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I came across an interesting post on Criagslist today. It was a manager's thoughts and experience on euthanization. I really wish thousands of people could read it. We need a huge wake up call. I currently live in Oklahoma and have seen my share of the "impulse dog owner". A lot of people get dogs just becuase. I believe the Daily Oklahoman? (newspaper) did a front page story on Animals at the Shelter in April 2008. In Oklahoma City alone 29,000 animals were brought into the shelter....7,000 were adopted... and 17,000 animals were euthanized. How crazy is that? 17,000? That only one city in this state. Therefore you can image the totals everywhere else.

Well, anyway... Here is the post I was talking about. You'll need to click on expand b/c its pretty long:


insight from shelter manager (everywhere)

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Reply to: [email protected]
Date: 2008-05-08, 2:32PM CDT


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.
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

My god....I am going to be honest...my OH calls me the ice queen because i am not really emotional and can seem as tho i feel no emotion...I have no problem listening to my dog cry in his kennel when he was a baby because it was for his own good and people may think im hard hearted but THAT made me cry.....so honest and relentless...I really will pray that this person is blessed for telling the cruel truth and I will never be able to stop those images. I kept imagining if it was baron being held down (he hates that) or Maverick being led on his little lead then stopping dead in his tracks at the door...i could picture his happy little wiggle walking up to the door and then just stopping and not understanding what was happening. It's so sad that people are so selfish :( if you get a pet keep it..love it..respect it and protect it..dont dump it at a shelter...i sometimes wonder if people really believe their pet will beat the odds and find a new home or if they just tell themselves that to feel better.
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

We should put this in the breeding section as a sticky so if someone is thinking about breeding maybe they will think twice about why they are breeding.
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

This is very sad.  I worked as a vet tech at a shelter and was responsible for euthanasia and vaccinations and other health care procedures (cleaning mites out of ears, clipping nails...little stuff like that).  I too hated doing the things I had to do....the most heart breaking was euthanizing an entire litter of kittens (about 7 weeks old).  I've seen dogs who very painfully have met the end of their lives! I've cried many times when I worked there...especially when you'd get attached to a dog and try to work with it and train it so it would have a better chance of finding a home and it doesn't.  Our animals were also stacked in freezers and were driven to the dump once a week and disposed of like household garbage! Of course we help who we can but like she mentioned there just aren't enough homes and too many dogs.  That's why I get so upset when I see those morons who breed any two dogs of the same breed and have the guts to call themselves "breeders".  That is the very reason why I hate BYB!!!!! And is the reason I very very strongly believe that breeding should be left to the professionals and people that know their breeds and have good reasons for wanting to breed.

The way this woman described her shelter was almost exactly how our shelter had to be run as well.  Except we were able to keep our dogs longer as we were a smaller shelter (could only house up to 12 dogs).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

kiahsmom\";p=\"121712 said:
We should put this in the breeding section as a sticky so if someone is thinking about breeding maybe they will think twice about why they are breeding.
I'll do that!  :wink:
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

i agree barb. this is a very moving piece. if it made me cry maybe it will make them think twice....strange BF stories make me cry more than things i hear about people and i never used to cry at all...OH says it's "hormones"  :?
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

I went ahead and "stickied" your repost.
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

Donya\";p=\"121719 said:
i agree barb. this is a very moving piece. if it made me cry maybe it will make them think twice....strange BF stories make me cry more than things i hear about people and i never used to cry at all...OH says it's "hormones"  :?
I'm the same way, I cry more at sad animal stories and movies than ones about people.  :/
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

Donya\";p=\"121719 said:
this is a very moving piece. if it made me cry maybe it will make them think twice....
I crired too. I cry every weekend. I go to the shelter every weekend to look for Elderly folks pets. I dont adopt them, I just go and help them find a companion based on their personalities etc. Some folks cant drive here and there. Dont worry, I make sure they can take care and love the dog. I also give them a long speech. After I find one, I inform the owner of the dog and sometimes accompany them there. Anyway...my point is, is that when I go I see the same the same animals. Then...poof! Next thing you know, they are euthanized. Some you can tell will be euthanized before they even set foot through the door.  :cry:
 

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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

g00dgirl\";p=\"121723 said:
[quote="Donya\";p=\"121719":1k32d9qm]i agree barb. this is a very moving piece. if it made me cry maybe it will make them think twice....strange BF stories make me cry more than things i hear about people and i never used to cry at all...OH says it's "hormones"  :?
I'm the same way, I cry more at sad animal stories and movies than ones about people.  :/[/quote:1k32d9qm]




haha it's weird i guess but when people are like OMG she died "cry cry" in movies and stuff im like...well what did she think was going to happen running off with so and so or doing that foolish stuff...but when charlie died in all dogs go to heaven (i was a kid) i balled and i still do every time i watch that movie. That is the only movie i can think of that ive always cried in and other than that im pretty much "cold"....last 6 months or so ive become very emotional and i think it's freaking out the hubby. keeps asking are you pregnant or something?
 

