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So You’re Thinking About Giving Up Your Pet? You Might Want to Reconsider.

This is a copy of a post. I am not the original author; but it is one of the most important articles we could ever post on this site. Please post this EVERYWHERE….spread the word about the REALITY and then DO SOMETHING to change it! The animals desperately need our help!

You can’t keep your pet? Really?

~By a Shelter Director

Our society needs a huge “Wake-up” call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all…a “view from the inside” – if you will.

First off, any of you whom have surrendered a pet to a shelter or humane society should be made to work in the “back” of an animal shelter – for just ONE DAY.

Maybe if you saw the life drain from those sad, lost, confused eyes, you’d stop flagging the ads on here and help these animals find homes. That puppy you just dropped off will most-likely end up in my shelter when it’s no longer a cute little puppy anymore. Just so you know, there’s a 90% chance that your dog will never walk out back out, once entered in to the shelter system…Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays” that come into a shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses: “We’re moving and can’t take our dog (or cat).” Really? Where are you moving to that doesn’t allow pets?
Or they say “The dog got bigger than we thought it would”. How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?

“We don’t have time for her”. Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!

“She’s tearing up our yard”. How about making her a part of your family?

“We just don’t want to have to stress about finding a place for her & we know she’ll get adopted, she’s a good dog”.  Odds are, your pet won’t get adopted  & how stressful do you think it is for your pet?

Did you know…

  • 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/cat manages to stay completely healthy.
  • If it sniffles, it is euthanized.
  • Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room
    with other barking & crying animals.
  • It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps.
  • It will be depressed and will cry constantly for you.
  • If your pet is lucky, there will be enough volunteers in that day
    to take him/her for a walk.
  • If not, your pet won’t get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of it’s pen with a high-powered hose.
  • If your dog is big, black or any of the “Bully” breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door.
  • If your cat is scared and doesn’t act friendly enough, or if it catches a cold (which most of them ‘do’), it will be put to sleep.

Those dogs & cats just don’t get adopted. In most cases, it doesn’t matter how ‘sweet’ or ‘well behaved’ they are. If your pet doesn’t get adopted within it’s 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn’t full and your pet is good enough,
and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution,
but not for long.

Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week 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 the shelter gets paid a fee to euthanize each animal and making money is better than spending money to take this animal to the vet.

Here’s a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being “put-down”.

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk…happy, wagging their tails…until they get to “The Room”, every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when they 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 shelter workers, depending on the size and how freaked out they are.
Then a shelter worker who we call a “euthanasia tech (not a vet)”
finds a vein in the front leg and injects a lethal dose of the “pink stuff”.

Hopefully your pet doesn’t panic from being restrained and jerks.
I’ve seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood…the yelps and screams are deafening.

They all don’t just “go to sleep”, sometimes they spasm for a while,
gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

You see, shelters are trying to make money to pay employee pay checks and then, there’s the board of directors…who need to be paid too!

Consequently, corners are cut, & we don’t spend our funds to
tranquilize the animal before injecting them with the lethal drug,
we just put the burning lethal drug in their vein and let them suffer until dead.

If it were not a business for profit, we’d do it humanely and hire a
licensed vet do this procedure. That way, the animal would be sedated or tranquilized and THEN euthanized.

But to do this procedure correctly would only cost more money…
so we don’t necessarily do what is right for the animal, we do what’s expedient so we can continue to make a buck!

Shelters do not have to have a vet perform their euthanasia procedures. Oftentimes, they are untrained personnel administering lethal injections. So… that employee may take 50 pokes with a needle and 3 hours to get inside the vein.

In the end, your pet’s corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer, usually in the back of the building with all of the other animals that were killed. There they will sit until being picked up like garbage.

What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? Or used for schools to dissect and experiment on?

You’ll never know and it probably won’t even cross your mind. After all, it was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?!

I hope that those of you who still have a beating heart and have read this are bawling your eyes out and can’t get the pictures out of your head. I deal with this everyday. I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make changes and start educating yourselves, your children, the public.
Do the research, do your homework, and know exactly what you are getting into before getting a pet. These shelters and humane societies exist because people just do not care about animals anymore. And PLEASE stop breeding!

Animals were not intended to be disposable but somehow that is what they’ve become.

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172 Responses to So You’re Thinking About Giving Up Your Pet? You Might Want to Reconsider.

  1. Marilyn Lehman says:

    I hugged my dogs after reading this article.
    Let’s finacially support
    Make A Difference Rescue.

    • wyn dillon says:

      BENNY, ( A LITTLE TERRIER MIX) WAS TAKEN TO OUR VETS TO BE PUT TO SLEEP HIS OWNERS WHERE OFF TO OZ FOR A HOLIDAY. MY FRIEND PENNY GOT HIM FOR ME. SHE KNEW I’D LOST MY DOG LUCY . ALSO HOW MUCH HOW MUCH I WAS MISSING MY MY OLD DOG.. WE HAD LUCY FOR 13 YEARS UNTIL HER LEGS JUST WOULDN’T HOLD HER ANYMORE SHE WAS IN PAIN TOO.. IT WAS TERRIBLE SEEING THE LIFE DRAIN OUT OF HER AS THE VET GAVE HER AN INJECTION . ONE YEAR LATER I MET BENNY BOY THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. HE’S AWESOME AND SO FUNNY. HOW COULD ANYONE WANT TO PUT A HEALTHY ANIMAL TO SLEEP JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOTTEN FED UP WITH HAVING TO FEED, WALK AND LOOK AFTER THEM. HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF WHEN THEY GET OLD AND A BIT SMELLY , SOMEONE TOOK THEM TO BE PUT TO SLEEP.
      ( OR SHOULD I SAY KILLED!!!)

    • Anonymous says:

      This is most SHELTERS….I have been lucky to go to several states to view this matter…It is at an all time high level kill….Due to people not caring and spaying there pets.
      People need to step up and make some new laws -

    • Timothy Cantere says:

      So I should consider being given a fine for me having a dog at my home just because my association says I can only have one dog. I’m not willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money just because other people love dogs more than humans. My family my human family comes first. Don’t get me wrong I love my dogs and will be heart broken. But I have a choice and I’m choosing my human family. I did not know we would be offered a home like the one we have now. Some people say that you should have not got the dog in the first place. But how would I know I might be offered a deal I could not refuse. So to all you people who think I’m being a jerk. Screw you. I need to make sure I can live my life. Coming from a crap hole house to where we are now. I would not give that up for anything.

      • Carter says:

        No Screw YOU, you selfish creep. You DO NOT LOVE YOUR DOGS. LOVE doesn’t do this.

        Don’t just consider it…SUCK IT UP AND PAY THE FINES. You took responsibility for your pets and it’s YOUR responsibility to provide them with a PROPER home. Take a part time job one night a week to pay it….make your kid babysit…do something you lazy weakling.

        You’re bragging about your new lap of luxury
        “I need to make sure I can live my life” Waahhhh. You are selfish. You sacrifice for love, not sacrifice their lives..

        Keep repeating that Mantra when your dog cries for you and he dies broken hearted because he loves you so much, misses you, and doesn’t understand why you abandoned him. He’ll be scared to death literally, and thrown into a garbage with all of the other sweet babies that didn’t deserve to have shitty owners like you.

        If you were my Dad, I wouldn’t be proud of you, I’d be embarrassed by you.. You’re a coward.

        Oh, I came across this 3 years too late. I hope your haunted by the guilt. RIP to your beautiful family members that gave you unconditional love that you NEVER EVER deserved.

      • Jodi says:

        Wow…. ‘Offered a deal you couldn’t refuse”??? You had a responsibility to your pet’s and you willingly assumed that responsibility. You also took on that responsibility presumably before you were offered this ‘deal’. What kind of example do you think you setting for your ‘human family’? Ill tell you; It’s one that says that it’s okay to make a commitment and bail on it as long as you can somehow justify it in your head. You shouldn’t have 2 legged children let alone 4 legged ones… Pathetic.

  2. Nicole says:

    Just for the record, this does NOT represent every shelter. This is a worst case scenario in a city run shelter with terrible managment and no community support. If you are angered by this, do not attack your local shelter! They probably hate it as much as you do, but they have no control over how things are run. Call up the town, and let them know that you will not stand for this. The government feels this is acceptable, but it’s not. So tell them you want a proper animal shelter, this is what we pay taxes for. If everyone asks for it the government has to do something.

    • Anonymous says:

      THE SAD THING IS THIS IS HOW OUR SHELTER IS RUN IN THE SURROUNDING AREAS AROUND MACON. JONES COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL BEING ONE OF THEM. WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET A NEW FACILITY AND WORKERS FOR YEARS AND NOONE WILL HEAR US OR HELP. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS. I WORK WITH A NON KILL RESCUE GROUP AND WE GET AS MANY AS WE CAN AND ADOPT THEM OUT BUT THE SHELTERS AROUND THIS AREA ARE KILLING AT LEAST 15-20 A WEEK. HEARTBREAKING :(

      • Nicole says:

        Well it’s a bit late… but my advice is to appeal to the Town. Get a petition signed, stating that the people are demanding a better more humane solution to animal control. As long as they can get away with doing what they’re doing under everyone’s noses, they won’t change. Bring to light what is hapenning at this shelter. But you have got to be professional and accurate! Don’t try to shock people and be overly dramatic. Stick to the facts, and tell people what they can do to help. Make a set message that you can ask people to send to the Mayor, asking for a more humane animal control program. Get advice from the shelters that are doing it right, get a business plan to present to them. If you just scream that it is wrong, no one will listen. You need to give them facts, present the problem, and present a solution. Present a budget. Present a spay/neuter program, or community programs to educate pet owners. You can make change, you’re not alone in this problem. Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that not all animal shelters are this way. I used to work at one after high school. I always paid attention to the animals there and so did the co-workers. If everyone would help them that can (even though all but the rich are tight on money today due to economy), volunteer wise, donations of cleaning essentials, food, etc things shouldn’t be that way. Also last I heard they can’t just kill them they have to hold them longer. At least that’s what I recall hearing on the news unless they are too sick to where they can’t get better and only that.

    • Anonymous says:

      taxes do not support animal shelters. donations do.

    • true it is not in every shelter..BUT it does happen..If you are NOT a part of the solution, then you ARE a part of the problem..
      UNTIL THERE ARE NONE,.

    • Tiffany says:

      I completely agree with you. I used to be a shelter director and we did not treat our animals like that and although it was difficult to manage, we actually preferred families bring their animals to us rather than leave them on the side of the road. My shelter was in a small town so money was scarce for us, but we made it work. We were a no kill shelter and only put down animals if they were suffering from an untreatable illness. Even with not having a lot of money, we always had a vet do it and from the ones that I experienced, they never reacted like that. I hate when people think they can just dump their pet just as much as the next animal lover, but I don’t think instilling fear and guilt in people to change them is the right way to go. There are plenty of people out there who SHOULDN’T have pets and it’s a godsend when they decide to give them up. What helps is to be a part of your local shelter and donate, whether it’s time, food, toys, money, or whatever.

    • PJ says:

      PEOPLE NEED TO BE SERIOUS ABOUT THE DECISION TO BRING A PET HOME.. PETS TAKE MONEY AND WORK AND LOVE AND A LIFETIME COMMITMENT..
      ALSO, THE GOV NEEDS TO GO AFTER THE LOWLIFE BREEDERS.
      STUPID PEOPLE NEED TO WISE UP ABOUT BUYING PETS FROM THESE ANIMAL ABUSING BREEDERS.
      MOST CITIES DON’T WANT TO COME UP WITH THE FUNDING FOR A NO KILL SHELTERS..IT’S NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH…THE MORE LOSERS THEY HAVE IN THEIR CITIES DUMPING PETS THE WORSE IT IS. AND THE MORE PETS ARE PUT DOWN.

