A Letter from a Shelter Manager - anonymous in North Carolina
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.
First off, all of you breeders/sellers 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.
The most common excuses I hear are; “We are moving and we can’t take our dog (or cat).” Really? Where are you moving too 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? 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 & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, 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. It doesn’t matter how ‘sweet’ or ‘well behaved’ they are.
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, 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 shelters just don’t have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.
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 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 been 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?
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 deal with everyday on the way home from work.
I hate my job, I hate that it exists & 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 if you want to. The truth hurts and reality is what it is. I just hope I maybe changed one persons 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 and it made me want to adopt”. THAT WOULD MAKE IT WORTH IT.
How to find a true No Kill shelter or rescue group: http://www.examiner.com/dog-rescue-in-national/how-to-find-a-true-no-kill-shelter-or-rescue-group
DID YOU GUYS KNOW THERE IS A BIKER GANG CALLED RESCUE INK THAT BREAKS UP DOGFIGHTING RINGS, CONFRONTS ANIMAL ABUSERS, CONFISCATES NEGLECTED ANIMALS AND INVESTIGATES STOLEN ANIMALS
YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT THIS BADASSERY HERE
I used to have 6 cats. Now I have 4.
Feeding 6 cats a strict diet was really hard, and most often resulted in chaos and injuries, so I switched to open feeding. Predictably, they gained weight. Like, a lot of weight.
So, I decided that I should switch from the cheap walmart stuff ($10 for a 15…
If you can’t buy one yourself please at least try to spread the word to someone who can save a life any way you can. Stories like this break my heart.
Stop the Dog and Cat Consumption in S. Korea“Visit S. Korea Year 2013! Experience Nowhere Else Can Offer!
Pick your own dog. We will slaughter and make our world famous cuisine “Tortured Dog Soup (Boshintang)” for you while you wait.
Have a taste bud for something exotic? No problem! We have Pomeranians to German Shepherds. So bring your appetite and sense of adventure. Make your travel plan today!”
Let’s share with Korea Tourism Organizations!
On FB: https://www.facebook.com/koreatourism?ref=ts&fref=ts
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/KoreanTravel
More Contact Info: http://koreandogs.org/?page_id=217
Sign & share petitions: http://koreandogs.org/?page_id=1512
Follow me on my journey for the animals :
Tumblr : http://jotter-journal.tumblr.com/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/#!/Jotter_Journal
With Love, Jotter-Journal
When donating money, supplies, etc please know where it is going and what it will be used for. Corporations like HSUS, ASPCA, PETA, etc will not use your gifts wisely or with good intentions. Help reputable local rescues and shelters. You will see real positive results that way!
This doesn’t only apply to Craigslist, but Freecycle and all other ads as well. Please check out these websites and learn the dangers of giving your pets away “Free To A Good Home”. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to give away your pet(s) hopefully you can find a friend or reputable no-kill rescue instead of going to the shelter or seeking strangers.
Puppies ‘Viewed as Livestock’ in Amish Community, Says Rescue Advocate
By SHARYN ALFONSI and TED GERSTEIN
March 27, 2009
The Amish are widely viewed as plain, peaceful people. Reclusive and private, most people only catch glimpses of them as they make their way through the hills of Pennsylvania’s Dutch County in buggies.
But some of their perfectly manicured farms are home to a secret world. Lancaster County has been called the puppy mill capital of the U.S., and the trade is largely dominated by the Amish.
It is a world most people never see, but undercover video shot by Main Line Animal Rescue provides a startling look. Hundreds of puppies can be seen stacked in crate on top of crate. Most of those puppies will eventually be sold to pet stores, but their mothers will likely never know a home other than this.
The female breeders live their life producing litter after litter… until they can’t any longer. Bill Smith, the founder of Main Line Animal Rescue, says that the dogs are then disposed of — sometimes euthanized, sometimes shot. And it’s perfectly legal.
"Unfortunately if a kennels breeds less than 60 dogs they can shoot them,” he said. “If it’s over 60 dogs they can’t be shot.”
That’s why Smith spends so much time driving the country roads of Amish country, rescuing dogs from breeders. On the day “Nightline” visited, he convinced an Amish farmer to give him a female golden retriever who could no longer breed, in exchange for some free dog food. The dog — who spent her life in a cage — struggled to walk.
”When they come out of the rabbit hutches they walk like crabs because they don’t know what it’s like to walk on a proper surface,” Smith said. “They drag their bodies.”
