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Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

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  • #16
    thank you

    its tough to hear the truth sometimes but it needs to be said. its sad that so many animals have to die because it wasnt "convienient" for thier owners... :(


    • #17
      Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

      Originally posted by JustAnotherDogLover
      All animal lovers should read this.

      This was posted in the "Best of Craiglist". It was not written by me.
      YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT. Everyone who wants a pet should know exactly what happens if they decide they can't keep their pet anymore. Not all shelters are exactly the same, but this was written by a shelter manager, and I appreciated the post:


      “I am posting this (and it is long) because I think our society needs a huge “Wake-up” call.

      As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will.

      Breeders Need Not Apply

      First off, this is a forum to for adoption and/or rehoming as clearly stated in the rules. All of you breeders/sellers on craigslist should not only be flagged (and I hope the good people on craigslist will continue to do so with blind fury), but you should be made to work in the “back” of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don’t even know…that puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it’s not a cute little puppy anymore.

      So how would you feel if you knew that there’s about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays”, that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

      No Shortage of Excuses

      The most common excuses I hear are:

      “We are moving and we can’t take our dog (or cat).”

      Really? Where are you moving to that doesn’t allow pets?

      “The dog got bigger than we thought it would.”

      How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?

      “We don’t have time for her….”

      Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!

      “She’s tearing up our yard….”

      How about making her a part of your family?

      They always tell me:

      “We just don’t want to have to stress about finding a place for her…we know she’ll get adopted, she’s a good dog.”

      Odds are your pet won’t get adopted and how stressful do you think being in a shelter is?

      Well, let me tell you.

      Dead Pet Walking

      Your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off…sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn’t full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy.

      If it sniffles, it dies.

      Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it.

      If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don’t, your pet won’t get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.

      If your dog is big, black or any of the “Bully” breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc…) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don’t get adopted.

      If your dog doesn’t get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed.

      If the shelter isn’t full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed…it may get a stay of execution…not for long though. Most get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression…even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.

      If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles…chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don’t have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

      The Grim Reaper

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

      First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash…they always look like they think they are going for a walk…happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to “The Room.”

      Every one of them freaks out and puts on the breaks when we get to the door…it must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it’s strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process…they will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the “pink stuff.” Hopefully your pet doesn’t panic from being restrained and jerk… I’ve seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and deafened by the yelps and screams.

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

      When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed…waiting to be picked up like garbage.

      What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You’ll never know and it probably won’t even cross your mind…it was just an animal and you can always buy another one right?

      Liberty, Freedom and Justice for All

      I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can’t get the pictures out of your head…I do everyday on the way home from work. I hate my job, I hate that it exists and I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.

      Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.

      My point to all of this…DON’T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE!

      Hate me or flag me if you want to…the truth hurts and reality is what it is….

      I just hope I maybe changed one person’s mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog. I hope that someone will walk into my shelter and say “I saw this thing on craigslist and it made me want adopt."

      That would make it all worth it.
      I think this is a very useful message for both sides. For everyone who is going to take a dog or a cat from shelters and for that who is going to leave his/her pet to pass it into a shellter.
      Really, I cannot understand a person who purchases a pet and then to boot it out through some time.
      Same persons must know any pet isn't a "thing", it's a live creature who needs in your love and care. Pet isn't a toy which you
      can waste out. No, any pet must be a member of your family.
      I see left dogs and cats in our pet shelter every day and eyes of these animals are so sad.
      I'm sorry for my terrible English.
      I'm looking for any one who can help to homeless animals.


      • #18
        It nearly killed me to give up my dog, and please listen before condemning me.
        I didn't want him to be killed at the shelter. My vet refused to put him down, they ignored my tears, and my broken heart at losing my best (and only) friend. I was being kicked out of my home, and the apartments I could afford wouldn't allow dogs. They didn't seem to care, saying that he was young, healthy and would be adopted quickly.
        They couldn't have been more wrong. He was killed three days after being left, because he failed their behavioral testing. I took him from an abusive home, and the emotional scars were still there for him. He trusted only those that showed him they could be. He never bit anyone, but didn't like other dogs. He was shy, submissive and needed constant attention to make him feel comfortable.
        That was six years ago, and it still hurts.


        • #19
          Most other countries find it deplorable to kill an animal for lack of a home. They find it deplorable to abandon an animal. Germany is very high in this opinion, friends from there told me it would be almost unheard of for someone to just dump an "unwanted" animal somewhere or abandon it. Many industrialized countries feel the same way. The U.S. is disgusting in this sense...that our animals are possessions and can just be abandoned for ridiculous reasons. The rest of our community should be apalled at this sort of thing but it is just commonly accepted.


          • #20
            animal shelters

            I live in Austin, and recently our local Chronicle did a front story piece about how being the volunteer coordinator at the animal shelter was a thankless job... a lot like the post you shared.

            It is sad, because there is so much turnover of volunteers... it is a thankless job, and a sad one. No one wants to watch any living being suffer or not be in a level of comfort that they can find ease.

            I feel bad that I don't help out more. And I do thank those that do!
            I have 2 humans, 2 dogs, and 2 cats and we all live together HUMANELY (and go through a lot of dog food, let me tell ya).


            • #21
              Very informative, this should served as a wake up call to the " not so responsible pet owners" out there.
              We love animals! 24/7 Streaming Animal Cams:


              • #22
                Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                hi please look this video and tell me your opinion about this dog


                • #23
                  Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                  I'm glad my shelter isn't that packed. While I do support those who breed responsibly, and purchasing those who breed responsibly, I always advise against buying from pet stores and back-yard breeders, as they don't care where their animals end up. Craigslist can be just a last resort for some desperate people, but I do see a lot of blatant selling of puppies.