    • joyce moye says:

      I live in NJ and this is how MOST of the shelters are including the Phila area. Most are funded by the government and they control all the money coming into the shelters. The government doesn’t want to hear that more money is needed. Their response is there is no money. It is not the shelters fault, it is society to blame since they won’t stand up for the shelters.

  3. Jodi says:

    Whoever wrote this, THANK YOU! This needs to be read by EVERY pet owner out there. This is the honest truth….I’ve seen it first hand. And I will repeat…..PLEASE stop breeding. Really your cute little chihuahua is NO cuter than any of the hundreds that will be euthanized today. REALLY!

  4. delia shepherd uk says:

    in UK this does not happen as the shelters have been taken over by animal welfare groups & the biggest get funding from government topped up by generous donations dogs are kept in humane conditions & most are keptuntil adopted It mystefires us as to how this can happen in US a country with a higher per capita income..

    • Steffanie says:

      We don’t take care of our people here either. No mystery. Here, both animals and people are just vehicles for profit. It is wrong, but unlikely to change.

    • Volunteers at a GOOD shelter says:

      This is not necessarily EVERY shelter. This article is a post about the kind of shelters that should NEVER be supported because it is run terribly and makes it seem like everyone runs their shelter like this.
      I volunteer at my local no-kill shelter. It’s a small shelter, but when we’re full, we DON’T kill off the other animals. An animal stays in the shelter as long as it takes to find a home, even if that’s over a year. The dogs all get a walk or two a day, are given toys, soft warm beds, good food and their living areas are cleaned every time there’s a mess, even if that’s 5 times a day. Our cats all get out of cage time every single day and are housed with just as good conditions as dogs. It’s a wonderful shelter and this article makes it seem as though every shelter is a dump. Please don’t let it make you believe that every shelter is a horrid place like this.

      • isamara says:

        most are not nice places for a family member some are even worse. I too have worked at a shelter, and it’s one tough job. The one I worked at was a minimal kill facility, and yet when there is no money to feed, house, and care for all the dumped critters,…what can a shelter do….its a harsh reality. A poorly administered drug is far less torture then gas chambers, beaten to death or a bullet..Which are common means to destroy what once was the family pet.
        UNtil people start caring about life and not things nothing will change.

      • Kidd Smith says:

        OK LET’S SAY I BELIEVE THIS YOU SAY AFTER A YEAR EVEN IF THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ADOPTED THEN WHAT AFTER THAT YEAR.,,,,,MY NIECE WORKS 4 ANIMAL RESCUE AND THEY ALWAYS FIND ANOTHER SHELTER IF THEY CANNOT GOD BLESS THEM FIND A HOME,,, TRANSFER TO ANOTHER SHELTER THAT THERE IS A GREAT TURNOVER OF ADOPTION ,,,,THEY R DEFINATELY A ONE OF A KIND RESCUE AND I SURE WISH I WAS READING ABOUT THEM INSTEAD OF WHAT I READ B4 THIS ,,,BUT BACK TO SUBJECT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR SHELTERS PETS ONCE NOT ADOPTED AFTER ONE YEAR ,,YOU TAKE THEM HOME WITH YOU OR ????

      • It’s a common misconception in rescue that, just because a shelter is no-kill, it must be a better shelter or more worthy of support. I wish that all shelters were as described by “volunteers at a good shelter” (well, actually I wish we didn’t need them at all!). But everyone who refuses to support a “kill” facility needs to ask themselves – when the no-kill shelter is full, where do the rest of the animals go? Once the last cage is taken they have the luxury of saying no to receiving any more pets (though I know that’s a hard enough job in itself). That doesn’t mean the calls stop. I foster and volunteer for a local no-kill rescue but I also give time to two different open-access facilities. The conditions are rough and they do have to euthanize a lot of animals – but that’s because they don’t turn any away. The staff and volunteers do the best they can, and there shouldn’t be a need for the situation to become as bad as described above. Still, the wholesale killing of healthy pets is a symptom of a much wider problem not a result of bad management of individual facilities. I’d far rather spread the worse case scenario than the best, since the likelihood is, if someone surrenders their pet, the numbers say it’s more likely to end up at a kill facility than a safe haven.

      • ACO says:

        While this all is wonderful- for that small number of animals in this ‘small shelter’- how many animals in need are turned away at the door for lack of room being made and what is their ultimate fate? If there is no professional facility available for people to surrender their animal to (reason doesn’t matter- well-being of the animal Does!) then what are those owners going to do if they can’t, or won’t, care for it beyond that point? Will they abandon it, shoot it, give it to a home that will chain it in the backyard, will it be allowed to breed and more puppies will be placed, unsterilized, into irresponsible homes?
        It is important to look at these realistic repercussions and find a way to NOT turn that needy animal away at the door. It may very well be the choice between the suffering of *many* animals, over many years, OR the humane and compassionate euthanasia of ONE animal.
        Back in the early days of the “no-kill” movement I attended the local shelter’s annual dinner where the guest speaker addressed this. The shelter’s Kennel Manager asked the logical question of how they were to deal with the animals on the doorstep that they had to turn away due to lack of space. The guest speaker replied, and I quote, “they’re not your problem.” I beg to differ. That uncertain fate should keep us ALL awake at night.

      • What happens when the shelter’s “full” … to all the animals that are not in the shelter, do they get turned away?

    • Anonymous says:

      If only that were true Delia… we still destroy a dog every hour, 24/7. The largest ‘animal welfare group’ being one of the biggest culprits. Please remember the government funding and a lot of the donations to the Royal society end up in the head office coffers whilst the branches struggle to self-fund. What we see in the US is sadly nothing more than a fairly proportional magnification of our own situation :*(

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup the ASPCA being the biggest culprit of them all….and yet thousands of people donate to them having no clue that they send their dogs/cats to the animal care and control to be put down. The HSUS is not much better either…

    • lovedogs28 says:

      What planet do u live on?? It does happen in the UK!!!! Animals are destroyed every single day here!! Greyhounds are bred by the thousands and a proportion ever get to retirement! Where are the rest of them? Dead! There are council run pounds in the uk that put dogs to sleep. The no-kill animal shelters will take as many as humanly possible to save them but believe me the numbers are so great they can only take so many! Its heartbreaking for them! So please dont think for a minute that every dog in shelters in the uk remain there, happy n healthy until a home comes along! Get real! Thats the problem in the good ol UK! Bury ur head and it aint happening! Have u ever seen a beautiful staffy “lose it” in kennels or a border collie go insane from the confinement! Ive worked in 2 non-kill rescues and its so hard for dogs to cope in the confinement even with walks n tlc! They just wanna go home! Its so sad n heartbreaking! It makes me cry.

      • lovedogs28 says:

        Let me please add that there are many many well run rescues doing their hardest to pick up the pieces from puppy farms too! One rescue i know takes the “disposable” dogs from these awful places and the poor beauties are so bewildered n frightened its heartbreaking! And the state of them – rotten teeth, skin conditions, Mammary tumours etc etc not to mention the physchological damage! How many ppl in the uk have bought one of the puppies from these poor dogs! This is jus the tip of the iceberg believe me!

    • Hazel King says:

      I am sorry to have to tell you this Delia , but this is exactly what happens in council pounds all over the UK. Yes there are some very good no kill shelters , but these are funded by charitable donations and not the government. The RSPCA regularly destroy animals if they don’t think they can rehome them i.e. if they are ill ,old or show behavioural problems. Check it out on the web if you don’t believe me.

      • marie adamson says:

        yes so true rspca told me that after i found a dumped golden oldie .i made damn sure he survived and found him a rescue in south wales of fb hes doing well now .and in full term foster if the rspca had there way hed have been put to sleep i rang every day makein f sure he was ok untill his 7 days were up and the animals of the rct came and took him and what a happy person i was too helping to save his life.and the wonderfull ,ladies that travelled down to take him to a safe place place .rspca kill older dogs they told me when they collected him but over my dead body it was not his fault he was in that situation .i cried every day when he was at rspca .and broke down when i new he was safe and in wales’ i have a rescue dog always bought from breeders but never again rescue for me always now .had so much to give my baby girl she is my world .

    • Anonymous says:

      Delia:
      I agree w/ you – it just seems that here in America – money is the key factor in every type of environment – life is just not worth anything anymore..it is just so sad. My sister now lives in the UK and I have to tell you, that your animal welfare groups and laws are so much better than ours, and I just pray that we can someday mirror those practices and actually become a no kill nation…

    • Andrea says:

      God I wish the US was more like the UK in this way, it makes me sick to read these things and no matter what some people claim about their shelters – it’s still cages and loneliness and concrete. I rescue animals anytime I find one out on the streets, and will keep them until I find a home for them, I will never, NEVER surrender an animal to ANY of these places.

    • Oh but it does! There are numerous “shelters/pounds” dotted around the UK.that have “the 7day rule” thousands of animals are euthanised every year, pretty much for the same reasons as US. The big difference between UK & US is that here animals are euthanised by vets! There are places here that abuse their situation and run their “pound kennels” on a profit basis. They’re paid by the councils(authorities)fee’s for holding dogs and are continuously full, not with the same dogs but the continuous turn-over of all those unwanted dogs…

    • JP says:

      You couldn’t be more wrong. The ‘public face’ of all the big charities is a well oiled machine that belies the truth. As the opening of this article says, spend just one day in ‘the back room’…

  5. Evelyn Ball says:

    Everyone who gives up a pet to a shelter for pathetic reasons should be put through the same…treat them like an abandoned pet and put them to sleep. There are too many useless ignorant people on this planet who should be euthanized instead of any cat or dog.

  6. Kevan Boston says:

    Why is this shelter Killing 90% of the animals when that should be their save rate? Why doesn’t this shelter provide information and programs to help owners with behavior and other issues to have better pet retention? Other shelters like Washoe County(Reno) have implemented programs to reduce intake and increase adoptions without passing laws or blaming the public/breeders. If your shelter is like this one I suggest you do not except excuses and demand change. Killing 90% of the animals is unacceptable and unnecessary.

  7. Lisa Nichols says:

    I understand the thought behind this, but I think it does an INCREDIBLE disservice to folks who work at shelters. NOBODY at a shelter is there for a money–they’re there because they care about animals. And euthanasia is the hardest thing to ask of an animal lover. Humane euthanasia is NOTHING like the sensationalistic description here.

    This is especially cruel to GOOD shelters and humane societies that are nothing like what’s described. Most of which, it’s worth mentioning, are NON-PROFIT organizations. These are shelters that are well-funded and work hard to save every life. Shelters that have life-saving as their first goal.

    I also think it does a disservice to animals. There will always be people who need or want to rehome their animals–whether we agree with their decision or not. What happens if someone reads this, and rather than take their pet to a reputable shelter, choose to abandon their dog or cat because they’d have a “better chance” in the wild? Or someone who puts up a ‘free to good home’ ad, and their pet winds up in research?

    Please please stop passing around this piece of dreck. It’s not representative of animal sheltering standards as they are today, and it doesn’t take into account the thousands of shelters that do a good job saving animals.

    • Anonymous says:

      The animals would have a better chance in the wild than in NYC shelters!!

