Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Post About "Pets Wanted"

I belong to the Memphis Freecycle list.  There have been several posts lately asking for pets.  This was a response that I believe needs to be shared.  I have the emailers permission.


Hi everyone,

There have been some posts today asking for dogs, and this past
year that I've been a member of this group there have been many requests for
small animals and pets of all kinds.

Today I received this letter from a
shelter manager. This outlines very well what our society has come to when it
comes to animals. I volunteer for the Humane Society here in Memphis, and I can
tell you the nice new facility in Shelby Farms is the Four Seasons of shelters.
However, there are shelters all over, including the City "shelter" that operates
under extremely low funding, and the animals are suffering. It is someone's job
to kill (euthanize) dogs and cats all day long, simply because there is no room,
because, people refuse to take responsibility for their animals.

I know
this is long, but I beg each and every one to read it and forward it to everyone
you know. Please adopt!! Please spay and neuter your pets!! Please volunteer and
get an idea of the problem!! Please donate a little cash so a dog can lie on a
cushion instead of a cold concrete floor!! The local Animal Protection
Association,, has very low cost services for
spay/neuter and vaccinations.

We have got to get this situation under
control, and it will take everyone's participation and caring enough to do
something about it. Also, please don't shrug it off and say 'there are bigger
problems in this world'. I've heard that line about a trillion times. To fix a
society an important part is starting from the bottom up. Animals cannot speak
for themselves.

Thank you for your time.


A Letter from a Shelter

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

powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully"

(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

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

you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a


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

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.

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