to put him down. Sometimes their brains can not be "rescued" or reformed and putting them down is the right thing to do. It was still painful because of they still loved him, but his brain was not right.

edutcher said...

The Blonde turned down a chance to work at the local shelter because she wouldn't be able to watch any of the deaths.

Auschwitz with fur.

Sofa King said...

I just can't agree about Pitbulls. Yes, many of the breed are lovely animals, and yes, a bad pit bull is almost always the result of a bad owner. BUT - few other breeds are so succeptible to bad owners. No other breed is so dangerous. Of course it doesn't make sense to blame the pitbull for being a pitbull, but at the same time, it doesn't matter whose fault it is when a pitbull causes mayhem and death in a community.

Whatever benefit pitbulls as a breed provide, I can see no way they justify the harm they cause. They should not be permitted in cities.

I Callahan said...

Sometimes their brains can not be "rescued" or reformed and putting them down is the right thing to do. It was still painful because of they still loved him, but his brain was not right.

There is nothing wrong with this sentiment at all. Sometimes these tough decisions need to be made.

My wife works for a county animal shelter (which is not no-kill, but they use the "blue juice" - EBI injection). Some of the excuses she hears from people coming in to drop off their pets - he chewed up my tennis shoe, he jumps on people, digs holes, etc. We're not talking about life-altering changes, like being forced to move. Those things happen.

Its the lame reasons that infuriate me. The dog didn't ask for you to be its owner, you asked to be its owner. Live up to the responsibility you agreed to take on.

If you don't think you can handle a dog, then don't get one. If you do, then understand that it is a life-long commitment with large expenses and a lot of headaches.

I Callahan said...

BUT - few other breeds are so succeptible to bad owners. No other breed is so dangerous.

Cause and effect? Yes.

Whatever benefit pitbulls as a breed provide, I can see no way they justify the harm they cause. They should not be permitted in cities.

Got some stats to go with this nonsense? Or do you trust the media with their sensationalism?

furious_a said...

In fact, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the breed [pit bulls]....

Yes there is -- bite-and-hold and the dog's physical strength. The sweetest, most-attached-to-its-family dog is still an animal with fight-or-flight instincts. All it takes is one time (surprising it asleep, disturbing while it's eating, and other missteps to which children are prone) with a pit bull for permanent scarring, mauling or worse.

She needs a home where the owner is up to the task.

Sorry, but sounds like she needs a home where the owner(s) thinks it through (e.g., researches the breed) -- and commits that "she is a member of the family" -- *before* bringing her home. Maybe a nice ficus, instead.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Synova,

If you think about it, not getting that additional puppy or kitten is abandoning them to a horrible fate, yes? So a person full of compassion considers the situation and decides that five cats is really not that many more than four cats after all.

My parents' household: Three rescue Dobies, two rescue cats, two parrots and a conure, 15 or so Gouldian finches and another 15 or so common finches (Mom used to breed Gouldians for sale, and the common finches were for incubating the eggs), and a few fish. That's not counting any cats Mom might be fostering at the moment.

That's kind of the environment I grew up in, scaled up a bit (no birds in my "formative years" apart from my sister's budgie).

ed said...

Anyone who owns a potentially dangerous animal and who cannot control them needs to be horsewhipped on occasion.

I used to run and I can't count the number of times I've had to thump a dog across the skull with a rod because the owner simply let the dog run loose.

rhhardin said...

On pitbulls, read Vicki Hearne, _Bandit_. You're a victim of media hype and a HSUS fundraising campaign.

In WWI, pitbulls were America's can-do dog, equivalent to the British bulldog as a symbol.

They became a problem when it became profitable for them to become a problem.

How much damage the eyeball-seeking media have done in partnership with charities and the democrats will never be told.

bagoh20 said...

Thanks for blogging this Ann. The horrors and the joys that I deal with every day.

We adopt out an average of about one dog per day from our small rescue, but we get dozens of requests every day to save this dog or that puppy because he's only got hours to live.

There are simply too many of them and not enough of us. Our houses are always full, our money is always run out. More people simply need to help, and don't let your dog breed, unless you plan on raising the pups yourself. Every dog born is one more dead somewhere.

phx said...

Pitbulls: It's Obama's fault.

rhhardin said...

On Vicki Hearne, ignore the cover hype ("heartwarming") written by an idiot.

Hearne takes no prisoners.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

CatherineM,

I'm with you there. We had a Doberman once whose brain basically turned. He was long an irritable dog, but by the end he was unsafe to be around. He would growl and snap if anyone got near him, and he was a damn big dog. It wasn't safe to be near him any more, and my parents had him euthanized.

OTOH, we had another Doberman whom my parents also had "put down," and I was inwardly furious at the time, because he wasn't a vicious dog or in any way a danger to anyone; he just had a congenital heart condition. (It didn't seem to me to be causing him pain, though he couldn't move as quickly as formerly.) But dog "'put to sleep' at the vet's office" is apparently better than dog "fallen dead of a heart attack in your own house."

I Callahan said...

You're a victim of media hype and a HSUS fundraising campaign. In WWI, pitbulls were America's can-do dog, equivalent to the British bulldog as a symbol. They became a problem when it became profitable for them to become a problem. How much damage the eyeball-seeking media have done in partnership with charities and the democrats will never be told.