    • Anonymous says:

      you hit it right on the money Lisa!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, you are right that there are good shelters out there that do the best they can and yes most workers are there because they love animals but there are many who are just like the one described in this article. I dont believe this was intended as diservice to any shelters. It is describing what some shelters do. It is to make people aware of what really goes on sometimes. Too many people believe that animals are disposible. This will also make people aware that adopting from a shelter can save lives. Many lives. You may think that sheltering standards are better today but that is not the case in every shelter and not every person that at shelters necessarily have the animals best intentions at heart.. Awareness is the key. So in your opinion this may be a “piece of drek” but for alot of people this helps spread the word that animals should not be disposible.

      • Sharon in Tennessee says:

        I agree Anonymous. I knew some people would be disturbed or shocked by this article but, maybe it will motivate people to make some personal sacrifices or seek out other alternatives before they dump their responsibility on someone else because it is the easy way out. I am a shelter volunteer in Tennessee and have personally witnesses some of the harsh shelter realities described in this article. 30 to 80 pets come thru our shelter every day and 85% are euthanized. There is no law against euthanizing an animal without sedation and it is a practice in some shelters. In my opinion that is cruel and inhumane. It is also not illegal for some shelters to adopt or sell some of their dogs or cats to labs for research. This could mean that your pet could go thru years of torture for research purposes before it is ultimately destroyed.

    • I live in British Columbia and the closest animal shelter to me is the SPCA one in Parksville. Fortunately we have many volunteers (never enough of course) and ‘fostering’ has become quite the way to deal with formerly ‘unwanted’ animals. It is no surprise to find that many fostered pets soon become “home owners”…lol I myself have looked after a feral cat colony for years and we are now down to 2 cats (from 11)-only one of which is unapprachable, but one of these days she will succumb to my persuasive personality. Or the tunas. But it HAS been 7 years. Somebody at one time did something terrible to her and I am at least now able to be on the same deck as her at mealtimes, but only if I do not make eye contact. The other one could easily become a fulltime housecat but that would leave her outside crying for him, so he comes in and helps me on the computer in the morning and goes out until later, when he comes in to remind me to feed the 2 of them. They have access to a heated basement at all times.
      My present indoor cat was one of the original ferals. My dog as well as my cockatiel are recovered animals and it is hard to imagine life without them.
      I realize that people become hardened so that they do not break down when doing their job, but they must realize that the job CAN be done with kindness and empathy. You don’t have to take your frustrations on society out on the poor hapless animal. Think if the positions were reversed!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes!! Completely agree! Thank you, well said Lisa

    • Megan Bully Lover says:

      I do not know where you live that you think municipal city shelters are wonderful and caring, and I don’t know what shelter you work or volunteer at, but what you describe is NOT the majority of those shelters. A city shelter can claim to be non-profit on paper, but it doesn’t mean they are putting that money where it should be. Here in Fresno, CA the secretary makes 100,000/year, but the “shelter” claims to not have enough staff or funding yet they TURN AWAY volunteers! I have no doubt there are employees that care about animals but it means nothing if the administration doesn’t even care whether a pet leaves with a forever home or in a barrel onto a rendering truck. Dollars and excuses make mediocre shelters the accepted status quo. Take the time wasted making excuses and use it to make positive changes.

    • Andrea says:

      Sorry, it is very representative of shelters, 90% of them in fact. The people that work there slowly become desensitized by the deaths, the only ones that REALLY care of the volunteers. No, Lisa this needs to be passed around and if someone abandons their animal because of this, it still makes them worthless human beings rather than trying to find a home for the animal or to stop making excuses to get rid of it. I will NEVER surrender an animal to these places, all animals I rescue are kept with me until they have a home. The problem with people isn’t that truths like this are being passed around, but people are so spoiled with their cell phones trading good cars in for brand new cars, having whatever they want right in front of them and the see animals just the same, something to have until they get bored with. 75% of the human population should be euthanized.

  8. MA Moore says:

    For every dog or cat you purchase from a breeder, 5 die at a shelter. People should have to take responsibility for the lives of these animals, and if they cannot care for their pet, there needs to be some accountability by the breeder or seller. Always adopt, never buy!

  9. Im lookn 4 a dog 2 keep i want a pet 4 my kids as well as me! says:

    I am ashley williams on facebook send messages there thank u

  10. I would do anything in my power to make sure this never happens to my dog. I wish others would do the same. And you know with the economy it will only be worse.

  11. CC says:

    Every dog I have welcomed into my home was a great important member of my family for its entire life. All my dogs crossed the bridge surrounded by family being lovingly stroked and told how much we loved them. All recieved vet care and lived long happy lives. I cannot imagine deserting any of my beloved friends to die a premature death held down by strangers, terrified of what is happening. People need to think hard before getting a pet. They are living and feeling beings. They are not clothing to get thrown away when you have a baby, when it grows bigger than you thought it would. Did you not know how much time you would have for it before you brought him home? That it would shed? Are people stupid? Or just plain cruel? I would live in my car before I gave up a pet. Please do not get a dog and abandon it like this. Let a more mature caring person bring it home.

    • anonymous says:

      I have lived in my car because that was the only way my dog and I could stay together through the toughest economic hard times I have ever faced. My dog is a qualified service dog, I depend on him daily, and we were still turned away from all human homeless shelters. I was told was that not even seeing-eye dogs are allowed into shelters with their humans and that my only option was to “allow” the SPCA to “hold” him until I “was better able to care for him myself”. I chose to exercise my option to live in my car and keep my dog safely with me rather than taking any chance whatsoever on the SPCA making some “horrible mistake”. That was 2 1/2 years ago, within 6 weeks I was able to find a new stable home and we are still together. Leaving any animal at any shelter is a permanent cop-out to what may very well be only a temporary situation. .

  12. I would never turn any of my dogs away as I see them as my children. Sadly too many people see them as just disposable items. People have forgottent hat they too have a heartbeat and many just don’t seem to care to use their heart and give it out as all our animals do just the opposite and they love us unconditionally. We just have to fight harder and get the word out for them so badly.

  13. Anonymous says:

    And we call them ANIMAL! I think they have mistaken humans…this animal will love us unconditionally ;(

    • Emily says:

      Some people say the dog was put on the earth to be a loyal companion to humans. Why can’t people be the loyal friend the dog is to them? Of course the people who this is meant to affect are probably in denial or unaware, soo I commend those who want to spread the truth that is so hard to truly see. Facts are the world is going downhill and will only get better if there is a truly united front. Ever see Independent Lense on the the Disabled Rights? The same should be for abandoned animals who lovers consider to be people.who just don’t speak the same verbal language. The Universal language of love is spoken when you have a pet and you are privileged enough to be loved by a loyal pupy or kitty or any other kind of animal.

  14. Tara says:

    I’m glad that the shelter I volunteer at is not run this way! This is disgusting and heart breaking to read that the shelter only gives 72 hours and euthanizes animals because its easier and cheaper and helps them make money. The one I volunteer at has kept animals for months. Even when at capacity, they do their best to adopt out animals and euthanize a minimal amount. They even added extra space to the adoption floors for more animals to be seen and offered deals on adoption fees.

    I do despise people who think animals are simply disposable items. >:(

  15. Steffanie says:

    This pains me to read. I am a responsible animal owner. I adopted one of my cats from a shelter, and the other was a stray that adopted me, and now lives entirely inside. I also have chickens, which receive veterinary care when they need it. I tried to adopt a dog from a rescue organization, but was told I didn’t qualify because I didn’t have six foot fences surrounding my property, even though I live in an area where dog parks and dog walking are part of the culture. If I want a dog, I will have to find one from a private party. Sometimes the qualifications that are required of prospective owners to adopt from a shelter or rescue leave many animals homeless. Animals do need to be adopted to good homes, but at some point, our regulations are condemning animals to death when they could be adopted.

    • And it is true of some rescues as well. Each dog and each placement are unique. Not every dog requires a 6 ft fence. Tethering or cable running is not evil, if done properly. Good care does not have to be GOLD STAR/SUPER CARE to be healthful and adequate to a companion animal. Does your cat really need that MRI to determine it has a hairball issue? Come on now…pet care doesn’t have to be this incredible industry that has risen up around pet ownership in the last 10 years. We can love animals without making them objects of worship. A good home with love, food, shelter, and most routinely required care is a good placement. Only occassionally do I see people who had to max out to save their pet, after an accident, etc. Most animal issues can be managed without all the high tech intervention and spending thousands of dollars at the vet’s. The pet care industry is driving a bus that leads to fewer homes and fewer people who can “afford” a pet.

    • You have brought a very good point to this discussion.

    • Wendi Davis says:

      A good home should NEVER be turned away because they don’t have a fence! The people running that shelter are being really dumb! I have two dogs and NO fence, and both are rescues! I was never even asked if I had a fence. Try another shelter in another area. Some lucky dog will be MORE than happy you did! Good luck! : )

    • Anonymous says:

      where do you live?? No local shelters here in Southern California have qualifications that you need to meet in order to adopt except pay the fee. Rescue organizations do, but not local shelters. If you really would like to adopt a dog but can’t from where you live, there are alternative ways than from a private party. There are lots of shelters that list their animals online and on facebook. If you see one you like and would like to adopt, arrangements can be made for the animal to get to you. I’ve known people in Texas who saw a dog from San Pedro, CA who was going to be put down and adopted him. The dog was transported by volunteers who each offered to drive a leg of the distance.

    • Gail says:

      There are certain breeds of dogs who are known for jumping and/or climbing over fences. I can see this rule for these breeds of dogs or any mixed breeds that have a history of jumping/climbing fences. However, many dogs are not jumpers at all, and are put into the “must have six foot fence” policy. I imagine many dogs who would otherwise have found homes who were not jumpers, got PTS because of this policy. We need to start
      making better policies from the heart, NOT the pocketbook!!

    • Emily says:

      That’s insane when death is the go-to because there’s money involved instead of helping pets find a place. As long as they will be taken care of why should there be so many hurdle to jump over just to help an animal live. Are these people so money hungry they will take blood money?

  16. I would rather be living in my car than to give up MAX my Lab.

  17. Anonymous says:

    One thing I can’t help but have to correct about this article, even as true and horrible as most of it is; is the actual euthanasia procedure: The deadly “pink stuff”, if this is describing REAL euthanasia solution (which is pink), is not a burning drug, it is an overdose of anesthetic that brings a stop to brain functions. The animal is rendered to ‘sleep’ before the heart and organ functions cease. Yes, this can lead to nerve reactions that cause what we call agonal breathes, much like gasping for air, and as any body stops functioning it can release the contents of the bladder and colon.. But the animal is NOT AWARE or suffering.

    Don’t get me wrong, in our world of animal overpopulation and abuse I am against breeding and people should put more effort in to finding their animals a home instead of just heading to the pound, but this euthanasia description upset me. Unless you’re using some cheap knock off or third rate drug to perform the procedure, it is not painful for the animal, they go peacefully.

    I am a Veterinary Assistant..