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I hate to say it, but this is Animal Rights (PeTA, ALF, etc) rhetoric in the most classic sense. In fact, the quote that this person used in the last paragraph, "Don't breed or buy while shelter pets die." is PeTA's anthem. This guy is obviously affiliated with them in some way.

A few facts:

PeTA hates all breeders, even the responsible ones and they are trying to legislate us out of existence (and they're WINNING in some areas, like Denver County, CO, where breeding without a very expensive permit is now ILLEGAL!!): http://www.peta.org/campaigns/ar-respon ... eeders.asp

PeTA kills approximately 90% of all animals they took in in 2007, and not for a lack of adoptive homes: http://www.petakillsanimals.com/petasdirtysecret.cfm

PeTA and ALF are number one on the FBI's domestic terrorism list: http://www.activistcash.com/organizatio ... cfm/oid/21

Pit bull and bully breeds are only dead the second they walk through many shelter's doors because animal rights groups have sponsored legislation to BAN them and make it hard for owners, even the responsible ones, to own and enjoy their dogs. http://www.peta.org/about/hottopic007.asp

If these groups had their way, there would be NO dog breeds, period -- say goodbye to our beloved boxers: http://blog.peta.org/archives/2008/02/w ... he_akc.php (If you're black, you should be outraged.)

The H$U$ is NOT a shelter. They do not run shelters and they give very little money to shelters. They are a corporation, at it's most basic definition, and they're making a lot of money. I'm not quite sure why they're still considered to be a "non-profit". They hold $113 mil in assets to date. Tehy are, by far, the wealthiest animal rights organization on the planet. http://www.activistcash.com/organizatio ... fm?oid=136

The statistic mentioned above (the supposed millions of animals euthanized each year) is blown way out of proportion. Take, for example, Warren, RI (just because it was handy). (You'll have to copy and paste this into a new window because the link format doesn't work on the board.) http://www.warrenanimalshelter.com/docu ... (2004-2007).pdf In 2007, they took in 290 animals and adopted out 280. The remaining TEN were euthanized, some were elderly, others were ill. Even if we multiplied this on a mass scale basis, it's easy to see that we would come no where near the purported "millions" of healthy animals that Animal Rightsists so routinely tell us we euthanize each year.

MANY responsible breeders work in rescue. I did it for 5 years before the politics got the best of me. Most still do. All responsible breeders place their puppies only in forever homes and take the ones back for second placements if the first doesn't work out. They follow up with the new owners, and stick with them for the life of the dog. Given this, I don't take kindly to idiots like this running around preaching to me about what I should and shouldn't be doing with my dogs.

Responsible breeders are NOT a part of the problem.

The bottom line is that we have to be very careful where we're obtaining our information and we have to consider our sources. My guess is that this guy has never even worked in an animal shelter, and that he's being fed his information from the mother ship. Animal Rights organizations have traditionally been very grassroots -- this is how they recruit new members and spread their lies. Sorry for the diatribe here, but this is a huge hot button for me.
 

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It is heart rending. It's why breeding should be done by professionals. It's why pets should be spayed and neutered.

Responsible breeding needs to continue to protect the individual breeds. It's the people who breed for money or are irresponsible with the dogs and let them breed at will that cause this problem.

My last two dogs were rescues and so were my husbands before we were married. We're not crazy animal activists; we just tend to take in dogs who need us. Same with our cat. He came to our door and we've been taking care of him ever since.
 

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Jessica's post is spot-on - this is pure AR propaganda.  First and foremost, shelter euthanasia numbers are decreasing steadily every year, down about 75% over the last two decades.  The real solution to bring shelter euthanasias to an absolute minimum is for shelters to stop killing animals.  