                  I really do believe in education solving the animal overpopulation issue. However there really is only so much one can do, especially for adults that already have their minds set. I can't tell you how many times I've given people what could have been live saving advice for their animals, but they were either too stubborn or lazy to follow through. Maybe they didn't believe in crating so strongly that they were willing to give up their dog for being destructive, or they were too lazy to properly train their dog and found that it was easier to simply surrender the dog when the issues became too out of hand. I think it has a lot to do with people's upbringing around animals and the culture they are in, also. A kid that is taught that cat's lives don't matter and grows up around peers who encourage abusing cats will be more likely to casually abuse cats as a adult.

                  There's a lot that needs to be done, but every small step helps. Especially getting the word out in a place where one wouldn't be preaching to the choir, like a listing of bybs and people looking to make a quick buck to get rid of their animal. I hope it changed someone's opinion and views, even if it was only one person. It is really important to go about informing people in a pleasant manner though, no matter how much they make your blood boil. From my experience, people will do the wrong thing just to piss a stranger off if they get a hint of patronizing or disgusted tone.


                  • #24
                    Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                    Another very informative post, March. As you work in a shelter, your first hand experience means that you are in a better position to speak on this issue than almost anyone else on this forum.

                    Does your shelter find it difficult to find homes for less desirable dogs (very elderly, sick ones)? What happens to those poor ones? Is there an annual maximum vet budget or is it kept flexible depending on needs?
                    Do animals have souls?


                    • #25
                      Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                      Originally posted by ddavid View Post
                      hi please look this video and tell me your opinion about this dog
                      It looked as if the dog was having a reverse sneezing attack at first....then seemed better and just barking...? To get attention from someone?
                      Dog2Spirit...My own experiences of after-death contacts from my dog.


                      • #26
                        Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                        Originally posted by LPC View Post
                        Another very informative post, March. As you work in a shelter, your first hand experience means that you are in a better position to speak on this issue than almost anyone else on this forum.

                        Does your shelter find it difficult to find homes for less desirable dogs (very elderly, sick ones)? What happens to those poor ones? Is there an annual maximum vet budget or is it kept flexible depending on needs?
                        We are very lucky at my shelter to have quite a bit of expendable money for our animals; we have lots of ways to make money on top of just money donations.

                        That said, we are able to treat most of our dogs for KC, physical injuries, ear infections, eye infections, etc. We remove limbs and eyes when needed. As long as they are healthy and not aggressive, even very old dogs are adopted through our shelters. For many issues that would be too difficult and expensive for us (mainly dental work), or issues that can't really be cured (heart murmurs, skin issues, heart worm), we simply adopt out as is and inform adopters about the condition and force them to sign a waiver stating they understand the dog has said condition that they will need to take care of themselves. It's less that the vets have a set budget, and more that they have set things they can and can't attempt to fix.

                        We can't, however, adopt out animals with ringworm. It's illegal here. If an animal has ringworm, even though it isn't a deadly issue, we have to put the animal down because of how easily it can infect everything in a shelter. Although sometimes we get a foster willing to take the animal until it's cured. We also can't deal with animals that have torn ACLs, as experience has shown it is nigh impossible to have an ACL heal in a hectic shelter environment. Things like cancer and kidney failure, and other terminal issues, will also result in euthanasia.

                        It's weird, we have some dogs that will never get adopted for the longest time but I can't figure out why. We have a beautiful, young coon hound there that is sweet, playful, and gentle. He's been with us since the beginning of this year, and was in another shelter before that. We had another hound mix, absolutely identical to the coon hound in both shape and personality, but all black. And she got adopted in a week, despite being an all black, big dog. Of course, puppies are almost always cleared out of a shelter before an old dog finds a home, but the definitely do find homes, generally to people who want a dog and not a work out partner.

                        If you want, I could make an ama. I don't know where it would belong though, and I can't give out any sensitive information.


                        • #27
                          Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                          Sometimes an unfortunate dog gets handed into a Shelter because the family who adopted it in the first place find they can't cope with some aspect of the dog, or are unwilling/haven't got time/ are unable to -learn how to. Sometimes behavioural issues cause humans to lose patience with dogs, or they handle these issues in the wrong way and the dog doesn't respond. Either those things happen, or some life event such as divorce, illness in the family, moving home to a non-pet-friendly situation, etc.
                          The word "Shelter" sounds so benign. People look at the idea with rose-tinted glasses. They think their dog will simply be handed over to someone else...that the Shelter will find him/her a 'good home'....

                          Even though it's hard to take on board and extremely upsetting, I think it's good that we are educated about what really happens in Shelters (not "Rescues" -as they are usually run differently)

                          And in many cases it is better to try harder to work something out with a dog rather than surrender him/her to a short and uncertain future.
                          Dog2Spirit...My own experiences of after-death contacts from my dog.


                          • #28
                            Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                            March, there is a section of the forum called "Adopt a Pet". If you look under "General Topics" you will find it there. You are welcome to start new threads, with details of a dog on each one and a few photos. If you think this will help your shelter find homes for the harder to house dogs, then feel free to make use of as many threads as you wish. The forum is browsed daily by many, many more times people than there are active posting members online; there are often around a hundred people browsing at any moment, right round the clock.
                            Do animals have souls?


                            • #29
                              Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                              Unfortunately I'm not allowed to contact people, rescues, shelters, organizations etc about re-homing animals at our shelter. We have someone who handles that, and I guess they don't want multiple people interfering. I can only contact people for animals I am fostering. :sad:


                              • #30
                                Re: Shelter Manager's Thankless Job

                                OK, I understand. Feel free to pass the offer on to the person responsible for rehoming.
                                Last edited by LPC; 05-30-2015, 09:13 AM.
                                Do animals have souls?