    • Tina M says:

      You are a professional, but the people described here are not. Also I have a friend who brought her pet, who was old and ill to a real vet, and my friend thought she would be releasing her pet from suffering. When the professional vet inserted the needle into the foreleg of my friend’s dog, she screamed. Now, this dog had never screamed during any of her shots throughout her life, so what, other than the drug would have made her scream? And the pet wasn’t even frightened or fighting it!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a vet tech, and euthanasia solution does burn. Even if it is a clean stick, it does burn. That’s why telazol or other sedative is given first. Yes, it is an overdose and renders them unconsious and stops their heart and is otherwise completely humane. But the solution itself does burn, and like any injectable that burns or stings, some react more than others. If it is a bad stick, which sounds like what they are describing here, it would burn all the more. There are times as well, not often but it happens, that even the properly calculated dose is not enough for a particular animal and more must be given to fully stop the heart. It IS a humane procedure, when done properly. I couldn’t take part in any euthanasia that was not for the most dire health reasons. People DO need to be made aware of what will likely happen to the pets they claim to love (or not) when they choose to back out of any responsibility for the life they took into their home (or carelessly left outside to fend for themselves).
      For clarity…this article was obviously written by someone working at a city or county run “shelter”…and yes, many are exactly like this! It is sad, pitiful, pathetic, and should be criminal, but it does happen. No-kill shelters, and such, and rescue groups have not much bearing on what this article describes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just curious if the difference is because the dogs you see euthanized are given a tranquilizer first and the euthanasia is preformed by caring, skilled people. Dogs that are sick and old and being held lovingly in their owners arms. Are you seeing healthy dogs euthanized for no good reason? They aren’t stressed out dogs that are dragged to a room that smells like death so don’t have that fear and are not fighting it like the shelter dogs where the procedure is performed by staff who have not had proper training, with no tranquilizer and being held down by 1 or more person. Their is a difference between a dog being euthanzied at a vets office and at a shelter.

    • Diane Bender says:

      Not every shelter is lucky enough to have a vet to do the euthanasia. Ours are done by the warden and she is not that good at it, nor have the wardens in the past been good at it. I have seen the dogs put back into the cages after being administered the “shot” and seen them whining and biting the cage bars. It was NOT peaceful.

    • However, this solution used in heartstick euthansia on conscious animals is also happening. Outside the vein, it does cause burning sensation. Heartstick without unconscious sedation first is against AVMA standards for euthansia, yet, we have facilities in the U.S. being cruel to animals. We still have 100% prefill concentrated gassing chambers, where it takes approximately 45 seconds of struggle to be rendered unconscious, after being dropped in on top of already euthanized animals…one at a time. We have the slow gassing, slow fill gas chambers where there is less respiratory distress on the animal as it loses consciousness and is overcome by the gas, but it may be killed with cats and dogs mixed together, no lighting to see in a dark cage shoved into the chamber. The animals do panic frequently and will attack each other. Loss of consciousnes takes about 4-5 minutes. What a scary way to go, but alot of rural shelters are still using it. Euthanasia by a cocktail of drugs that first disables/destroys the brain/nerve centers, and then stops the heart function is ideal. The pet loses sensation and consciousness in seconds not minutes, and its suffering ends before the bodily functions completely cease. But, it takes more manpower and more money to be humane in death, just like it does in life. Things can and do go wrong in the process sometimes because of poor training, equipment malfunction, accidents…

      Atleast it is far better than putting dogs in a cage and drowning them in a large water tank by submersion. One Arkansas shelter actually did this routinely until the practice was exposed to the public. It is shameful what some government officials have given assent to.

    • Wendi Davis says:

      Thank you for posting this.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are speaking of the lethal injection being given without the first humane injection that puts the dog to sleep as in about to have surgery. The second injection is an “overdose” let’s call it what it is.

      I’m a certified Vet Assistant too as well as an adoption coordinator for a no kill shelter.

    • Sal says:

      Reading that description upset me, as well. To think of these beautiful babies’ last moments of life being nothing but pain is almost more than I can handle. Thank you for clarifying, and I truly hope you are correct. (Not doubting you, just hoping against hope that these precious babies don’t suffer in their final moments). When my beloved kitty of 11 years got sick and had to be put down, they actually gave him something before administering the euthanasia solution that rendered him unable to move. They told me he was still aware of his surroundings, and that he could hear me and knew I was there, but he wasn’t able to move anymore. I’m wondering if this is so he wouldn’t feel any pain. (I was too distraught at the time to even think about it and ask for specifics.)

    • I have had the hard sad job of having to have dogs put down because it was the kindest thing to do for them. The were not shelter dogs but rather my fosters that were in pain and weren’t going to make it. I held them and comforted them while the needle delivered the fatal dose. There was a moment of fear and then they relaxed and were gone. There wasn’t pain and suffering just a realization that something was happening out of the ordinary to them. Then swiftly they were released from their pain and suffering. It hurt my heart to do this even though it was the kindest thing I could do for them. It is never easy and the memory is always with me. I hate having to do this but I do it for them not for me. I can’t imagine how horrid it must be for someone that loves animals and must do this as part of their job. I thank God that I don’t have this terrible task often.

    • angela says:

      actually i have to correct you. I have worked for a shelter as a tech where the suffering is exactly like that and worse. Untrained personnel, when i came on board, were missing numerous times. Once the vets asked that tranquilizers not be available to shelters, they switched to a cheap, horrid drug, not pink. I personally believe techs should be able to buy tranquilzer from a vet and administer it as per school and vet practice teaches. The vets did us no favours.

  18. These types of posts, while true for the most part, also dissuade people from seeking out rescues. I am visiting with a 7 year old Dobie today, that is being surrendered because of human health concerns and possible human move into smaller apartment.

    Animals are surrendered all the time, and while some are put down in shelters there are alternatives.

    People don’t need to let them go free in the country, or drop off and let them fend for themselves.

    We need to address the excessive breeding of pets of all species, and when we control that, the numbers in shelters will diminish.

  19. This is definitely a worst case scenario. There are shelters in the Northeast that IMPORT dogs from other areas of the country. It’s a simple matter of owners taking responsibility for their pets and unfortunately in some areas of the country that is taken more seriously than others. I had a friend that worked at Anti-Cruelty years ago and sometimes had to put dogs/cats down, but it was never like that. They tried to keep them as calm as possible and make it as easy as they could on the dogs. If the sort of situations described are happening in your shelter, they need to be changed.

  20. Sandy nickles says:

    Come on people wake up stop breeding,taking your dog to kill shelters their your family.Love them they will treat u better than 90 present of humans.

  21. Such a sad reality! I don’t care how bad the economy gets I WILL NOT TAKE ANY OF MY FOUR LEGGED FUZZY FAMILY MEMBERS TO THE SHELTER!!! I took all my babies to give them life a life of love and nurturing and if I have to choose between feeding myself or my fuzzy family members they eat first! I will take pennies to the store if needed to get them food, shelters are soooo sad. I just took in 15 hamsters that someone dumped in a dirty cage on the sidewalk of Petsmart in Philadelphia. These poor little babies all have a name and a space of their own. They are all so loveable except one we just use extra caution when showing him love. May God have mercy on the souls who take there family members and dump them in a shelter or on the street!

  22. Anonymous says:

    i would live in my car before i gave up my dog, when i got him he was supposed to go to a loving hime with a yard and kids… instead they decided they didnt want him. so i decided to keep him. i got him from the shelter. he had a broken leg and he is a “bully breed”: mix doberman or rotty. when i decided to keep him it was gonna be till his time was done. i made him a promise i intend to keep. and the shelter was dirty, disgusting but they are trying to get the funds for a new building and the people there are nice.. unfortunatley not all of the dogs make it out of there. i cant go there, i cry everytime i see the eyes on some of them. and breeding for high standards and disease free like hip displasia or eyesight ect. i believe is responsible breeding.. what i can’t stand is the “designer dogs” wtf haha if i want a “designer” ill go to the shelter and get a mutt… thats all they are, designer = mutt

  23. sky says:

    I think the writter was right to get this put in the open, however it is highly misleading. I volunteered at an animal rescue centre and none were but down after 72 hours unless they were SERIOUSLY ill. Also this represents government run shelters not charity run ones. Don’t make people believe every rescue centre is like that. It’s counter productive and defeas the point of what pure trying to say to people.

    Yes this happens but don’t make it out like every shelter does this.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The best investment that I have ever made was when I got my animals from the local shelter. My cat, that I have had now for almost 14 or 15 years came from a shelter in my home town. I adopted my dog 7 years ago and only paid 25 dollars for him, but he is priceless to me. He came from the Humane society. I will not buy a dog from a pet shop, but I may just get one from the shelter or if anyone has the puppies for free out in front of the grocery store. I am looking into getting a companion for my dog as I too work long hours. The best part of my day is when I get home and see his smiling eyes and wagging tail. My cat has become a lap cat since his companion died a couple of years ago, and he is a precious commodity in my home. They just are not pets to me, but my family.

  25. Blair Steel says:

    Can you please print the name of the ‘ shelter’ you work at, to ensure I never accidentally donate to it. What a disgusting place it is.

  26. Goldi says:

    I am greatly encouraged to see all the letters protesting the exaggerations in this article. The person who wrote it MAY actually be a shelter director and the shelter they worked in may actually be this awful, but it is NOT the norm. I live in a heavily populated area and there are two large shelters near me. One is operated by a large city and another is run by the county. I have volunteered at one and spent a substantial amount of time at the other. As I read through the author’s “Do You Know..” list, over and over I said to myself, “Not true”, because I know for an absolute fact that that is not the case in either of our 2 shelters. Some things were true — like the part about your animal being depressed and crying for you.
    Sometimes you DO need to give up an animal. When that happens, research the shelter or rescue where you are thinking of taking it. Private rescue groups are NOT always good. There are some that are far worse than the shelter from hell this author describes. Do not believe that your local shelter is like the one described here. Find out. “No-kill” does not mean “wonderful”. It often means anguished animals stuck in cages for ever and ever. It is a fiendish form of animal abuse. A good shelter DOES keep animals for a reasonable length of time — often months. However, they receive attention from volunteers and some are even fostered in private homes. Don’t stop with buzz words like “No-kill” — learn about how your shelter really operates. There are some that are very bad, like the one in the story, and they need to be changed or closed. But many are excellent places where good things are happening every day. For some animals, a NEW owner is a big improvement over the old owner — and the shelter is where they find their happily ever after. SUPPORT your local shelter!

  27. ME says:

    The type of shelter depicted here is the absolute worst case scenario. While shelters like that do exist, this article creates the illusion that all shelters are the same and that’s just wrong.