The diatribe above is a clear example of a shelter that is in desperate need of reform.  The dog has a sniffle, so they kill it?  They know ahead of time that stressed dogs will become protective of their kennels, but they then kill the dogs for showing this acknowledged and expected sign of stress?  They kill dogs based solely on appearance (big, black, or bully breed)?  Even the 'high kill' shelters in most areas have a significantly lower than 90% kill rate - so who exactly is to blame for the excessive number of animals killed in the above-mentioned shelter?

This shelter would do well to visit the No Kill Advocacy Center and see how they can improve their rehoming rates - if they're truly interested in doing so, which sadly a number of shelters (or, at least, their directors) aren't.  
http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/

(If you can find that article about the Oklahoma City shelters, I'd be interested in seeing it; I couldn't find it on the paper's website.  A 58% kill rate is typical for city shelters, but I am surprised if that's strictly the OKC Animal Shelter, because they look as if they are doing a lot of things right to increase rehoming and retention rates.)
 

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[quote="Newcastle\";p=\"122452":2q40kdp2]
(If you can find that article about the Oklahoma City shelters, I'd be interested in seeing it; I couldn't find it on the paper's website.
 

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[quote="Newcastle\";p=\"122452":15uss45c]
(If you can find that article about the Oklahoma City shelters, I'd be interested in seeing it; I couldn't find it on the paper's website.
 

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It's hard to tell from those articles whether they're talking solely about the city shelter, or if the local humane society is included as well (the person quoted in the second is the president of the humane society).  At any rate, the fact remains that euthanasias are nearly half what they were in 1987, and adoptions have more than tripled.  I think the information on the city shelter site reflects some of the new steps they've taken this year to increase adoptions, which would explain the seemingly disparate high kill rate.  In general, government-run shelters have higher kill rates (unless you're in Virginia, where PETA beats all other shelters hands-down.)

While it may not seem like a lot of progress, keep in mind that these decreases in shelter euthanasias are happening at the same time as the number of owned animals is increasing.  In 1987, there were 52.4 million owned dogs in the US - in 2007, there were 72 million.  A 75% decrease in euthanasias, in the face of a 38% increase in owned dogs, is actually pretty significant.

It's also important to note that the reported number of dogs euthanized includes those who were dead on arrival, and those who were brought to the shelter for the sole purpose of euthanization - as well as those who were legitimately 'necessarily' euthanized, those with severe untreatable illness/injury or extreme aggression.  There will never be a 0% kill rate, because of these necessary euthanasias.
 

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Yeh, I am not sure about the Flordia one, but the one for Oklahoma City should be right. Wish I had the actually paper,  but I read it loud and clear. It was displayed in a meeting we had on PowerPoint. Though the article had nothing to do what we were talking about, it was a huge topic in the Board room.  Yep, one city alone. That huge number can be a result of a number of things. Parvo was really bad last year down here. I had a Chihuahua, wh was previously stolen, who had Parvo. There are alot of "so-called" breeders in Oklahoma who are always selling sick dogs. My grandmother had brought him from a Flea Market Pet Shop. It was a huge nightmare. He was hospitalized for days. When I confronted the shop, they told me that other owners hadn't complained and that I was the only one. Anyway...before Prince was stolen, he fully recovered. It just shows that some people dont care about an animal's well being.

There will never be a 0% kill rate, because of these necessary euthanasias.
I agree that there will never be a 0% kill rate, because sometimes like you said... it is necessary. We do have to keep some type of balance. I am also glad to see that more animals are getting adopted.

Thanks so much for the info Newcastle.  :) That was very informative. I even learned about PETA.   I never knew who they were until after this post. :lol:
 
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Re: Wake-Up Call on Euthanization...

[quote="poetrist\";p=\"121728":1z5dbyx4] I go to the shelter every weekend to look for Elderly folks pets. I dont adopt them, I just go and help them find a companion based on their personalities etc. Some folks cant drive here and there. Dont worry, I make sure they can take care and love the dog. I also give them a long speech. After I find one, I inform the owner of the dog and sometimes accompany them there. Anyway...my point is, is that when I go I see the same the same animals. Then...poof! Next thing you know, they are euthanized. Some you can tell will be euthanized before they even set foot through the door.
 
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poetrist\";p=\"123482 said:
I was shocked too to see the high euthanization rate in one city alone .
Poetrist, did you see the  local  TV news expose on OKC shelter euthanasias last year?
 
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