This X 1000

We adopt out an average of about one dog per day from our small rescue

Your work is most noble. God Bless You for your efforts.

Synova said...

"Sorry, but sounds like she needs a home where the owner(s) thinks it through (e.g., researches the breed) -- and commits that "she is a member of the family" -- *before* bringing her home. Maybe a nice ficus, instead."

This self-righteous shit pisses me off. And no, I'm not only responding to YOU.

What the dog NEEDS, obviously is for the owners who found out that they really ought to have bought a ficus and a fish to be guilted into keeping the dog in a bad situation because it's evil to give it up and everyone will be happy to tell them what a bad person they are.

Turn the whole world into freaking cat ladies who can not give up an animal because of the guilt trips.

I would think that someone realizing that they made a mistake and finding the dog a good home is exactly the right thing to do and exactly the right sort of person to be.

CatherineM said...

I don't understand the "he tore up the couch," therefore we are getting rid of the dog. Why did he tear up the couch? Is it a lack of excercise? Does he have to hold his pee for 14 hours while you are at work?

Drives me nuts.

I work with a dummy who adopted a Jack Russel mix soon after he had his first child. At the time I thought, moron move. Doubly so because apparently they were surprised how much work they are. Drove me insane telling me how his wife hated the dog (she runs, and the dog could have benefited from the runs, but she refused to take him). I would give him lots of advice only to get excuse after excuse about why they couldn't adapt their lifestyle.

I am happy to say he just gave the dog to friends of his with lots of time for long walks and play. He's sad, but I am so happy for the dog.

Rusty said...

Wasn't it Mason Williams who said," Dogs are just dumb guys."


Our purebred Siberian Husky was a rescue. She is one with the red fur. It's genetic. There is no black on here body except the black pupils of her eyes. She is very sweet until she gets off her lead or escapes the back yard. Then she is gone until the police bring her back. Or a neighbor.

CatherineM said...

Also, I hate people who drop off Grandma's or mom's beloved dog at a shelter when she dies. How can they do that to their Grandma or mom? I say to my friends and family all the time, promise me, if you don't want to keep them, please keep them until they get a home.

furious_a said...

@Synova:

Two beagles and a back-yard that looks like an illegal Brazilian gold mine. Someone who brings home a Golden and is dismayed that they're active(!), require attention(!!) and are prone to digging(!!!) doesn't merit a participation ribbon for doing the right thing.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, I hate people who drop off Grandma's or mom's beloved dog at a shelter when she dies.

What are they supposed to do if no one wants the pet at the time?

We don't have any animals, but we have three young children. If my mother died tomorrow, there is no chance that her pit bull, who has never been around children, is going to come and live at my house. None. I would put out an ad and ask around, but if no one took it, it would have to go to a shelter.

Pet owners can't expect other people to take on their pet responsibilities at death. They need to work that out ahead of time if they're worried about it.

I Callahan said...

Someone who brings home a Golden and is dismayed that they're active(!), require attention(!!) and are prone to digging(!!!) doesn't merit a participation ribbon for doing the right thing.

Game, set, and match.

CatherineM said...

Synova - finding the dog another home (or a great one like my co-worker did for his Jack Russell) is not what people are talking about. I don't think.

It's the people who get a puppy because it's cute and then drop it off at a shelter when it's going through growing pains (chewing/teathing; accidents).

There's a difference.

Freeman Hunt said...

I also think people trust animals too much. They are not robots; they are living beings. Things can go wrong in their minds.

I Callahan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I Callahan said...

I also think people trust animals too much.

When you've had a dog for a long enough amount of time, you know what they're capable of and not capable of. The above sentence seems to imply that some large number of dogs go berserk out of the clear blue sky. That's not the case - in most cases, the dog either wasn't trained well, or was abused, or came from a line of dogs that had behavior issues.

This applies to a higher degree than for people. Just look at what a great country we used to have, and how much it's gone (and is going) down. Dogs can't be blamed for that.

EMD said...

I actually had to put down a Golden for biting.

He was a rescue we got from Golden Endings. I don't blame them, really, as they didn't have an idea he would be hostile at times.

Basically, 95% of the time he was great. But he nipped a groomer and a kennel employee in 2 separate instances. We took him to training for 4 months, and while it did some good, it was after that he had one of aforementioned instances.

Also, he showed his teeth at our boy, who was about 3 or 4 at the time. I could not have that in the house.

Still broke my heart to take him to the vet that day, but we weren't sure what else to do.

holdfast said...

@John M Auston said...

I assume by "certain Americans" you mean the douche-bag hipster couple who brought their barely-trained rescue pit-bull to our local dog run and then stood there flapping their useless hands when it jumped my dog - my dog who doesn't fight and doesn't even bark - because the stupid pit wanted my dog's ball? At least the Cholos and Ganbangers keep their pits in their yards, but the douche-bag hipsters insist on bringing them to the dog run. It got so that if there was a pit in the run, I'd not even go in, just walk away.

PatCA said...