  28. pat says:

    >Subject: How could you…. this is sad…
    >Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 16:37:36 -0400
    >
    >When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh.
    >You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a
    >couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I
    >was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” – but
    >then you’d relent, and roll me over for a bellyrub.
    >
    >My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were
    >terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights
    >of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret
    >dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went
    >for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I
    >only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs,” you said), and I
    >took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the
    >day.
    >
    >Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and
    >more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently,
    >comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you
    >about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when
    >you fell in love.
    >
    >She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” – still I welcomed her into
    >our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy
    >because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared
    >your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled,
    >and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might
    >hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a
    >dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of
    >love.”
    >
    >As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and
    >pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes,
    >investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything
    >about them and their touch – because your touch was now so infrequent -
    >and I would have defended them with my life if need be.
    >
    >I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret
    >dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the
    >driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog,
    >that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories
    >about me. These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the
    >subject. I had gone from being “your dog” to “just a dog,” and you
    >resented every expenditure on my behalf.
    >
    >Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they
    >will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the
    >right decision for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your
    >only family.
    >
    >I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter.
    >It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out
    >the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for her.” They
    >shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities
    >facing a middle-aged dog, even one with “papers.” You had to pry your
    >son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy! Please
    >don’t let them take my dog!” And I worried for him, and what lessons you
    >had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and
    >responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye
    >pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar
    >and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.
    >
    >After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your
    >upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good
    >home. They shook their heads and asked “How could you?”
    >
    >They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules
    >allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At
    >first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it
    >was you – that you had changed your mind – that this was all a bad
    >dream…or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who
    >might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking
    >for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated
    >to a far corner and waited.
    >
    >I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I
    >padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet
    >room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to
    >worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there
    >was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As
    >is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears
    >weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every
    >mood.
    >
    >She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her
    >cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many
    >years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I
    >felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down
    >sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”
    >
    >Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said “I’m so sorry.” She
    >hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to
    >a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or
    >have to fend for myself – a place of love and light so very different
    >from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to
    >convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not
    >directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I
    >will think of you and wait for you forever.
    >
    >May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
    >
    >The End
    >
    >
    >
    >A note from the author: If “How Could You?” brought tears to your eyes
    >as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the
    >composite story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each year
    >in America’s shelters.
    >
    >Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a non-commercial purpose,
    >as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice.
    >
    >Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on
    >animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. I appreciate receiving
    >copies of newsletters which reprint “How Could You?” or “The Animals’
    >Savior,” sent to me at the last postal address below.
    >
    >Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an
    >important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care,
    >that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your
    >responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can
    >offer you good advice, and that all life is precious. Please do your
    >part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in
    >order to prevent unwanted animals.
    >
    >If you are a member of an animal welfare organization, I encourage you
    >to participate in the Spay/Neuter Billboard Campaign from ISAR
    >(International Society for Animal Rights); for more information, please
    >visit: http://www.i-s-a-r.com
    >
    >Thank you,
    >Jim Willis
    >Director, The Tiergarten Sanctuary Trust, accredited member of The
    >American Sanctuary Association, and Program Coordinator, International
    >Society for Animal Rights

  29. if you really knew what happens in a shelter and all the animals killed each year from people that , i am moving, i am having a baby, i have a new pet this year, i can not afford him any longer, COME ON PEOPLE, your loving pet is being sold or given away to have test done on them, being killed everyday in the shelters you drop them off at, if this was you child which many of us call animals, would you be so willing to give them up for this

  30. calico says:

    I agree with the wake-up call. But before you vilify the shelters, understand the typical shelter is not killing animals to “make money”. I’m a core volunteer for my local (no-kill) animal rescue. I respectfully disagree with your assumptions about animal shelters.

    Many times Board of Directors take no pay, or if they do get remuneration, it’s a token amount. If they have to pay staff, realize that staff does not work for free. There is a BIG shortage of reliable, honest volunteers willing to work in shelters. Volunteers have to be trained, and then they may only show up sporadically. Yes, it’s true the shelter administrator has to be paid, but please tell me where you will find a reliable volunteer with the necessary skills who can work a 40+ hour week for free. Staff is as important to keeping a shelter open as the dog & cat food.

    In a perfect world, all shelters would be no-kill. But in a perfect world, more owners would do spay/neuter. More owners of adult animals wouldn’t give them away once the novelty wore off, because they’re “moving” or suddenly are “too busy” for him. More communities need to step up and offer FUNDING to their shelters in the first place. Without funding no shelter can stay open.

    Understand also that shelters rarely get discounts on medical supplies or veterinary services. Owners drop off ill pets because it “costs too much” to have that tumor removed. Kittens are dropped off because the owner says “it’s too expensive to spay all the cats”. Shelters are paying those same [high] rates for vet services as the owners. Where do you think they get their money from? Some get a stipend from the local government for Animal Control (stray pets, population control) but it does not go far enough to pay for proper care, rehab, and re-homing of these animals.

    Also understand that a significant % of animals are dropped off at shelters because of behavioral problems. The dog “barks too much” or “keeps chewing up my shoes”. The cat “pees everywhere”. The horse “bucks when I try to ride him”. Again, it comes back to money: shelters WANT to re-train the animals. But it cannot be done until YOU increase your donations to your local rescue or shelter and/or pressure politicians to fund Animal Control programs better. Some of the animals misbehave because of illness or pain. Some simply were never taught right. Again, the shelter has to pay for vet and trainers’ services. I have yet to find a vet or professional trainer who will take a pay cut working for my animal rescue program just because we want them to. Trainers can cost $30-$60/hour. A vet eval to rule out the kidney infection of the cat who pees everywhere: $150+ by the time you add in blood-work. Where do you think the shelter finds that $150 if nobody wants to donate to help someone elses’ animals? What does the shelter do to find the money for the trainer… do they not pay the power & water bill and have their utilities cut off? It’s tough running an animal shelter.

    And when it comes time to adopt the animals out, shelters can never recoup a fraction of what it cost to get the average animal healthy, more trained, and adoptable. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard people complain that the cats at the area shelters are “way too expensive” at $75. So when their neighbor’s unspayed cat keeps breeding, they happily take free kittens. Sure it encourages more irresponsible breeding. And it ends up costing the pet owner more money; the “free” kitten now needs deworming, testing, vaccinations, vet exam, and other care. Some people still think they’re “helping” by paying for the sad pet-shop dog. Every time you buy an animal from the petshop or classified ad, you’re leaving a dog or cat in a shelter to die. Don’t shop — adopt!

  31. Anonymous says:

    i’m a registered vet tech and i can tell you not all animals “know what’s going to happen” or “smell death” when they’re going to be euthanized and at least in the state i live in it’s illegal for anybody but a vet or registered tech to perform euthanasia. yes, there are shelters out there like this, but that’s an extreme worst-case scenario and they’re few and far between in my experience. most nowadays are nonprofit organizations that thrive on adoption fees and donations from animal lovers and most that volunteer are animal lovers themselves. this does not mean you should feel like giving up your pet is not a big deal because it is. yes, they will put sick animals down even if it’s just sniffling, to reduce transmission of contagious disease to other pets. yes, pets will get aggressive because they’re not in a familiar environment and are scared and shelters won’t invest in training/rehab and will be euthanized. yes, “breeders” (i put that in quotes because there are people who breed solely to make money and not to better the breed) contribute to the problem because they’re left with pups they can’t place. if you absolutely cannot be with your pet anymore, maybe a friend or family member will take him? maybe your vet can find a home? responsible breeders will also help you find a home as well. good shelters are wonderful but not always the ideal option.
    a note on “breeders”, never get a puppy that has dirt or poop all over it, has aggressive parents, has deformed littermates, has watery eyes/gunky ears/fleas/diarrhea/vomiting, or lives in an environment that is dirty and/or has a history of a parvo outbreak. use your common sense. i don’t care if the bloodline’s good, bloodline isn’t everything.
    that’s my 2 cents.

  32. daniel kazen says:

    In the 8Os I was homeless living in my car and so was my dog, he ate when I did’nt…

  33. Trish Daunais says:

    I knew when I saw the topic this was going to be a tough read for me. I have been an animal lover my whole life. Part of it is about educating the public to be responsible pet owners. All my pets were always taken to be spayed or neutered. So I feel I do the right thing that way. 2 of the 3 dogs I have had as part of my family were bought from a breeder (GSD) and the last one I got as a buddy for my dog through a foster to adopt program. I will NEVER EVER bye a dog again in my life. My motto is adopt don’t buy and i tell whoever will listen to me. People don’t realize how dire the situation is. This is a good forum to get the public aware, but people like me who love animals will take the time to read it. It has to get out there to the general public so there won’t just be the outrage that “Daniel” managed to survive gassing and is now adopted in a loving family, but what about all the other cats and dogs that don’t even have a name and no one is outraged about them dying by the masses every single day. Thank you for the passion you have towards these forgotten pets. .

  34. Janis says:

    this is SO true but the shelter I worked in it was worse…. trust me. I wont go into it because it makes me very upset to think about it.

  35. carie gouldsbrough says:

    Ppl need to see the truth..a pet is not disposable…

  36. As a registered, ethical exhibitor (and “occasional” breeder – not quite one litter per year) of pure-breds, I and my partner put ALL prospective new owners through as “intensive” a screening as we can, and the predominant point of ours is making sure that the people are going to keep the dog.
    Of course, something unexpected and unavoidable may crop up in peoples lives, and we have ALWAYS told EVERY person we sold one of our puppies to, that if they can not keep their dog (from us) for any reason, that we will ALWAYS take them back, to find a new “forever home” for them.
    Fortunately, we have only had to do this once in many years.

    I personally think that the government should prohibit the backyard breeding and sale of dogs (ALL TYPES) and especially the sale of dogs through classifieds advertisments.
    The only people who should be allowed to breed and sell dogs should be members of their respective state’s Canine Authority, and prospective buyers should be made to apply through a process involving that body.
    That way, many of the “impulse buyers” will simply not be bothered to go through that red tape… and the puppies which do get sold will find homes with the people who are prepared to go out of their way to give them that home.

    But, sadly, there will be all these Nay-sayers crying about businesses that will close (what ? because you dont sell a few cross-bred dogs and cats ? become licensed breeder! ) …
    and people will be worried that they cannot buy a “cheap dog” anymore… well, if the price is your main concern – you are probably not the right kind of person to own a dog in the first place.

  37. Jo Odom says:

    I thank you for posting this article because it tells the real truth! I preach this to people all of the time on how bad the animal shelters are!!!! They only keep them 3 days in Texarkana, Arkansas! You are so right also ……. it is all about the money here too! When people here get tired of their pets they automatically say “I’ll take it to the animal shelter” I get really verbal about this (MAD)!!!
    I am just one person but I preach to people (SAY IT MORE THAN ONE TIME AND THEN ASK THEM WHAT I JUST SAID) …………. I tell them ……. if you can not feed, keep and take care of a dog or cat ……. then don’t get one!!!!! I am pretty sturn!!!!!!!!! I also tell them don’t adopt a dog/cat on a spur of the moment decision without thinking it through!!!! I also preach to them that at 6 months of age or earlier that puppy/kitten female is going to come in heat/season and want to breed so please get the dog/cat spayed before this happens and produces more unwanted puppies and kittens!!!!! I just recently picked up a momma dachshund and 7 small puppies ……. so yes I do know what I am talking about!!! I have found 4 of the pups good homes or as good as I possible could and they also got my sermon!!!!!!!!!! I have 3 puppies left plus momma not counting all the unwanted ones I have in my house that are spayed/neutered or the ones that are not are about to be!!!!!!!! Think about all of this everyone and preach to people as I do about the importance of adopting spaying and neutering and not taking that pet to the animal shelter for a death sentence!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR READING AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012!!!!!!

  38. Rose Schaut says:

    Private Pet Sanctuaries that promote fostering until adoption and / or allow the dogs to run free on acres of land exist, and provide the best opportunity for adopting a dog who is human and “other-pet” socialized. This is why I now support, adopt from, and promote these type of private Pet Rescue organizations. Unfortunately, I no longer support shelters that keep frightened dogs in concrete enclosures indefinitely, thereby ultimately “ruining” their chances of being emotionally able to live normal lives in homes with families. Do your homework and be sure your $ is not being given to organizations that operate as this one described.

  39. in some ways i can take in what you are saying but on the other hand im wondering why do you stay,one day they will run out of gofers and gitdats and then who will be left to do that shitty fricken job,noted!i see what your saying ,on the other hand,how bad do you want to keep being the GRIMM REEPER .AS FOR PUTTING THEM DOWN LOOK IN THERE EYES,do you see one of our children that may have died in a passed life youve just gave it another death sentence! always the eyes,see if you could see inside there soul,could there be someone you loved that may have passed away and just maybe if re-incarnation does happen which loved one did you just kill.there are far more good reasons for not killing them poor babies than there is bad reasons for taking a little ones life.give all of us a good enough reason for why they should be murdered ,make us understand a senseless animal being killed for no other reason than just breathing,our lord died for our sins,are our beloved pets supposed to die for NOTHING!!!!!

