Went to the shelter and am REALLY sad and need to vent!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by yearofthedog, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. yearofthedog

    yearofthedog Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    I went to my local shelter yesterday searching for my mom's dog that went missing(we think someone took him...why do people do that?!!!) and I was overwhelmed with the sheer numbers of unwanted pets!!

    I'm guessing that a good 80-90% of them were someone's pet at one time and were now just not wanted anymore. How sad our pet overpopulation problem is!!! And, even worse, the owner turn in room and some of the feeble excuses people give to justify sending their animals to the shelter. I know some of them are legitimate and it's better than just turning them loose on the streets, but still...I'm just heartbroken and so sad.

    I want to help this situation but don't quite know how to. I can't adopt anymore animals as I'm already up to four dogs, three cats and 4 chickens. I could foster even though my DH will probably have a fit. I donate. I don't have time to volunteer right now(in school, work, have two little kids), but I still want to do something, anything! I'm in school to be a vet tech and actually considered possibly working at the shelter and as painful as I think it may be, being forced to face the problem everyday will make me do more than I'd normally in my now sheltered(no pun intended) existence. I suppose I can adopt another dog [​IMG] , but it still leaves the rest in there and that would make me feel guilty.

    Anyone out there have any ideas on what I(we) can do to help with the pet overpopulation problem?

    Incidently, here in Vegas, a large % of the unwanted dogs are pit bulls and many bear the scars of past fights. The dog fighting scourge is NOT preserving the breed as some purport, it is causing the untold suffering of dogs involved in the "sport"(if you can call it that...what sportsmanship is there in putting innocent and unwilling participants to the death???) and for those that get caught up in the "my-dog-is tougher-than-your-dog-and-thus-I'm-tougher-than-you" mentality, who have no idea what it is to raise a dominant breed like the pit.
    And, ultimately it is the dog that suffers...

    Sorry, I can stand on my soap box all day about the pet overpopulation problem!!!

    I haven't found my mom's dog and I've been downright depressed since yesterday!!! Thanks for listening to my vent..
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I understand completely how you feel and I really hope you find your mom's dog.

    A couple of ideas (I know some people won't like them but I've been involved in dogs for a long time and see many problems in these areas.):

    1) Encourage people to spay and neuter all dogs and cats. It is better (health wise and mentally for a male) for dogs and cats not to have a litter or "be a father" so encourage people to not allow even one breeding ... get their puppy/kitten fixed before five months old.

    2) Never, ever buy a puppy or kitten from a pet store (sorry to those who own pet stores). Most (not all), most pet stores get their kittens and puppies from mills. These are people who breed solely to increase the number of puppies and kittens in the world and make money. Even if you think you are 'saving' that one poor animal from the pet store ... that store will replace that animal with one or two more because they made the sale. If people stopped buying dogs and cats from pet stores they would quit supporting the puppy mills and that alone would stop a huge number of unwanted pets in the future.

    3) Only buy a puppy from a reputable breeder who requires a spay/neuter contract and only has one or two litters a year (with different females) and has taken the time to socialize, give shots, have their animals OFA certified (if applicable, etc.). The breeder should ask you a lot of questions because they should be very concerned about the home their baby is going to.

    OR - adopt a pet from a local animal shelter or rescue group.

    One of the biggest ways to decrease the number of unwanted pets is to educate people about bringing a dog or cat into their home. They are committing to a 10 to 20 year commitment for that animal ... are they truly prepared for that? (I understand that life happens and sometimes we can't help when we need to rehome a pet but people get animals on a whim or because they are sooo cute!! and don't think past the next few months.)

    I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can get on your own 'soapbox' to help save the lives of some dogs and cats.
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Sorry to hear your moms dog is lost, keep checking the shelter every few days and it is better to check in person than to rely on someones interpetation of your description.

    Having worked at a shelter as an ACO I understand exactly how you feel.

    If you can get together with local area vets to implement a low cost spay/neuter program you could help some of the problem.
    Some people would love to be able to have their animals spayed or neutered but honestly can't afford it.

    Some will say that these people can't afford the animals but with that mentality the shelters would fill up even faster, so it would worsen the problem.

    There are still those who have no idea that a pet is a lifetime commitment, and dump their animals at a shelter because they become "inconvienent" or move into a place where no animals are allowed. My thoughts on that are if you made the commitment, do what you have to do and endure the hardships that arise in order to keep the commitment to your faithful pet. They are living beings. much like children who depend on you and want to be near you, not something to be thrown away like so much rubbish when the novelty wears off.

    Education is key also.

    Unfortunately you can't save them all, I've tried.
  4. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Quote:How very right you are.....
  5. apbgv

    apbgv Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    I know how you feel at present the clinic I work for is running the animal shelter. We have at the clinic alone about 20 kittens and I have 2 at home that are being bottle fed right now.

    Chirpy has the the right ideas. People wonder why I get so upset when they want to let their dog/cat have a litter or 2. Ugh. I want them to come in and help with euthanasias. Cats have the highest numbers in shelter and the lowest return to owner rates. And if you are a big black dog good luck on finding a home.

    10 of my 11 cats are unwanteds from work. and 3 of my dogs are rescues. yes I breed PBGVs but my pet ones are spayed/neutered before going to their new homes and I only breed rarely.