Does the HBO polemic give figures on how much it costs to "raise" a dog? I can't help but feel that this pet adoption mania goes along with the childlessness of young people today. I saw a young couple on TV who spent $30K on medical treatment for their dog, their "baby"!

To each his own, but this doesn't seem like much of a way to grow a viable society.

leslyn said...

"In fact, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the breed, and it's perception, that wouldn't be immediately fixed if only we could ban certain Americans from owning them. And I bet you know who I mean. Sometimes disparate impact can be a good thing."

Oh, you fucking asshole.

yashu said...

Oh, for crying out loud.l You should see what happens to cattle hogs and chickens.

What makes a dog any more special?


Cattle hogs and chickens did not evolve specifically to be our companions.

It is the very nature and essence of dogs as a species to be companions and servants to human beings. They evolved specifically adapted to that purpose-- evolved out of wolfdom into something else, something other, something unique, dogness-- through their coexistence and partnership with prehistoric man. The alliance of two tribes/ packs that ultimately became one.

It's not much of an exaggeration to say that we humans created dogs-- *for us*. In a sense, then, the "purpose" and "meaning" of a dog's existence (as a species resulting from evolution) is to be our faithful friend. To "love" and be "loved" by us (in some sense of "love," some sense of philia, that includes the relationship between dog and man).

Dogs evolved to be our comrades, not our food.

Humans may be cruel to cattle hogs and chickens. But human cruelty toward dogs is a kind of betrayal in a much deeper sense.

Here's a nice documentary on that topic, "And Man Created Dog."

David said...

Titus said...
Many people have shelter dogs here in Mass.

All of them have come from the South or Puerto Rico.

Not sure why.


I filed this under "Bullshit people from Massachusetts believe."

It's a very large file.

Carol said...

When I went door to door for political candidates, I couldn't believe all the young families that had several large dogs - the owner would literally be holding them back while talking to me - and they were living in tract houses on small unfenced lots.

I'm afraid many ended up at the shelter when these young families got foreclosed or walked away from their mortgages.

JL said...

People will say, "go to a non-kill shelter," and I think, I want to rescue one from being killed.

I understand that sentiment. We were looking online for a Jack Russell, found several from nearby rescue shelters, and ended up selecting ours from a dog pound because she was scheduled for euthanasia. I originally had rejected her because she was a stray, who had been seen wandering the streets for days, and therefore we had no idea of her past or what we were getting. But I have a soft spot for dogs, and her eyes haunted me so much that I knew I had to save her. (The woman who had called animal control to report the stray dog that was to become mine, was the one who posted the photo with an online pet adoption service, once she learned the dog was to be killed. God bless that woman.)

My husband and I found out day one that our new used dog was fear aggressive towards men and other dogs. It took a lot of patience, training and positive reinforcement to get her comfortable around people other than us. We still have issues with her regarding other dogs if they get too close to her face, so we keep her leashed and supervised outdoors. But she no longer throws a howling, screaming tantrum when she just gets the scent of another dog, as she did when we first got her. It was quite embarrassing to "walk" her back then; I often ended up carrying home a crying, shaking dog. But we walked her everyday, two-three times a day, giving her a treat whenever she saw a dog. It took about a year, but it worked.

I think for most people it makes more sense to get a dog from a no-kill rescue shelter, since many of them will do the spaying/nuetering, give them shots and evaluate them for health and temperament. I'm not aware if any kill shelters do that. The one we got our dog from did not.

But if you are an experienced dog owner, or simply are willing and able to invest the time to help rehabilitate a "damaged" dog, saving one from death row, and watching her transform from a withdrawn, haunted creature to a fun-loving playful pooch can be a very rewarding experience. I wouldn't give up our dog for anything. This July 5th marks her fifth anniversary with us.

yashu said...

The topic of the documentary I linked is how dogs evolved and how various breeds were developed by humans for different purposes.

Ben Calvin said...

Does the HBO polemic give figures on how much it costs to "raise" a dog?

My dog cost me a voluntary $200 donation to the rescue group that spayed him and put him up for adoption. Monthly food bill maybe $15 or $20 (small dog, just guessing as I haven't really noticed). Couple of minor vet bills, say $150.

A dog don't have to be expensive, especially if you consider it compared to other hobbies one can have.

David said...

My dog is a shelter dog, coming up on six years old. Wonderful dog, sweet, gentle, kind, playful, easy to train and a great companion.

The dog is not from Massachusetts.

In my part of SC, a lot of dogs come to shelter from military personnel who are being reassigned and can't or won't take the dog with them. The shelter screens the animals as they come in. They will keep, or put in foster care, all animals who pass a health and social screening. These dogs are retained indefinitely until adoption.

The ones who do not pass screening are immediately put to death. (Uthanize is a uthanism.) It's a ruthless system and very sad, but they don't have the resources to do anything else.

phx said...

"In fact, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the breed, and it's perception, that wouldn't be immediately fixed if only we could ban certain Americans from owning them. And I bet you know who I mean. Sometimes disparate impact can be a good thing."

Oh, you fucking asshole.


Shhhh. He doesn't know he's a fucking asshole.

David said...

I do appreciate the warning about the film, Althouse. I do not plan to watch. Imagining is bad enough.