  40. Debra Mills says:

    There are many counties and towns that could care less about the animal shelters and what goes on there. Even with petitions signed by thousands of animal loving people and local rescue groups, get stomped on by the commissioners and local authorities and will not pass any legislation on stopping gas chamber use and other horrific practices to “rid the town” of unwanted animals. We animal lovers and rescue groups of Davidson Co. NC experienced this first hand at a commissioners meeting where one commissioner made the vote to stop using the gas chamber to kill innocent animals and not one other commissioner seconded the vote! The sheriff is over animal control, and was asked if he would euthanize his dogs in the gas chamber, of course he said no, but did he speak out for other animals, of course not. This archaic county makes me sick. So I constantly educate people when they say, “gotta get rid of my dog cause he tracks dirt in my house”. I let ‘em know what will happen to their “pet”, and pray they have a little compassion for a possible “ex” family member and their demise.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I had to find a home for one of my beloved English Bulldogs but I found him a home. Unfortunately the people who took him surrendered him to a shelter and refused to tell me where or whom they were, In desperation I emailed all the shelters in the area. Last night the shelter who took my Beau Beau called me and told me he had been adopted by a loving family and he did not spend the night in the shelter. Luckily this shelter was one of the good ones. I will never forgive myself for letting Beau Beau go to the wrong home, I wish I had him but I was homeless and couldn’t take care of him. I thought if I placed him with a (good) family he would have a good life, My story is do anything to keep and love your 4 legged babies, because when you give them away you have no more control.

  42. Tom says:

    I am the director of a Rescue based in Missouri. Missouri has some of the worse puppy mills in the country and so with all of the breeder releases to shelters in central MO you can count on the euth rate being 100% if I do not go there at all. A lot of shelters depend on rescues and this post does not talk about that at all.
    So if you dog is a puppy, scruffy or rare you can count on a rescue pulling that dog. But if your dog is over 35 pounds or black they are good as dead. Instead of seeking shelters contact rescues. And those of you who are afraid of what the rescues are going to think because you are surrendering your dog GROW A PAIR. Dont let your dog die because you are scared of what people may think.

  43. Diane Bender says:

    Educate, educate, educate. I was one of those people who did not know or care what happened at the shelter. Until I went down looking for a lost dog. I could never get the faces out of my mind and began to do rescue right then. You have to get people into the shelter to see those faces. Have fundraisers, ask people to bring in unwanted blankets and towls, have an open house with a raffle. Anything to get them into the building. It really is true, out of sight, out of mind.

  44. Jackie says:

    If Vets or oganizations would offer free or very low cost spay and neutering then there would be less animals that wind up in the shelters and less animals put to death. You have to attack the problem before you can render a solution.

  45. I have 3 cats and a dog. I got them when my finances were stable. Now I have went through my savings and am having a hard time providing for them. I also have 3 human children. Everyone keeps trying to force me to send my animal children to a pound and move into low income housing. ( They don’t accept pets in any of them around my area) No one seems to understand that they are not just things in my house, they are part of my family. I can’t imagine something like this happening to my family. If the day comes when I can’t take care of them I will find them a home my self, not leave them in the hands of an uncaring stranger.

  46. marian says:

    4,000,000 dogs alone are put down each year in the USA,and twice as many cats. People have to start caring about more than just things and go back to nature and care about living breathing animals that we domesticated for our purposes.

  47. Julia says:

    I cried reading this. I used to live in the mountains of NE Pennsylvania, and people would drop their unwanted pets off on the side of the road, usually cats. The cats always found a way under our barn, and most times were pregnant, giving birth beneath the floors of the stables or behind the stacks of hay bales. I always wanted to keep every single one (the ones that survived, at least) but we already had too many animals. It was heartbreaking taking them to the SPCA because I knew what would ultimately happen if no loving family decided to adopt them. Volunteering in shelters was never enough for me; I just wish I could adopt all the unwanted animals and give them the love they deserve, the love they should have gotten from their original families! People need to think long and hard before buying or adopting animals. They are not just some possession you can keep until you grow bored or annoyed with it. When you bring them into your home, they should be treated as part of your family. You wouldn’t drop your kid off at the shelter to be euthanized if it went to the bathroom on the carpet one too many times, would you?

  48. [...] In the introduction area of Mr. Cameron’s book, he makes a dedication to the women of shelter work and says that they must be angels in disguise. I personally believe this must be a true statement, and after working at Richmond Animal League for 8 months, I am still in awe over the work they do. (See On this Eve of Christmas) However, with the holidays comes many adoptions in the animal world, and I wanted to share what a fellow blogger has already reposted: http://makeadifferencerescue.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/so-youre-thinking-about-giving-up-your-pet-you… [...]

  49. Jenn says:

    As a vet tech who has also worked in shelters, this article is completely true. I beg people to THINK!!! Each of my pets is a rescue. I will never ever buy a pet from a breeder… And my 2 dogs, a collie shep mix and a pit bull, are an incredible blessing and love in my and my family’s lives

  50. How horrible, I had no idea. I read somewhere that how a society treats it most helpless proves how humane or inhuman they are, it is sad that these helpless creatures are put to death because of the whims of ignorant people who should never have had a pet in the first place.

  51. Unfortunately, having to move to a place that doesn’t allow pets IS a real and, in many cases, unavoidable situation. MANY apartment complexes either do not allow pets, have very tight size restrictions, or charge fees that make the possibility unreachable.

    Also, in my experience, most “private” landlords also do not allow pets at all. The risk to their property from animal “accidents” is just too great.

    While I support a good portion of your article, to hold it over someone who doesn’t have a choice is unfair and shortsighted. There are many of us that live in a world where decisions are made for us rather than by us, based upon finances and many other factors. You can be there to help, but you don’t have the right to judge.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I work in animal rescue in the UK. Animal rescues in the UK are mainly charities run by an HQ monitoring branches around the country which are staffed solely by volunteers. These volunteers work very hard to raise funds so they are self funding. The particular charity I am involved with has a non destruction policy. The rescues are not run to make a profit – the funds raised are all ploughed back into the day to day running…….nobody working on the ground receives a salary. In a big wealthy country like the US which is full of animal lovers I have to say that I am deeply shocked that profits are put before animal welfare.

  53. linda g. says:

    be kind to animals, they did not ask to be born into a world that does not care, when the cuteness wears off, or they get bored with their needs, or to selfish to spend time with them, to feed or water, or give shelter when needed. the bible in Proverbs 12:10 says that a righteous man will tend to God’s creatures, we are to care for animals, not abuse them. put yourself in their place, how would it feel to you to be abandoned, beaten, starved, rejected, left to die…. Be kind to animals, they deserve better than we give them. open up your heart and help, be a voice for them, speak out, they need a chance….

  54. When you adopt a pet from a shelter, you save ONE. When you adopt from a rescue, then they save another from a shelter, vet them, re-rehabilitate them and find them a forever home…. then another then another and another and another and the saving continues….. Why just save ONE?

  55. Anonymous says:

    my dog is going to the vet tomorrow………have spent more than $5000 in the past few years, but hey……….he would do it for me.

  56. janine says:

    It is so sad but this is TRUE. I wish everyone would read this and WAKE UP

  57. Rescued 3 cats and took in an injured stray cat. If i were able (financially) not to mention the Humane Society will not allow me anymore animals because of all the horders out there. I would adopt every animal out of every cage. I have seen the bad and it is a crime not to mention evil what these people get away with!

  58. NEVERNEVERNEVER Someone will have to pry him out of my cold dead arms. That is the ONLY way I will ever give up my bff Oilver!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. msbitchhands says:

    This is why I volunteer at a no kill shelter when I have the time. This is why I buy my dog food from that same shelter’s store since the profits go to that shelter.

    It’s why I’ve got two rescue dogs and four rescue cats. It’s why I chose a pit bull to adopt as my second dog, and why I kept the 13 year old cat that adopted me. It’s why I refused to let my youngest cat be dropped off at the shelter by my ex’s mom.

    My rescued animals rescue me. They are the only reason I wake up, and the only reason that I manage to smile…

    If you are looking for a pet, adopt. These animals have so much love to give. They make me want to be a better human.

  60. Huh? says:

    This does not happen in Australia… we ensure all animals who come into a shelter is treated for any illnesses and also vaccinated against any further illness, they are all then provided behavioural training to deal with “Shelter life”… they are given many weeks to show that they can be adopted. also i’m not sure what the US euthanizes with, but in Australia we euthanize with an overdose of anaesthetic, meaning it wont “burn” them as quoted in this story, they dont gasp for air or spasm (a very small majority might, just like some humans have a reaction to anaesthetic). so i’m not sure if this person who wrote this was exaggerating to try and freak people out to make a difference, but this certainly isnt how it is done in Australia…. one of the most common sayings in OZ is “only in America”

  61. molli says:

    This message has been posted so many times in craigslist, I suppose all over the US and all it happend was it was flagged from people who support this shelter crueltys.We all PAY this crappy shelters for killing these animals,because institiutions like the county or the city want to be “clean” for tourists…..and sadly so many people agree in this.
    I myself am a landlord and allow all the tenants having their animals WITHOUT a pet fee as problems are ALLWAYS caused by the humans, NEVER by the animals. Every tenant gets THIS story above when he moves in even if he seems to be a animal lover…..you NEVER know and I wanna make them beeing aware of their decisions in the future.
    America is such a wonderful country but as long as everything is PROFIT oriented, there will be NO chance in minds!

  62. Sal says:

    This makes me think of a post I saw on Facebook a few months back. A woman was trying to get someone to adopt her friend’s dog. Why? Because the friend had just had a baby, and now couldn’t keep the dog. What kind of sense does that make?? You have a kid, so now suddenly you have to surrender the dog you’ve had for nine years? Not only that, but the dog, a dachshund, I believe, was blind. A nine year old blind dog. What kind of heartless, pathetic human could possibly send this little angel to a shelter, simply because they just had a baby? I’ll never forget that posting. They even posted a picture of the dog with a big plastic spoon in her mouth….she apparently carried it everywhere, it was her security and favorite toy. I still wonder what became of her. My heart breaks for these defenseless little babies that are so devalued in our society. These animals do nothing but give us unconditional love, yet our society portrays them as soulless, disposable objects with no feelings. It truly makes me ashamed of humankind,

  63. Patrycja says:

    Thank you for writing this. How can we change all this? We all say that changes need to be done. Lets stand together and make changes. Where do we start? What can we do? Anyone has any ideas?

  64. Kristel says:

    What if surrendering your dog to the shelter was your last resort because she needed surgery and you couldn’t afford to do it? what if you already spent thousands of dollars within a short period of time and you have reached out to some many rescue groups to help and even the rescue group you got her from wont take her because they are “financially tapped”… do you leave her at home to suffer ..? what if you already owe the vet thousands and they wont do more surgery without full payment? I Had to take my baby to the shelter this week.. I called before and they told me she would go to the medical unit and the vet staff would evaluate her. I knew that they worked with several rescues so after I dropped her off I contacted my last resort. I happen to meet a girl at the shelter who gave me the number to this rescue. I emailed him and he called the shelter right away and committed to her if they would treat her.. so sometimes maybe the shelter isnt such a bad thing if you take your pet there for the right reason. I tried and tried.. I believe that shelters are bad in some areas but for a shelter in my local area that is a “kill shelter” there new year goal is to be a “no kill shelter” . Had I left my little baby at home with her medical needs untreated she would have probably died or lost her leg. But I didnt take her there because of any of those reasons listed in this article. those people who send there animals to the shelter because they “just cant handle the dog” or are moving or any other controllable issue should never have committed to having a pet. aCTUALLY WHAT AM I SAYING? “COMMITTED”? they probably adobted the dog or cat wit the thought “we can always bring them back if it doesnt work out”

    take your dogs or cats to a shelter for a reason like mine and keep trying to save her life even after you drop her off and maybe more animals wouldnt be put to sleep and more would be rescued. .. that just my thought…

  65. the reaper says:

    True story, We have a pet population problem in the USA, something has to be done, and unfortunately lots of homeless animals must be put down.