    Heck I even have a chicken from our animal control-Bertha the big ole Barred Rock. and alpha hen she is:D
  6. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    1. Stay on your soapbox, and preach to everyone you know about spaying and neutering their animals. Be sure they know about low-cost options in your area if that is a problem for them.
    2. Some communities have begun programs to systematically trap feral cat and dog populations, spay/neuter them, and release them back to the colony (this is because they are not usually adoptable). People have mixed feelings about these programs, but they do eventually cut down on roaming critters.
    3. Encourage people to volunteer at their local shelters. Even an hour here and there spent walking a dog or playing with a cat means the world to an animal that is confined. It also helps socialize them and increases their chance of being adopted.
    4. Don't let it overwhelm you. The problem is colossal, but it can only be fixed one animal at a time, and each of us can only do so much.
    On Wednesday I adopted a 9 year old dog from the shelter. She ended up there because her owner had Alzheimers. She's just a little angel, and has fit right into our house already.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2007
  7. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    What's also sad is the hoops they make you jump through to adopt a animal. I've even had them say something about making a home visit to see if you had a fenced in yard. I have 2 cats from a cat rescue group. We had to lie to get them. They wouldn't let you adopt if you had kids. I mean isn't that part of the reason you get pets? My daughter loves her cat & my mom has the other one. They couldn't have went to a better home. But if we had said yes we have kids they would have turned us down. And thats just sad.
  8. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    If it helps to see a positive side......with all the spay/neuter programs growing, things do get better. People have to do their part. In New England, we are known to be on the lower end of homeless dogs and cats. A few years ago i was looking to adopt and after months of searching i ended up adopting a 6 mos old pup.....ya ready? FROM N. CAROLINA.
    She was abandoned in a house with another pup when the people moved. They were only alone for 3 days. You could tell they had been abused. My DH picked up a broom to sweep the porch one day and she ran for her life. So the shelter here are usually empty and they ship dogs up from the southern rescues to be placed. Lots of herding/cattle dog types.
    So there it is, going in a positive direction [​IMG]
  9. Quote:It is also horrible to try to adopt here too. The things that they expect are outragous some times. no other pets, no kids, home inspections, the dog will not be keep in a kennel or outside at any time, even if you go away or put it out while you are at work so its not cooped up in the house all day. The dog will not be hunted if it is a hunting breed. The list goes on and on.

    We have one local shelter that is natorious for STEALING hunting dogs. We have a close friend that works at the vet were they take their animals to be nuetered. And they will openly talk about just finding the dog running around in the middle of the night, and well it had a collar but no tags or contact info what kind of people let their dog run at night anyway? Or the line about how the beagle was just running around in this field all alone so I picked it up. They have them nutered within three hours of getting them and up for adoption. They don't realize I think what will happen when the steal and nueter a dog that is worth a couple grand and actually get caught doing it, get sued and shut down all cause they do not beleive in using dogs for hunting. When they first opened I really supported them even offered to help out at the shelter if they needed help, they are a no kill and that's a big deal to me. But then friends and neighbors hunting dogs started disappearing while they were being hunted and magicly showing up at the shelter's adopt-a-thons. People we hunt with ya know, I quite supporting them.

    The lucky dogs were the ones with DNA profiles and ones with microchips, those made it back to their homes. Most of which were already nuetered before they ever made it home. And frankly that ruins a world champion dog. You can not even legally show a dog in ukc or akc hunt show if it is nuetered unless you have vet records to show the judge apon entering the animal that it was done for medical reason to save the animals life. Neutering is a good thing in the pet trade or for a pet animal and should be required for most sercomstances but it's not good hunting dogs.

    Some people mean well and go about it all the wrong way a guess.

    I quite tring to adopt from our local shelters along time ago. Instead I what the free ads and take in what I can. I figure if it goes home with meI know that it is one less creature that ended up at the pound cause the owner nolonger wanted it.

    I got a beagle about 5 years ago out of the free ads that when we picked him up at the place his toe nails were so long they cureled around and right up through he feet. They were so bad he couldn't walk and we had to carry him to the truck. But the people said oh well we just used him to train pups last month and he was fine. DH had to hold him down while I cut them off and pulled them out of his feet with a set of dikes. He was 11 when we got him and that old boy healed up just fine, never did walk right but darn he made me a good old friend. Used to love to help me in the flowerbeds and garden. He died over the winter when he got phomina and didn't respond to the meds.

    Dogs like that at the local shelters put down. Too old to be easily adopted out and hurt so it is easier and cheaper to put the to sleep then to actually help them. It's sad but too many places like to stand on their soap box and say we are doing this to help and we are doing good for the sake of doing it. When what they are really looking at it their bottom line.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  10. hollyclyff

    hollyclyff Songster

    May 18, 2007
    I'm guessing that a good 80-90% of them were someone's pet at one time and were now just not wanted anymore. How sad our pet overpopulation problem is!!! And, even worse, the owner turn in room and some of the feeble excuses people give to justify sending their animals to the shelter. I know some of them are legitimate and it's better than just turning them loose on the streets, but still...I'm just heartbroken and so sad.

    If there is any way you could work with your shelter to implement some sort of counseling service for people who are having problems with their pets and are thinking of surrendering them, that might help. As you have seen, many of the dogs in shelters are not unwanted baby puppies, but older puppies and adults that had a home, but aren't wanted anymore. A lot of people don't have a clue how to train their pets and work on problem behaviors. I read about one such program somewhere and I can't remember where it was now, but they successfully reduced their shelter population just by counseling owners and helping them keep their pets rather than just getting rid of them. Many of those people who surrender their dogs will turn around and get a new puppy thinking that this one will be better, when what they really needed to do is train the first one.

    Also, in a small way you can help by encouraging people to research before they get a new pet. Don't just get the first cute puppy they fall for. Even if they are looking at mixed breeds, the predominate breeds in the mix can help clue them in on a dog's personality and physical traits and potential problems. Every breed is not right for every person. Getting the wrong breed to start with can spell disaster. For example, if you're a neat-freak, don't get a heavy shedder. If you have kids, don't get a breed that is known not to be particularly good with children. If you can't stand barking don't get a breed known for it. That sort of thing. Any little bit helps.​
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2007

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