I think I am still crying...
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 4749
    As a journalist, I decided to go to the dog pound, and interview
    some of the "inmates". I wanted to know what it was like in there
    from their perspective. What follows is not for the faint of heart.

    I entered the building, and one of the workers accompanied me to the
    holding area. This is where dogs are kept before they are allowed up
    for adoption IF they are allowed up for adoption. If the dogs are
    found to be aggressive in any way, euthanasia is employed.
    Fortunately, if "fortunately" is the word to be used here this is a
    Canadian establishment, and they use lethal injection, not a gas
    chamber.

    The pound worker led me past a big steel door that says "Employees
    Only". "What is in there?" I asked. From the look he gave me, I knew
    that this is where dogs go in, and never return.

    We moved on to a row of kennels. The dogs were barking loudly, there
    was the acrid smell of urine and feces, and a feeling of despair
    seemed to permeate the room.

    "Go ahead," the worker said. "They're all yours."

    Pete

    I looked into the first kennel, and saw only the back of a medium
    sized dog who was curled up in the corner of his kennel, shivering.
    He was mostly white, with some black spots. "Hello?" I said. "May I
    come in?" He lifted his head, as though it weighed more than he
    could bear. When he looked at me, I could see he was a Pitbull. His
    eyes were gentle, but filled with grief.

    "Enter," was all he said.

    I stepped in, closing the gate behind me. He put his head back down,
    facing away from me. I crouched down a few feet away.

    "My name is Pete. Petey my Master called me," he said, still not
    looking at me.

    "Why are you here Pete?" I asked.

    "I am here because Master cannot afford to move to another province.
    I am here because someone with power said I am vicious, and a
    killer. Someone who never met me. Master took me for a walk one day,
    and some lady started to scream when she saw me. I got frightened,
    and barked at her. The dog police came, and they took me away. I
    have been with Master for 10 years. The last time I saw him, he just
    held me and cried. He kept telling me he was sorry. I worry for him.
    Whatever will he do without me?" Pete shivered even more.

    A tear slid down my face. I am supposed to remain objective, but
    this was wrong so wrong.

    "Thank you Pete." I said. He said nothing as I got up and left his
    kennel.

    Popper

    The kennel next to Pete's held a very young looking dog. Pure Border
    Collie by my guess. He stood on his hind legs, looking at me through
    the gate.

    "Hello. My name's Popper. He tilted his head. "Are you here to take
    me home?"

    "No, I'm sorry," I replied. "But I would like to talk with you."

    "Sure. What would you like to talk about?"

    "Popper, how did you come to be in this place?" I asked.

    Popper dropped down from the gate, with a perplexed look on his
    face. He walked to the back of the kennel, then back to the front. I
    noticed he had one blue eye, and one brown. He was quite beautiful.
    His black and white coat was shiny and thick.

    "I am not certain WHY I am here. I think maybe my family will come
    back for me. They bought me when I was only 6 weeks old. I remember
    they said how smart Border Collies are, and how it would be so easy
    to train me. They were very excited at first. The little ones played
    with me all the time. But the trouble with little Masters is, they
    refuse to stay in a group. I constantly had to nip their heels to
    keep them together." He looked confused. "Why won't they stay in a
    group?" he sighed. "So I did what I thought I should do. I am not
    quite sure why the little ones screamed when I did my job, but they
    did, and the Masters got very angry at me. They also got angry when
    I had to relieve myself, and did so in the house. I am not sure
    where they expected me to go. All they said was that I was the
    smartest breed in the world, and I should just KNOW better. Then
    they left me in the yard for a month or so. I got bored a lot, and I
    dug holes in the grass. The next thing I knew, the Masters brought
    me here."

    Popper jumped back up on the gate, his white paws protruding through
    the links. He looked at me with his lovely eyes, and asked "Will you
    please let them know I want to come home? Please tell them I promise
    I will be good?"

    "I will Popper," I said.

    Spartan

    My heart was breaking. I was beginning to regret coming here, but
    their stories had to be told. I moved along. The next dog I saw
    looked to be easily 100 lbs., a Rottweiler. He was handsome indeed,
    except for the scars on his face and back. He tilted his head, and
    looked me right in the eyes.

    "Hello. Who are you?" he asked.

    "I am a reporter," I replied. "May I speak with you for a little
    while?"

    "Most certainly. My name is Spartan. You can come in, I won't bite,"
    he said.

    "Thank you Spartan. I will."