There are about 300 licensed breeders in Lancaster County, and rescue workers estimate another 600 unlicensed facilities operate in barns and sheds. Those breeders go to great measures to avoid discovery. Smith says some even “de-bark” their dogs.
"The farmers, the Amish and the Mennonites, they pull the heads back and then they hammer sharp instruments down their throats to scar their vocal cords so they can’t bark,” he said. “So that way they can have 500-600 dogs in a barn and no one knows. As we said, it’s an industry of secrecy.”
Secretive and profitable. Breeders can make upwards of half million dollars a year. The Amish breeders sell the dogs at auctions and the puppies at pet stores.
Purchasing Puppies: ‘People Are Deceived’
"People are deceived," Smith said. "They’re nice enough and they put down their money and they walk away with a dog and they don’t realize that there are 500 dogs in a barn and are suffering horribly. So it’s something that people have to be aware of. They have to know that going in. When they buy these dogs, they’re keeping that going."
In one night, Smith and his team rescued a dozen dogs, which were unloaded at its facility. The next day, rehabilitation began.
”Dogs in this community are viewed as livestock,” Smith said. “Nothing more. Chickens or pigs or goats. It’s just a source of income for them.”
Ezekiel — not his real name — is a Mennonite farmer in Pennsylvania. He agreed to speak to “Nightline” under the condition that we not reveal his name or exact location. He fears what he calls “militant” animal activists.
"I am the type of person … I don’t believe in animal rights," he said. "But I highly believe in animal welfare."
The difference, he says, is that “animal welfare is you treat the dog how you want to be treated. And animal rights activists, they just have a different mindset, a mentality, that, I’ve never really figured it out. “
Ezekiel showed us the “public” face of his business. The heated shed where buyers are invited to pick out the puppies they want.
"The puppy we sell here is a healthier puppy than if I had Lassie running around, feed her puppies over here," he said. "The way that we raise them is much healthier than the other way."
Then we asked him to show us the back room, where the public is not allowed. He gave us an exclusive look inside his facility where he breeds hundreds of dogs in cage after cage.
He considers the facility to be top of the line. There is no chicken wire, the dogs stand on plastic grating and they have access to solid floors, and he showed us his “state-of-the-art” waste disposal system.
"This system is commercially available, they use it in swine and veal and things like that," he said.
Inside Access: ‘They Love Being Here’
The technology, he says, allows Ezekiel and his wife to take care of all 200 dogs by themselves.
"The way we have the building set up, the modern way, if we have to go back, if new legislation goes into effect, we will not be able to care for this many dogs because it’s just going to be so much more labor intensive," he said.
Pending legislation would require dogs to have solid flooring and access to the outside to exercise. Ezekiel says that is unnecessary.
"What she’s doing is she’s running," he explained, showing us a dog on an exercise wheel in an an enclosed space. "She’s getting her exercise, you know instead of letting them run around … we put them in there, they use more muscles that they wouldn’t use running around."
"In the state of Pennsylvania, the confinement laws that we have, that if the dog goes off our property, we can be arrested for it," he said.
He added that it would be “more inhumane” to have the dogs “out in the mud, in the cold, the rain, [the] wind.”
Ezekiel says his dogs are healthy and happy, and says he doesn’t operate a “puppy factory.”
"If this would be a puppy factory, that Daschund you see right there, she wouldn’t be doing what she was doing. She’s wanting me to hold her, if she would be a puppy mill she would cowering in the back of that box, you can see, a lot of our dogs, they love being in here."
Back at Mainline Rescue, the dogs rescued last night are being assessed by a veterinary technician. Smith says he’s rescued about 2,000 dogs from the Amish and almost all of them have been placed in permanent homes.
"I would encourage people adopt," he said. "Eight million dogs are euthanized; 8 million pets are euthanized every year in this country and yet they breed 8 million dogs."
Much of that breeding happens in Lancaster County, home to one of the most secretive people — and industries — in the nation.
CLICK HERE for more information about Main Line Animal Rescue.
Please check out these websites and learn the dangers of giving your pets away “Free To A Good Home”…
- The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. The HSUS asks anyone with information about animal fighting criminals to call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787). Tipsters’ identities are protected.
- Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states.
- Cockfighting is outlawed in all 50 states and is punished as a felony in 39.
- Florida law states that all animal fighting is a felony offense.
Sources: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2009/07/hsus_launches_national_animal_fighting_tip_line_071409.html , http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news/2009/07/dogfighting_tip_line_072009.html , http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2011/04/florida_fighting_rescue_040111.html