  66. Candace says:

    and ppl who use the excuse “we are haing a baby we have to get rid of it” should be shot.. animals and babies get along just find its ignorance….

  67. gina saye says:

    This makes me SICK! Cried for hours. How cruel and heartless can a person be?! Wake up world!! These babies need our help!

  68. Anonymous says:

    I rescued my beautiful Ekski from the local Shelter when my eskie had to pass on as her old body could not go on. The dissreguard on animals goes further than you know. Some people are against creamations of their pet. I was for it but did not trust it would really be my pet if I shipped her off and received her back (supposedly). SO I made a special request to take my dog the next morning myself to the place where they do the creamatory. I picked out a marble urn, had a plate engraved and then we left off to the actual creamatory. I placed my dog in an empty creamatory & stayed while they turned it on. I also was there to see her ashes and put her tags in and then I let them seal her up. Not 3 days afterwards on the news,a mass pile of animals was found in the words. I guess the middle man wanted to save some money. If they can store human bodies in the sheds in the Carolinas, they can surely discard of animals without disreguard. It is a cycle, but many shelters have there hands tied. So community involvement and fundraising is the only way to attack matters.If you do not donate or get involved and can afford to do so, then you have no right to complain. Many people who are low budgeted income do more than those that live the high life.

  69. Anonymous says:

    We have always taken in strays and right now we have two dogs. There are No Kill shelters in some states. Unfortunately, here in tulsa we closed our shelter but built a huge stadium. Talk about screwed up priorities. My best friends took in two huge dogs because a lady couldn’t take them to her smaller apartment. Our other animals since we moved were cremated – not put down and are in an urn where my ashes will be placed. They were our family – no matter how weird that sounds!!! Rae Worsham

  70. Iris says:

    So sad, so true.
    I brought my cat from Israel when I relocated to the US. I am amazed how easily people dispose their pets, totally not value and respect their lives. When I look in animals’ eyes, I ask forgiveness for all humans’ horrifying acts.

  71. caz says:

    Cried my eyes out!!! Wont Eva look @ my babies, pound or shelter dogs the same :’( hearts broken

  72. Anonymous says:

    How awful. We love our baby Delia. She is six years old but will always be our baby

  73. Mary Sawyer says:

    Let us not “kill” the messenger here, Folks. Yes, everything said is totally unacceptable, and there are SOME good, no-kill shelters. But truthfully most shelters in the US are NOT no-kill, are like the one described, and no amount of demanding (especially during these economic hardships) better conditions from local politicians is going to do anything to change those realities until people’s attitudes toward animals change from considering them nothing more than property without any ability to reason; love; feel sadness, fear, loneliness, depression, or happiness. Those of us who actually live with our pets know we aren’t anthropomorphizing them, but until they can no longer deny it, it’s easier for people to accept their own bad behaviour toward animals and everything it entails if they can believe animals are like stuffed toys with no real feelings. One way to bring that change is through education, another is through legislation that protects animals and forces abusers or potential abusers to realize animal health and lives have value in the judicial system just as human lives do, and in the meantime we can keep trying to help as many animals as each of us can to live safer, more joyous lives.

  74. cheriekruebbeguillot says:

    omg!thats sad. people should be forced to spend 1 day in a shelter Before they are able to even get a pet! my pets are like my kids! good or bad,u deal with what they are. same as ur kids. god bless pet lovers

  75. cheriekruebbeguillot says:

    i think its selfish that people get pets on a whim! sad! i love my pets like kids.

  76. Cynthia Eliason says:

    There is a LOT of misinformation in this article. Hardly any of it is true in the case of the shelter where I worked. If the writer is describing some specific shelter, someone needs to make them comply with standards for humane care.

  77. Bonnie says:

    I hate to say it, not all, but many shelters are like the one described above. Many are down south and in the midwest in smaller communities but some, such as MDAS in Miami and the shelters in NYC and the many shelters in LA are extremely overcrowded. And it is true, many of the animals are put down after 72 hours, regardless of how sweet they are. Purebreeds are included in this group. And while I don’t believe that all shelter workers are bad and don’t care, there have been some shelters where evidence of neglect, selling animals to research facilities, even allowing dogs to fight while they are passing in the areas between kennels will go on. Several are under investigation now for these very things. And the rescues are constantly trying to pick up the slack. There are just not enough fosters nor are there enough funds to pull a pup or cat, vet them , transport them and get them all to a new home. There are just to many. And that is the real issue. We do NOT enforce mandatory spay and neuter as it should be, we do NOT make cruelty and neglect and abandonment a felony in every state. And we do NOT mandate a ban on breeding by anyone including AKC registered breeders for a set number of years. And to me, the only way to make sure a breeder is “reputable” is to make them go to school and take a test and get a license. If people who cut your hair need a license then damn certain a person who breeds living beings should definitely have a license. That is why there are so many pups that have temperment issues and health issues. One has to know animal husbandry well to make sure inbreeding and inferior breeding does not happen. Too many people see breeding as a profit only undertaking. I believe if the AKC really cared about keeping blood lines clean it would want knowledgeable, trained and licensed people breeding and showing dogs. And they would care enough about their breed and all breed pups to want to stop breeding until the horrific numbers of animals has been reduced and homes found for all of them. Please support this and please do not adopt a pet unless you think long and hard about the responsibility of it. Animals feel just as we do. They are NOT disposable !

  78. Anonymous says:

    People are losing there homes and having to give up there animals cause they dont have places to live and alot of your apartments or poor people on housing can not have animals and we all know the elderly and children and the homeless can benefit from animals but cant do it alone, Did u read the article about how the womens shelter are gona keep animals for the women who stay in them its awesome article, well I love animals and do my best by them city tags and shots and the care for them is also expensive even with the city annual shot month, but I wont give them up I did that several times and just cant forget God Bless and good luck,

  79. Sabrina says:

    This article make me grateful for all my pets. Especially my beloved dog Nick. We got him at the Humane Society and we were told that he has anger and aggression issues. He is the sweetest little guy ever, he only gets mad at people who try and tickle his owners (it’s actually kinda cute) certain types of people upset him but we assume he was abused in his old home (the person who brought him into the Humane Society was calling him nas-t AKA Nasty). And most of the time when he barks and growls at a new person it can be solved with a belly rub and a treat. My cat we found as a kitten on the street and she kinda just adopted us, and is an awesome cat. My rabbit we got from a friend who developed an allergy and is potty trained and kinda skittish but, it’s a rabbit. The only pets we did not adopt were the Ball Python and the Beta fish, but I consider the beta fish a rescue because they live in those tiny bowls in the pet store and are so close to each other they are often puffing their gills, and ramming their heads against the walls of the bowls to try and fight each other.

    Moral of my story, I love my pets and am thankful for them

  80. Shantell says:

    I know many of you are wanting to shake your fist at the shelters, but I think it is the whole system out of whack. Here in Canada, dropping an animal at the SPCA costs money, even when it is a stray you found. They have video cameras up so people cannot anonymously leave animals or they will be charged. Are you serious?! Criminalize those attempting to be responsible?! Why not enforce an annual fee for having “intact” pets? The cost of spaying/neutering would seem a much smaller burden then…Hire vets through the province to do just spays and neuters at a discounted rate. Perhaps places like the indian reserves, where dog packs are excessive, could be included in the rounds. Collaring fixed strays will mark them as sterile and the numbers would quickly reduce. Instead, we charge those trying to do the right thing and wonder why people don’t bother rescuing dogs or leave boxes of kittens on highways. Time to try a new angle, don’t you all agree?

  81. Katy Barrie says:

    This is the reason i have 10 dogs and 4 cats , I have rescued 4 dogs and 3 cats , the cats were thrown away like garbage and my dogs their owners no longer wanted them :-( they are loved and are treated like my kids and i wouldnt be with out any of them :-) this breaks my heart to read and see these pics…… I am in the UK and i see so many beautiful dogs being shared on fb and i feel so helpless as they are so far away and i can do nothing to help :-( !!!!

  82. Shared facebook, twitter

  83. amber says:

    WHAT IN THE WORLD…people are really nasty..this absolutely unnecessary.they could tale one moment to bury these poor animals…sorry but that is animal cruelty…WOW

  84. David Emery says:

    Every dog/cat etc. should be sterilized before leaving the shelter, they do this in Phila.Pa. People are stupid anymore. they are now treating their kids like animals, just put them in a dumpster or box and let somebody find them and take care of them.

  85. [...] is a copy of a post found at the Make A Difference Rescue Blog. Neither I nor MAD Rescue are the original authors, but the piece was intended for widespread [...]

  86. angela says:

    i have never seen truer words put to pen. I was a vet tech who sometimes put down forty animals a day. I witnessed horrible things i the shelter i worked in. If only all owners could see this.

  87. teresa haugen says:

    A thought I’d like to add, these apartments and so forth that don’t allow pets? Why do you think that is? I’m pretty sure it’s because they are tired of having to replace the carpeting and other things that are ruined because the PET OWNER did not take the time to housebreak their puppy or give their cats a scratching post, etc. It all boils down to irresponsible pet owners. If you have to move look for a place that allows your pet. If you cannot find one or afford it, please look for a good home for your pet. If you won’t do that then take the poor creature and have your vet put the innocent little creature to sleep. Sound harsh? Well it’s a lot better than what they face in a shelter. Especially a gassing shelter. If you can’t commit for a lifetime, do NOT get a pet, if life throws you a nasty curveball and you find yourself in a bad situation and can’t get help, have your pet put down humanely. That is far better than the suffering they will endure because you “don’t have the heart to do that”.

  88. kat says:

    I am actually in tears reading this. I have 2 dogs myself which we prevented from going to the kennels and my mum has always got dogs from kennels. I hate it when people keep breesding just to make money! I sometime threaten to take my youngest dog to the kennels for misbehaving, but after this I would never realy consider it. The LAZY SELFISH people are basically sending these dogs to die and that’s disgustin. I’m only 20 and my oldest is 2 and I know I’ve got a lot of time with them and I would do my best to find them a loving home before going kennels. In my opinion dogs are on the same level as people, and I personally wouldn’t send a person to a place where they would die cos I couldn’t be ar**ed with them.

  89. Anonymous says:

    That is why every one of my rescues are fixed. And any and every time I converse with anyone thinking about getting a four legged companion I give them the locations of the nearby animal shelters (oxymoron) to adopt a rescue because of what is happening. I have 5 rescues and 2 of the 5 I took in because an acquaintance had a cat or dog that if they didn’t find a home for were going to be surrendered to the Humane Society (another oxymoron). I am a big supporter of the notion if you are going to adopt a companion GET THEM SPAYED or NEUTERED!