    I entered his kennel, reached out and stroked his giant head. He
    made a loud grumbling noise, and closed his eyes.

    "Spartan, why are you here?"

    Before he could answer my question, he was suddenly in the grip of a
    nasty coughing spasm. It sounded painful.

    "Please excuse me," he said when it passed. "Kennel cough. It seems
    all of us who come in here get it.
    "Why am I here? Well, about two years ago, I was born in the
    backyard of some person I can't even recall. I had 11 brothers and
    sisters. I recall a day when a big man came and gave that person
    some money, and took me away from my mother. They had to chain her
    up, as she was very angry that he took me. They chained her and beat
    her. I came to know the man by the name of Jim. I overheard him
    telling his friends that I would grow up to be big and mean like my
    mother. But as I grew older, all I wanted to do was play and be
    friends with everyone. Jim said I needed to be taught how to be
    mean, so he chained me up in the yard. No more house for me, he
    said, I was too spoiled. When people came by to visit, I was so
    happy to see them. I wanted them to come and play. But that made Jim
    angry, so he beat me with sticks and chains. When he came near, I
    would roll onto my back so he would know I wasn't a bad dog. That
    made him beat me more." Spartan's eyes clouded with grief. "Then he
    brought me here."

    I reached out and stroked Spartan's massive gentle head once
    more. "I am so sorry Spartan. Some people are just plain evil." I
    gave him a kiss and left his kennel.

    As I walked away, Spartan called out, "What will happen to me, nice
    lady?"

    I shook my head. "I can't say Spartan. Maybe someone kind will come
    and get you. We can only hope."

    Patsy

    I walked a little further down. I could see a shape moving at the
    back of the next kennel. "Hello?" I called out. Suddenly the shape
    lunged at the gate in a fury, barking and gnashing its teeth. I
    stumbled backwards, and crashed into an adjacent kennel. The other
    dogs began barking loudly and jumping at their gates.

    "Don't go near her," a small female voice came from behind
    me. "She's mad."

    I gathered myself back together, and saw a little Jack Russell
    Terrier behind me.

    "Thanks for the warning," I was still trembling. Across the way, the
    other dog, apparently a Husky and German Shepherd cross, was glaring
    at me, lips curled back revealing brown stained teeth. Her ribs and
    hips showed through her dull, matted grey coat.
    The little dog invited me into her kennel, and I gladly went in.

    "Who are you?"

    "My name is Patsy." The little brown and white dog held a paw up to
    the gate in greeting.

    "My owner surrendered me. She said she wanted a cute little dog like
    the one on the TV show, Frasier. She didn't bother to look into the
    type of dog I am." Patsy heaved a sigh.

    "I suppose she expected me to just lie about and only need a short
    walk each day, just like Eddie, but my energy was so high that I
    needed to run and play." She glanced at her surroundings. "Now I am
    here. I suppose it could be worse. I could be likeher." Patsy
    looked towards the still growling dog across the way.

    "What happened to make her so vicious?" I asked.

    "From what we could gather," she replied. "she was found tied in a
    back yard. She only had a three foot chain. Some days there was no
    water. Rarely was there any food. One day a nice neighbour came by
    and brought her some meat. By then it was too late. She was already
    mad. She broke off her chain, and bit the poor man badly. We know
    she will be going behind the steel door. I am sad to say, I think it
    will be best. Perhaps then she will know some peace."

    Just then, the door at the end of the building opened, and a woman
    stepped inside. All the dogs began to bark wildly, then one by one,
    they went quiet.

    I whispered to Patsy, "Who is that? Why have all the dogs gone
    quiet?"

    Patsy breathed deeply through her little nose, and closed her
    eyes. "SHE is a Rescuer. Can't you smell it?" she asked.

    "Smell what?" I was confused.

    "Compassion. Love. Sorrow. It emanates from her pores. She is here
    for one of us, but nobody knows who just yet." Patsy looked hopeful.

    The Rescuer moved from kennel to kennel, looking at each dog. I sat
    quietly watching. I could see tears in her eyes as she made eye
    contact with each one. She stopped at Spartan's cage and spoke
    quietly to him.

    "No more beatings my man. No more. You are coming with me. From here
    on in, it's all going to get better."

    The Rescuer produced a leash, opened the kennel door, and took
    Spartan away. As he walked beside her, his little stubby tail wagged
    with delight.