About 6 years ago we had to put a fabulous Husky down. We had adopted here when she was already pretty old and she was with us just three years. My wife and I stayed with the dog during the process. It was a wrenching moment, but our vet was able to do it without any pain to the dog or panic. We were on the floor stroking her and first she went to sleep and soon her breathing slowed and stopped.

A much better job could be done in killing the dogs humanely and with limited pain and trauma for the dog. That said, it's not a job I would ever want to do.

I Callahan said...

My wife and I stayed with the dog during the process. It was a wrenching moment, but our vet was able to do it without any pain to the dog or panic. We were on the floor stroking her and first she went to sleep and soon her breathing slowed and stopped.

My wife and I have gone through this three times in our marriage. We promised each other we'd be with our dogs until the end.

A much better job could be done in killing the dogs humanely and with limited pain and trauma for the dog. That said, it's not a job I would ever want to do.

I wholeheartedly agree. The injection is the least painful, and least stressful.

Freeman Hunt said...

When you've had a dog for a long enough amount of time, you know what they're capable of and not capable of.

I don't think that's true. I do think that people think it is true, and that's what I'm talking about.

We had a dog for over a decade that was the most docile, sweet dog I'd ever known. Then it nipped someone who came to work on our house. (I was nice to the woman, but at the time I secretly thought she was lying about the incident.) Then it suddenly ripped the cuff off of my father-in-law's pants when it tried to bite his ankle.

I was also once trapped in a relative's guestroom, unable to leave to go to the bathroom in the night, because their "nice" dog wouldn't let me out.

Experience has taught me not to trust animals, even animals I know. Therefore, I will never own an animal that I cannot best barehanded.

Nearly every story about some kid getting mauled begins, "The dog had never acted aggressively before..."

John Murray said...

I filed this under "Bullshit people from Massachusetts believe."

No, it's twue, it's twue. Five months ago we got a beagle?/lab? mix from a shelter in Mississippi after kids surfed around nearby (Tenn., Ark., Miss.) shelter websites. Several mentioned their connections with northern shelters to let you know that if you didn't come and get the doggy in the cute pic soon he would end up really far away.

Local shelter folk said it had something to do with spay/neuter campaigns being more effective in the north than in the south, and it's plausible. I've seen more loose dogs in the countryside here than I had in my last 3 decades in Ohio.

Chip Ahoy said...

I congratulate them for for making this.

Oh damn! *snap* I cancelled HBO. Too bad.

shirley elizabeth said...

We adopted a Jack Russel (as a favor) from a neighbor that moved into a rental and couldn't keep it. He was loved, taken on daily walks, trips to the park, played with through his endless fetch, and we spent a couple months' spending money to get him up to date health-wise.

And then, after a couple of weeks, he was sitting under my chair. My baby walked up wanting to be held and the dog attacked him. It is heart-wrenching to see your baby not understanding the blood and the pain.

From there we started looking for a new home, but it took us a couple months. He eventually couldn't be let inside at all because we couldn't trust him even when watched. No more walks because he would lunge at passerby. He would growl and attack the windows when my kid would pass.

It was the same story with the family that took him. After a couple weeks of love and money and him being a sweet dog he started attacking their 10 year old and kids at the bus stop. I do not know what they ultimately did with him.

We kept thinking that he could be a great dog if we just got him into the "right" home (no kids ever), but we don't know many who are active enough for him and don't have kids/grandkids/nephews.

We check adoption websites rather often, but in our area there is, unfortunately, an overabundance of chihuahuas and other breeds we wouldn't do well with.

Ditto on the better ways to kill. I will always choose a human over an animal, but all things deserve respect. (Except roaches. Kill them. Kill them all.) To even read of the gas chambers brings tears.

Petunia said...

Sklar Hast, on the contrary, you are completely rational about dogs. You made the kindest decision you could have made when you had your girl euthanized. I've euthanized a LOT of my own animals when their time has come and it can be exceptionally difficult to decide exactly when that time is.

When done by a veterinarian or trained technician, using sedation and IV euthanasia solution, euthanasia is about as humane a way to kill an animal as possible.

On the topic of PETA...they kill the vast majority of the dogs they "rescue". Most of them do not have major or untreatable health issues.

If you want to help rescue animals consider a donation to a shelter or rescue, and keep in mind that the ASPCA and HSUS are huge national lobbying organizations and, while HSUS does sometimes work with local humane societies in dealing with puppy mills, your money will almost certainly NOT go to rescue animals directly.

Goldens can be great dogs, but they are also exceptionally prone to cancer. About half of them get cancer by the time they are seven years old, and 70% of those cancers are lymphoma. If you are thinking of getting a purebred it's a good idea to research the problems of the breed you want.

Fred Drinkwater said...

As an all-my-life dog person, I hate to even suggest this, but: If the "shelters" are going to gas pets, they should use a nitrogen anoxia system. It's PROVABLY painless - ask any of my dad's pilot colleagues, who were subjected to the non-fatal version of this for years as part of their training and health evaluations.

JL said...

We kept thinking that he could be a great dog if we just got him into the "right" home (no kids ever), but we don't know many who are active enough for him and don't have kids/grandkids/nephews.