  90. blb says:

    I see the point they were trying to make, but they speak as if all shelters ever are like this when they are not. Non-profit humane societies are not like that at all. What this person discribes sounds more like a pound that has changed it’s name to animal shelter to sound more appealing. My local humane society doesn’t put animals down unless there is no other choice. There are cats who have been there for 5 years or more, same with some of the dogs. They will hold on to them as long as they need to until they find a home. They also work with the local vets for any vet services, which many of them either do pro bono or at a very reduced price.

  91. megan says:

    Not to mention your pet may end up in a research lab as well. It’s heart wrenching to know that as a kid, we gave up two wonderful dogs. I’m so sorry.

  92. Anonymous says:

    I find it amazing that anyone is arguing that there are better shelters or that euthanasia isn’t exactly as described. The message here is to not look at your animals as disposable items. Period. Adopt when you can, support your shelters to help the animals that were deemed disposable by the ignorant. Thank you for creating this post.

  93. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god, the barrels… :(

  94. Kenda Stacy says:

    Work to make your shelter a “no-kill” shelter. We have 3 in the area and are working to make our city shelter a “no-kill” shelter. There is a seminar coming up that discusses how to make this happen. Our shelter is wonderful and they do all they can to save the dogs/cats/and others by contacting rescues and providing them in the local pet stores!!

    We can band together to make all the shelters no kill!!!

  95. mary says:

    At least now the animals are euthanized with the “pink dream” instead of the gas chamber like when I worked at an animal control. I had to quit because it was so horrible. I wanted to work there so someone that loved animals would be taking care of them but the process used then caused me to have PTSD and I was forced to quit. I advocated for years to get the process changed after quitting so it can be done (changes). I think every school age child around the age of 11-12 (5th or 6th grade) should have a field trip to the local animal control or animal care and custody, what ever they call it in your town. The euthanasia room should NOT be skipped. REALLY. Let them understand the full grasp of letting “my little baby” having just one litter really does. Let them see the entire “cycle of life” the parents are so interested in teaching when getting the animal pregnant.

  96. Fluffy says:

    One of the reasons this happens is because the cost to spay and neuter animals is outrageous in certain areas. Believe it or not, I am from Vancouver, and the cost to spay and neuter animals is under $100.00 at clinics which specialize in this. I am now living in the country in northern Alberta and the cost to spay my dog was over $350.00. I have 5 dogs and slowly one by one, each will be fixed, but the affordability is simply what drives people away from responsibility. Farmers with livestock need the dogs to work on the farm, yet few are wealthy enough to pay that much to spay or neuter all their dogs. Vancouver does not have the problem with abandoned, stray, unwanted and unloved animals that we do in this area. What we need to demand is affordable veterinary procedures or this disregard for animals will continue. I flagged an ad that advertised a bad dog for anyone who wanted TARGET PRACTICE! The government or counties need to subsidize the vet costs to get them down to a reasonable number, then the shelters will not be full and animals will not be considered disposable items.

  97. I’ve worked in a private British shelter, no we didn’t have this drive to euthenase , but the pens are cramped and the cats can start chewing chunks of fur out of themselves because they’re bored and depressed after they’ve been there a while. The eyes plead for some kind of attention. And the ones with serious problems would be euthenased if there weren’t some of us who just take them ourselves. That shelter has an excellent vet service twice a week and they do their best to keep the cats healthy but even so it’s still depressing.

  98. Vanessa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Even though it isn’t pleasant information, it is crucial for pet owners to read and comprehend. I can’t imagine giving up a family member to a shelter and it’s sad that other families are ok with doing this.

  99. Anonymous says:

    Very touching, but do you eat meat? No difference. (I’m vegan, and fostering animals… just jaded.)

    • carol frayne says:

      It is sad when annonymous people write negative things when trying to deal with a serious situation – this is not a matter of “do you eat meat” this is a question of people abandoning their unwanted animals to someone else to take care of. It is about responsible animal ownership.

  100. Carol Frayne says:

    I moved here in 1993 and was a frequent visitor to the Animal “shelter” to donate and observe and it was disgusting then. It is still disgusting and 18 years down the line we have still not done any educating of our best listeners, OUR CHILDREN! Why not? Why has the state as well as Macon such lax laws on people perpetually breeding and selling animals? The culture here about spending money on anyone but yourself is appallingly selfish. People in powerful places being paid a lot of money to make decisions which don’t include animals and waste our money on meaningless things like endless parks for a few to enjoy. We judge our society by the way we treat animals and the way we treat them in Macon is like garbage to be dispossed of as and when it suits us. Shame on Macon and surrounding areas who don’t want to spend any money in dealing with this terrible and ongoing problem. Shame on our politicians and city council also for ignoring the calls from the shelter for so long as well as from the general public. Funds for endless parks costing us millions of dollars but very little for animals or animal rights. To change the culture you have to educate, educate but we haven’t done a darn thing here to educate our children about animal welfare. The people who care about animals have to lobby the commissioners and use strong language and tell them that animals count and should be treated humanly. We don’t for God’s sake even have a vet euthanizing these poor animals – how would you like it is some stranger grabbed you around your body, slam dunked you to the table, took your wrist harshly and prodded a sharp pin into you and then whatever it is hurts like hell. You soon would be yelling your lungs out, terrified of what is happening and ready to take on someone if you escape. Looking the other way about these issues doesn’t help. The people of Macon can’t keep doing this.

  101. Lori W says:

    I realize this is hard core truth but… as a certified euthanasia tech those holding the animal should be well versed in calming techniques. I used to put animals down at my shelter and at the animal control facility across the street and it was very rare that we had to wrestle the animal down. And letting them suffer till dead – WTF is wrong with you? Switch your drugs – the blue stuff is just as good and doesn’t burn like pink crap. I ran a shelter also – everyone doing euthanasia was properly trained. And a board of directors that gets PAID!! This was posted on craigslist so I am assuming that its from a shelter in Sacramento where it was listed. Do you know what Euthanasia means? It means “good death”. You are seriously suffering from compassion fatigue and if your board can’t or won’t pay for proper training for those performing euthanasia, then you need to stand up to them and tell them NO MORE. I agree with the overall purpose of this but you’ve made yourself sound horrible and ridiculous, 3 hours to hit the vein! If you were at my shelter our board would have fired you long ago. You don’t work at or run a shelter – it’s an animal control facility at best. Putting animals down the way you do around here would get you shut down until you changed your ways. I have half a mind to send this to the person that got our local animal control to switch to lethal injection from the gas chamber for similar reasons. This is the first time I have actually been more upset by the “shelter” than the people that make shelters a necessary evil.

  102. what to do says:

    If my dog is aggressive towards my new daughter then where can I take her (the dog) I can’t spend the money to train her so what next? You offered a lot of criticism but no solution.

  103. jan nelson says:

    Oh my goodness! I thought I had no more tears to shed about reading such threads…but, I guess, there are no limits. I live in a no-kill community but for the city pound and any who get taken there are rescued by the network here.

    My latest adoption was of 6 1/2 year old Adora, now 8, a huge torty with long fur who has furball problems (trust me, this is not a huge deal based on some other pets’ historic issues).

    Second last kitty was a ‘sale priced’ kitten 17 years ago from a local pet store who could not sell him as he had a small wart on his head (removed a few weeks later for almost nada). He was fat and very very mellow but never learned to groom himself lol.

    Currently I also have a 13 year old apparently healthy ginger tabby and a 13 year old maltese whose vet bills for various things have run about $2100 in the past two years but he otherwise seems fine after two recent surgeries. Plus an almost 16 year old shih tzu (and I swear her vet bills have put at least two sets of vets’ children thru school) with cataracts and quite deaf but still energetic and enjoys life. I am worried now about what to do when the time comes that I need to assist them in their leaving this dimension? I do not think I have a legal place to bury them and would not want to leave them to the system, even the vets….

    Any suggestions? And thank you all for the thoughts above.

  104. Brian says:

    I agree with the person above about biting people. I took in a stray dog a year ago, I tried to find her owner yadda yadda to no avail. I tried to get her a nice home and she bit the guys Granddaughter. So now she’s back with me and I can’t give her what she needs.

  105. Unknown says:

    Honestly, I lost my dog Zero 2 weeks ago, because of the complaints of my step-father and that we couldn’t keep him. I’ve had that dog for a year, and he was my only best friend .. Having to see this sickens me to the bone that literally shelters/pounds do this to pets, it worries me still wondering what my dog is doing there. And this, this is just horrific, I’ve seen fur farms before. Yet, still people don’t know what’s going to happen, I myself, knew what was going to happen, from 2 weeks ago until now, I worry and still love my dog .. Because of this .. This makes nothing better.

  106. Holly says:

    The author of this blog entry wrote, “The most common excuses: ‘We’re moving and can’t take our dog (or cat).’ Really? Where are you moving to that doesn’t allow pets?”

    Actually, there are various places that don’t allow pets. Try searching for an apartment or to rent a room in somebody’s home and it isn’t too hard to figure this out. Sure, it’s easy to say, “just rent somewhere that allows pets” if you have class privilege, but not everybody does. Some people face challenges, whether economic or otherwise, that limit the places available to them, and the places that allow pets might not be within what they can afford.

    I’m also deeply concerned that comments like the one I’m referring to above may lead more people to just abandon their pets out of fear of bringing them into shelters or asking other people to provide homes for their pets, and being subject to those types of responses. Having to give up a pet can be emotionally difficult enough as it is even without having to deal with this type of treatment. People may have different circumstances and it’s all to easy to get judgmental.

    • Dawn says:

      Holly I agree with you 110%!!!! Being rude isn’t the way to get a point across. I rescued a dog found frozen to the ground in early december. He’d had no socialization and was literally within hour of death from malnutrition. I’ve rehabilitated him for the last 7 months and he is now fit as a fiddle. The only problem is still his socialization, He adores me and my kiddos but he will not tolerate men- though my old man was the actual person to find and save him. He is definetaly a cattle dog and has hearding traits so i’m imagining that someone ditched him out in the field as a puppy or that he took off. Unfortunetly with 5 kids and two full time jobs my hands are full. I’ve looked into many no kill shelters and Kelpie retreats but have had no luck. My mother managed a human society for 10 years so I do understand how they work, but they are sometimes all people feel like they can rely on. Some of the messages made here are a put down…and not appreciated. I will continue to find the best home for TUFF but entirely agree that scaring people away from animal shelters is not the answer. If there is any extra advice please let me know…thank you!

  107. Sindy says:

    It breaks my heart, I am a proud doggy mom. But if anyone is reading this I need some kind of help. My going thru a nasty divorce , I’m losing my home my things, along that I have to give up my dog. With the little money I make ( my ex took our lively hood ) I can barely afford food at times . My ex hurt my pitbull last year a few days before throwing him out of the house . She has a bad back leg and I’ve tried to get her help but it’s out of reach ( I only make about 350-400 a month ) . I am moving soon and can’t take my pet , I have to let her go. This hurts me, I’ve tried rescue centers for just pitbulls to no kill shelter and I haven’t had any luck . My last option is a shelter but it breaks my heart Knowing this will happen to her. Please if anyone is reading this and knows an alternate option or willing to adopt her please please help me !!! She is a beautiful pitbull. She needs to be the only dog and needs lots of attention. Please please there has to be someone out there !!?? She is in Southern California , please email me sindytasies@gmail.com

  108. Plain joe says:

    Dont care , gotta make my decision between my dog or the family. I cant afford him food wise never the less his medical attetion , hes old i cant help him because of the financial situation we are in . Definetly im not going to neglect him and thats why im asking for your help .

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