    Patsy sighed again. I could see the disappointment in her eyes, and
    it grieved me. They all had the same look, as they watched The
    Rescuer depart.

    "I am so sorry Patsy," I said in a whisper. "But you are a little
    dog, and everyone loves little dogs. I am convinced you will be
    rescued soon." Patsy's brown eyes twinkled at me, a little bit of
    hope returning.

    I had heard and seen enough. I needed to tell people how it was for
    these unfortunate creatures. They were all here through no fault of
    their own. I stood to leave. I passed by many other dogs I did not
    interview, looking at each one, wishing I could take them all home
    with me and give them the love they deserved.
    I stood by the door taking one last glance back, when it opened, and
    one of the pound workers came in. His face was drawn and sad. He
    walked by without a word, and stopped at Pete's kennel. I heard him
    take a deep breath, then he paused, and opened the kennel door.

    The words were muffled, but I am sure I heard him say "I'm sorry old
    boy."

    He came out, with Petey in tow. The old dog's head hung down in
    resignation, and they both disappeared behind the big steel door.

    ---
    I no longer use language that accepts the current concept of animals as property, commodities and/or things. Rather than refer to myself and others as "owners" of animals, I now refer to myself and others as "guardians" of our animal companions and to animals as "he" or "she" rather than "it". I urge you to do the same.

    Copyright
    Sally Hull
    July 6th/2006
    Fuzzy Gang Signature
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 4315
    *crying* ...
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    holy moly jessica.

    wow.

    my heart is heavy, but I am going to hug my dogs now and whisper in their ears that as long as I am alive, they will be loved and cared for and always know compassion and companionship with me - I promise.

    ....volunteers4paws.wordpress.com
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    Wow, that is unbelievably accurate. :-(

    I'm not sure I'll ever be able to thicken my skin enough to the point where I'm not upset by the scene in an animal shelter. I actually felt like I was there when reading that.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • tobyshibatobyshiba
    Posts: 1058
    aww ... that ... is so sad. ;; Sorry for hijacking your thread ... but this was also a sad story I found a while ago on another dog forum that seriously makes people think just as much as that story above ... which even put me into tears. I wish idiots would read these stories and understand what they're doing to their poor pets;

    "'"His Name is Sam"

    After I was discharged from the Navy, Jim and I moved back to Detroit to use our GI bill benefits to get some schooling. Jim was going for a degree in Electronics and I, after much debating, decided to get mine in Computer Science.

    One of the classes that was a requirement was Speech. Like many people, I had no fondness for getting up in front of people for any reason, let alone to be the center of attention as I stuttered my way through some unfamiliar subject. But I couldn't get out of the requirement, and so I found myself in my last semester before graduation with Speech as one of my classes. On the first day of class our professor explained to us that he was going to leave the subject matter of our talks up to us, but he was going to provide the motivation of the speech. We would be responsible for six speeches, each with a different motivation. For instance our first speech's purpose was to inform. He advised us to pick subjects that we were interested in and knowledgeable about. I decided to center my six speeches around animals, especially dogs.

    For my first speech to inform, I talked about the equestrian art of dressage. For my speech to demonstrate, I brought my German Shepherd, Bodger, to class and demonstrated obedience commands. Finally the semester was almost over and I had but one more speech to give. This speech was to take the place of a written final exam and was to count for fifty per cent of our grade. The speeches motivation was to persuade.

    After agonizing over a subject matter, and keeping with my animal theme, I decided on the topic of spaying and neutering pets. My goal was to try to persuade my classmates to neuter their pets. So I started researching the topic. There was plenty of
    material, articles that told of the millions of dogs and cats that were euthanized every year, of supposedly beloved pets that were turned in to various animal control facilities for the lamest of reasons, or worse, dropped off far from home, bewildered and scared. Death was usually a blessing.

    The final speech was looming closer, but I felt well prepared. My notes were full of facts and statistics that I felt sure would motivate even the most naive of pet owners to succumb to my plea.

    A couple of days before our speeches were due, I had the bright idea of going to the local branch of the Humane Society and borrowing a puppy to use as a sort of a visual aid. I called the Humane Society and explained what I wanted. They were very happy to accommodate me. I made arrangements to pick up a puppy the day before my speech.

    The day before my speech, I went to pick up the puppy. I was feeling very confident. I could quote all the statistics and numbers without ever looking at my notes. The puppy, I felt, would add the final emotional touch.