You're probably right. If I had children at home I probably would not be able to keep our dog- she requires too much attention. People need to research the breed and learn the needs and requirements of a dog before bringing it home; especially to a home with small children.

I'm glad that our Jack never shows any aggression towards children; but still as a precaution we do not allow her offleash around any kids. Jacks are iffy around kids to begin with- a Jack with "issues", like ours, is not one I would trust unsupervised with small children ever.

Chip Ahoy said...

I don't know what all the whoop-de-doo is about youth in Asia. But that reminds me I must get on Yelp.

The building manager told me an old man in the building died. He had a dog. A rescue dog. In the later weeks a woman walked the dog for the man but was not ready to commit to having the full responsibility for a dog. They fretted. The women did. The manager and the dog walker woman fretted about having to return the dog to the rescue place. :-(

So they thought and thought and found another old man in the same building also in a wheelchair and now the two are living happily together, dog and new old person who is handicapped.

You facilitated this? Yes. Is the new owner waved the $50.00 monthly pet charge? Yes. You are a good person. Blush. I must get on Yelp and proclaim your goodness. Glees.

phx said...

On the topic of PETA...they kill the vast majority of the dogs they "rescue". Most of them do not have major or untreatable health issues.

Where are you getting your information from, or why do you say that?

PatCA said...

"Nearly every story about some kid getting mauled begins, "The dog had never acted aggressively before..."

Freeman, that's what both owners said me when their dogs bit me. I have friends who did rotations in the ER as young docs, and they will not have big dogs in their house and tell their friends not to as well. They have seen too much.

bagoh20 said...

"But human cruelty toward dogs is a kind of betrayal in a much deeper sense."

This.

Imagine if your very nature was to love and obey a person, and then that person abused or neglected you, and you were not smart enough to figure out it's not you, but him.

It reminds me of that move "A.I.", where the artificial kid was designed and built to love his mother who then went and died on him.

Most dogs are a lot like that. They can't help love you, whether you deserve it or not.

Remember, dogs are individuals too. You wouldn't want to be lumped in with Jeffrey Dahmer just because you are same breed, would you? You wouldn't want to be treated the same as him just because you look related. And we all know you are capable of doing what he did. It must be in your DNA or something.

Murder and mayhem is pretty common among humans, yet we let them sleep in our beds. That's just asking for it.

bagoh20 said...

They have seen too much."

I bet they see far far more damage caused by people, yet their kids are with one right now, and surrounded by strange ones they don't even know.

Would you rather know that you kid was at the dog park alone or at a bar downtown alone?

bagoh20 said...

BTW, if nobody mentioned it, "no kill shelter" does not mean no kill. They may keep them a little longer, but usually (especially in big cities) it just means they don't kill them there. They go from there to a shelter that does kill and eventually, the outcome is usually the same.

Greg Hlatky said...

My wife and I breed and show Borzoi. They're too big, too fast and too strong a breed to tolerate viciousness. We've been blessed with good temperaments but, since I've been married to her, we've had to put down two because of aggression, one with a recessive blue eye and another was a Russian import whose brother in another state also had to be euthanized for the same reason.

We do not breed often and sell even less frequently and then only to very trusted show or field homes. Our contract explicitly states that if there's any problem we will refund the purchase price and pick the dog up at our expense; I once drove from Cincinnati to Laramie, Wyoming to do just that. If a dog has anything of ours anywhere in its pedigree and it ends up in rescue, we will take it back without hesitation.

Madame and I are also always available to foster rescue Borzoi through our breed rescue organization or to transport one. A couple of years ago we had three scared, skinny, flea-bitten ones that we cleaned and fattened up before placing them in good homes.

And we're always with our dogs in their final moments. It's what we owe them. We brought them into the world and it's only right that we're there when they leave.

Deb said...

"but the douche-bag hipsters insist on bringing them to the dog run. " Pit bulls aren't allowed in the dog run where we take our dogs.

I've said this about a hundred times but one of our dogs was rescued just hours before she was scheduled to be euthanized. It just makes me appreciate and love her more - I can't imagine my life without her. Our other dog is also a rescue; 2 of our cats were left at the vet's one Saturday morning in a cardboard box. The other two's Mom was a stray. We even had a horse at one point who was more or less a rescue. If I could afford more animals, I would have more. I am pretty much resigned to be a crazy cat and dog lady.

Both my daughters work for a vet who runs a no kill shelter. They do transport number of animals, usually to the Midwest. They also see some very sad situations but the reality is that sometimes things just don't work out. They will take the animal back but the owner must lay down a sizable amount of cash. It's only fair.

There's a great documentary, "Dogtown", you can catch it on Netflix, about an incredible animal shelter I believe in Utah. I don't know who is funding this place but it's truly amazing.

bagoh20 @1:53: I knew there was a good reason I liked you.


wv: verret. No thanks; I'll stick with dogs and cats.

Swede said...

I watched it.

That doctor should be punched in the throat.

He put his dogs above the safety of the community.

Anybody who makes those kinds of decisions probably shouldn't have a medical license.

Synova said...

"Synova - finding the dog another home (or a great one like my co-worker did for his Jack Russell) is not what people are talking about. I don't think.

It's the people who get a puppy because it's cute and then drop it off at a shelter when it's going through growing pains (chewing/teathing; accidents).

There's a difference.
'

No.

What people are talking ABOUT is shaming and guilting people who have made a bad choice into keeping their "member of the family" in their crappy situation and that is bad for the animal.

I'm not saying to give someone a prize. I'm saying that people who do the holier-than-thou shame fest pile-on are the PROBLEM. This is why people keep animals in awful situations, when they know they shouldn't, because giving up an animal is vilified.

Look at these comments. It's not just picking on the one fellow who admits he made a mistake and can't keep his dog, it's a constant assumption that dogs should be kept, even when you screwed up and got a Jack Russel for an apartment dog. And dangerous dogs shouldn't be put down! They should be trained, yes, trained, and you have a moral obligation to spend unending time trying to get them to learn not to bite people.

I've taken in a number of "rescue" animals, dogs and cats. I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars on vet bills.

But the guilt trippers have created a situation where I take a dog in to be put down and say "she's dangerous" and get asked if I've thought of rescue?

Seriously?

leslyn said...

Saving one from death row, and watching her transform from a withdrawn, haunted creature to a fun-loving playful pooch can be a very rewarding experience.

I had/have four rescues, and three had abuse issues. Seeing them come to life and be happy, affectionate and brave is incredibly rewarding. As my sister, an experienced owner, says, "Dogs want to obey." Patience, love and consistent training solve a lot of problems.

But aggression probably isn't one of them.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Scott

I know by being honest about my situation, I've opened myself up to every sanctimonious scold in the commentherria. Oh well. Please try to restrain yourselves.

If you cannot properly take care of your pet, you are doing the brave and honest thing by admitting it and helping to find your dog a better situation. It doesn't mean you don't care for the dog. In fact it means you really care to think of what is best for your pet.

In another thread I said why we don't/can't have a dog right now. We just are not able to properly provide the attention, exercise and safety that a dog needs. Maybe someday, but today isn't the day.

My daughter and son-in-law have a fantastic rescued English Bulldog. It was a lot of work and required a professional trainer to overcome some of the previous abuse and neglect. He is a fantastic and loving dog and is a perfect gentleman. The dog is so very happy with his life now!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Also. I know I couldn't watch the video. I can barely make it through those heart wrenching commercials about abused animals.

CWJ said...

@Phx

Five posts and all of them were snark. What's wrong with you? Are you drunk, high or what? I used to disagree with much of what you wrote, but still thought you were an honest commentator.

Now I'm pretty sure you're just a troll. Very disappointed.

Well if your religion discourages pets, then I can only hope it also discourages reproduction. Cheers.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Also, I hate people who drop off Grandma's or mom's beloved dog at a shelter when she dies."

What are they supposed to do if no one wants the pet at the time?

If you can't find a home a gentler way would be to take the pet to the Vet and have it kindly put down, instead of being thrown into a Gulag with a bunch of other scared animals. Scared. Worried. Missing his/her beloved owner. Tormented and then just thrown into a pile of other dogs bodies like trash.

I have had to "put down" several pets. One an 18+ yr old cat who was blind, crippled and just wasn't able to get around anymore. A younger cat that developed a severe chronic incurable debilitating and painful disease. And a ancient miniature poodle that belonged to my mother who just could not bring herself to do it.

They seemed to not be in any pain and I was able to pet them and whisper into their ear as they were going under. We gave them all respectful burials. No trash heaps.

Then I got thoroughly weepily drunk!!

leslyn said...

THE CURE for Dogs Who Dig:

Bury their own poopies (not those of other dogs, you know they love those) where they dig. No more digging! They hate their own poopies. Plus you just easily disposed of them.

I saved a camellia bush, an elephant ear, and even trees that way. Also the foundation around/under the back steps.

bagoh20 said...

Although, I'm a completely hopeless dog person and do dog rescue pretty much every day, I understand both sides of some of the disagreements here. I often disagree with the more militant rescue people I know. I know women who break into gang members property in L.A. to save pit bulls. That's a torture and death sentence if caught.

Despite that, we have and will put a dog down if we think it's dangerous to people or even other dogs.

I just thought I 'd throw in my experience for reference.

We used to be primarily a pit bull rescue, but they have gotten so hard to adopt out that we now rescue mostly other breeds.

The rescue has been at it for a decade and surprisingly, the pits have been the least problem with biting and injuries. Most of our bites, attacks and stiches come from other breeds, and it's not even close. There are special issues with pits, because they are very strong and per their breeding, they tend to not quit at anything.

I was scared to be around them when I first started, but now I usually have 5 rescued pits at my property, up for adoption.

Over the years, I've had many guests visit, including families with children, and never had an incident of any kind. Ive had fights between dogs but never a bite on a human.

Most of the dogs I handle are pits. I just ended up being the best person for that in our group - kind of accidentally.

I won't say that dogs of any breed aren't possibly dangerous, and some breeds are worse than others, but doesn't it seem odd that dogs are so much more dangerous today than they were when we were kids or any time in history? Pretty much the same breeds too.

There are a lot of things like that. They used to be normal, safe, even pleasant, but now they are scary, foolish, a liability, illegal.

Something has changed, and I don't think for the better.

phx said...

Five posts and all of them were snark. What's wrong with you? Are you drunk, high or what?

FIVE posts, and ALL of them snark??? Jesus, what's wrong with me?

Are you sure?

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ken in sc said...

We have two Boston Terriers, brother and sister. They are more likely to lick than bite, but they will bite on occasion. They have very strong jaws. They very easily devour pork chop bones. Which means they could also bite off one of your fingers if they wanted to. The male runs away if given a chance. He has never come home on his own. Neighbors bring him back or I go find him. They are both very lovable and loving dogs, but they can't be trusted. They are dogs.

Iuconnu said...

My wife is from a rural southern county with a population of about twenty thousand. I love the place for many reasons but I can tell you that I was not impressed with the way many people treat dogs there.

Partly this is a result of a lower standard of living and not being able to afford veterinary bills. Although this is understandable, it leads to a much lower percentage of bitches who are spayed and a much higher population of unwanted dogs. This being the case, the culture has adapted to it more than in wealthier places.

Stray dogs are so common that no one thinks twice about it. Nevermind going to the shelter (I doubt such a thing exists in the county I'm talking about), you can adopt a dog any time. Put out some food and you've got a dog.

Two of my relatives came south for my wedding. (It was my third, and very far from home, or the turnout might have been higher. I didn't mind.) One of them went home with a puppy that was looking for handouts at the reception.

The pup was all of two months old and was one of several that had been dumped in the neighborhood - probably because her mother was a hunting dog that had been bred unintentionally. The rest of her litter had lived a week or two, skulking around and scavenging before being killed by starvation or by other dogs or road kill or who knows what. They had been dumped before they should even have been weaned.

The adopted pup was very nearly killed herself - by a pit bull. This animal, too, had turned up at the wedding party. He was a handsome dog and I had just fed him a bratwurst. He thought he might enjoy a puppy dog for desert. My inlaws kicked him off the poor animal before much damage was done. My relative adopted her on the spot. Otherwise to be killed by the pit bull would have been a merciful fate.

Pit bulls are probably the second most common dogs after hunting hounds in this area and they're prized for their aggression. I know it's not easy to even say what is or is not a pit bull and that they have a bad reputation on account of the uses people put them to but I also know that they're the most aggressive dog that there is toward other dogs - with the possible exception of a Chihuahua. I think a pit bull is like a 65 pound Chihuahua.

The adopted puppy has become one hell of a dog. Very robust and just as eager to please as if she knew that she had won the doggie lottery and could just as easily loose it again - which she couldn't. The chances of her surviving another month were virtually zero when she was taken in and anyone who reads this could drive to the rural Gulf Coast and be picking ticks off her cousin today. And I'll bet you wouldn't even have to stay long enough to need a motel before you found your new dog either.

When this is what you live with it changes your outlook on dogs. My outlook is not typical in the rural south and even less in the rest of the world where life is hard and people with the luxury to spay their dogs are an enviable few.

Many dogs in my wife's home county are cared for lovingly, of course, but many die young. The dogs abide. It's a part of the contract their ancestors made long ago that we don't like to think about. It's so among most humans and may always be so.

AllieOop said...
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SukieTawdry said...

I read about a woman who would go to shelters to sit with the dogs in their final days/hours. She would sooth them and try to keep them calm and comforted. I greatly admired her for what she was able to do for these animals because there's no way in hell I could do it myself just as there's no way in hell I could watch this film. I've had to put down many pets through the years. It's been absolutely wrenching every time. I despise people who are irresponsible about their animals.

AllieOop said...
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AllieOop said...

I'd like to know how one can steal a dog away from a neglectful owner. My next door neighbor, has the friendliest, sweet Springer Spaniel, who spends the majority of the summer at my lake frontage and pier.

She plays endless games of fetch the rock, she actually dives into the water, ducks her head under and finds rocks to bring for us throw back into the water, an amazing dog, comes out dripping wet and shakes herself dry causing shrieks of delight from the kids. My grand children adore her.

Her electric fence obviously broke a long time ago and her owners haven't noticed or cared, she's out for hours unleashed, with no one coming out to find her. Good thing she's in and out of the water all day, so she stays cool.

This is a wonderful dog, has never growled or snarled, her little stumpy tail always wagging. It would be heartbreaking for my grandkids if she was lost or killed one day, because of uncaring owners. I would love to dognap her.

furious_a said...

but doesn't it seem odd that dogs are so much more dangerous today than they were when we were kids or any time in history?

I don't recall back-in-the-day young men with jail tats strolling down Venice Beach boardwark with pitbulls at the end of chokechains.

AllieOop said...

Electric fence=Invisable fence.

phx said...

She plays endless games of fetch the rock, she actually dives into the water, ducks her head under and finds rocks to bring for us throw back into the water

I'll bet a tennis ball would be easier on the teeth. And I sympathize. We have a bad neighbor who neglects his beautiful husky. But I don't think you've made the case for liberating her.

furious_a said...

Does the HBO polemic give figures on how much it costs to "raise" a dog?

No, but I can tell you how much it costs to revive a beagle in anaphylactic shock from a wasp sting ($225), x-ray him after he's consumed a sponge ($250 for x-rays, $750 for upholstery and carpet cleaning) and remove a large tumor from a left front toe pad ($1,200 + 1.5 months in a monster cone because of the mattress sutures).

And that's just the older one.

AllieOop said...

Phx, we provide her with tennis balls, she still dives in for the rocks! My little beach fron and grassy area has tennis ball sized rocks strewn around at any given time. She then proceeds to roll on those rocks. I've never seen anything like it.

bagoh20 said...

"I'd like to know how one can steal a dog away from a neglectful owner."

Allie, have you considered just asking if you can have him? We do that all the time. Neglectful owners are often glad to be rid of them. Although it's done all the time to save dogs, dognapping is theft. Be careful, or you might end up in the pound yourself.

Palladian said...

In WWI, pitbulls were America's can-do dog, equivalent to the British bulldog as a symbol.

They became a problem when it became profitable for them to become a problem.

How much damage the eyeball-seeking media have done in partnership with charities and the democrats will never be told.


Exactly right. Remember Pete?

JL said...

Look at these comments. It's not just picking on the one fellow who admits he made a mistake and can't keep his dog, it's a constant assumption that dogs should be kept, even when you screwed up and got a Jack Russel for an apartment dog. And dangerous dogs shouldn't be put down! They should be trained, yes, trained, and you have a moral obligation to spend unending time trying to get them to learn not to bite people.

To be clear, my (admittedly longwinded; can't help it, I love my dog) comment was not meant to suggest that people should keep a dangerous dog. Or that if you get a troubled dog you are required to devote your life to it. I was trying to point out how much work a rescue dog can be if you get a dog on impulse that you know nothing about. We had researched the breed so we knew they were hyperactive and needed exercise, but we were not prepared for this dog's fear aggression issues. That was our fault- we knew we were taking a risk by getting a stray that hadn't been evaluated.

But my situation was such that I had the time to spend on this dog. She was lucky. I know that most people would've returned her, and understandably so. I probably would've at another time of my life. Makes me all the more glad that we found each other when we did.

As for her fear aggression towards men and dogs, it was never directed at my husband, whom she adored from day one, or all men. My husband and I decided on the first day, when she nipped at my visiting brother and attacked his rat terrier (the rattie was fine, but still hasn't forgiven my dog- can't say I blame him), that if her aggression issues did not improve with time and training, or got worse, we would take her to a vet and stay with her while she was put down.

Again, the decision to keep her was right for us because we had the time and money to work with her. This would not be the right decision for everyone in every situation. I would never recommend someone keep a dog they thought was dangerous, or a dog they felt they couldn't handle.

AllieOop said...

Bagoh, if I stole her, they'd know, she's at my house most of the day. I will ask them if they don't want her anymore, that I will take her. She tries to follow me into the house, and is at my heels constantly when my grandkids aren't visiting.

She loves the kids. The neighbors have no children and are gone most of the time, leaving her outside, well in warmer weather anyway.

bagoh20 said...

"I don't recall back-in-the-day young men with jail tats strolling down Venice Beach boardwark with pitbulls at the end of chokechains."

I don't use choke chains, and I don't have even one tat, but I do exactly that all the time at Venice Beach. It's about 3 miles from my house. There are a shit load of pitbulls being walked within inches of each other constantly, but I have never seen a dog fight, or a dog bite anyone down there even once, and I've been going there for 30 years. I'm sure it's happened, but although I have never seen a dog fight, I've seen stabbings, beatings, and muggings, and none of them were done by dogs unless they were in disguise.

If aliens came down in a giant flying souffle', like they tend to do, and went to Venice Beach, they would wonder why the dogs don't put the people on leashes.

SukieTawdry said...

AllieOop said...Phx, we provide her with tennis balls, she still dives in for the rocks! My little beach fron and grassy area has tennis ball sized rocks strewn around at any given time. She then proceeds to roll on those rocks. I've never seen anything like it.

One of our family dogs had a water/rock thing. She'd go into the lake after the rocks and make a pile of them on shore. Very peculiar.

Petunia said...

Allie, I agree with bagoh2O, I would just ask them if they would like to give the dog to you. Sounds like she would be much happier with you anyway.

If they say no, you could also call animal control in your area and see what other options there might be, since the owners have the obligation to provide food, water, and shelter, and it sounds like they aren't doing any of that.

phx, here is a link for the PETA information.

http://www.petakillsanimals.com/investigation/

bagoh20 said...

BTW, This is us:

Marley's Pit Stop Rescue

phx said...
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Methadras said...

This one of the few topics that I am utterly and completely squeamish about. I can't stand the thought of this at all. Not a single second of it. Just reading the blurb that Ann wrote breaks my heart to a million pieces at the thought of this. I know it happens, but to bring it front and center like that makes all of my other problems seem simple and stupid compared to what these animals will endure and the horrid method they are killed with.

John Lynch said...

A rescue dog killed my cat, attacked its owner, then had to be put down.

The truth isn't very nice sometimes.