    When I arrived at the Humane Society I was met by a young guy named Ron. He explained that he was the public relations person for the Humane Society. He was very excited about my speech and asked if I would like a tour of the facilities before I picked up the puppy. I enthusiastically agreed. We started out in the reception area, which was the general public's initial
    encounter with the Humane Society.

    The lobby was full, mostly with people dropping off various animals that they no longer wanted. Ron explained to me that this branch of the Humane Society took in about fifty animals a day and adopted out only about twenty.

    As we stood there I heard snatches of conversation: "I can't keep him, he digs holes in my garden." "They are such cute puppies, I know you will have no trouble finding homes for them." "She is wild, I can't control her." I heard one of Humane Society's volunteer explain to the lady with the litter of puppies that the Society was filled with puppies and that these puppies, being black, would immediately be put to sleep.Black puppies, she explained, had little chance of being adopted. The woman who brought the puppies in just shrugged, "I can't help it," she whined. "They are getting too big. I don't have room for them." We left the reception area. Ron led me into the staging area where all the incoming animals were evaluated for adoptability. Over half never even made it to the adoption center. There were just too many. Not only were people bringing in their own animals, but strays were also dropped off. By law the Humane Society had to hold a stray for three days. If the animal
    was not claimed by then, it was euthanized, since there was no background information on the animal. There were already too many animals that had a known history eagerly provided by their soon to be ex-owners. As we went through the different areas, I felt more and more depressed. No amount of statistics, could take the place of seeing the reality of what this throwaway attitude did to the living, breathing animal. It was overwhelming. Finally Ron stopped in front of a closed door. "That's it," he said, "except for this."

    I read the sign on the door. "Euthanasia Area." "Do you want to see one?" he asked. Before I could decline, he interjected, "You really should. You can't tell the whole story unless you experience the end." I reluctantly agreed. "Good." He said, "I already cleared it and Peggy is expecting you." He knocked firmly on the door. A middle-aged woman in a white lab coat opened it immediately. "Here's the girl I was telling you about," Ron explained. Peggy looked me over. "Well, I'll leave you here with Peggy and meet you in the reception area in about fifteen minutes. I'll have the puppy ready." With that Ron departed, leaving me standing in front of the stern-looking Peggy. Peggy motioned me in. As I walked into the room, I gave an audible gasp. The room was small and spartan. There were a couple of cages on the wall and a cabinet with syringes and vials of a
    clear liquid. In the middle of the room was an examining table with a rubber mat on top. There were two doors other than the one I had entered. Both were closed. One said to incinerator room, and the other had no sign, but I could hear various animals' noises coming from behind the closed door. In the back of the room, near the door that was marked incinerator were the objects that caused my distress: two wheelbarrows, filled with the bodies of dead kittens and puppies. I stared in horror.
    Nothing had prepared me for this. I felt my legs grow weak and my breathing become rapid and shallow. I wanted to run from that room, screaming. Peggy seemed not to notice my state of shock. She started talking about the euthanasia process, but I wasn't hearing her. I could not tear my gaze away from the wheelbarrows and those dozens of pathetic little bodies.

    Finally, Peggy seemed to notice that I was not paying attention to her. "Are you listening?" she asked irritably. "I'm only going to go through this once." I tore my gaze from the back of the room and looked at her. I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing would come out, so I nodded. She told me that behind the unmarked door were the animals that were scheduled for euthanasia that day. She picked up a chart that was hanging from the wall. "One fifty-three is next," she said as she looked at the chart. "I'll go get him." She laid down the chart on the examining table and started for the unmarked door. Before she got to the door she stopped and turned around. "You aren't going to get hysterical, are you?" she asked, "Because that will only upset the animals." I shook my head. I had not said a word since I walked into that room. I still felt unsure if I would be able to without breaking down into tears. As Peggy opened the unmarked door I peered into the room beyond. It was a small room, but the walls were lined and stacked with cages. It looked like they were all occupied. Peggy opened the door of one of
    the lower cages and removed the occupant. From what I could see it looked like a medium-sized dog. She attached a leash and ushered the dog into the room in which I stood.

    As Peggy brought the dog into the room I could see that the dog was no more than a puppy, maybe five or six months old. The pup looked to be a cross between a Lab and a German shepherd. He was mostly black, with a small amount of tan above his eyes and on his feet. He was very excited and bouncing up and down, trying to sniff everything in this new environment. Peggy lifted the pup onto the table. She had a card in her hand, which she laid on the table next to me. I read the card. It said that number one fifty-three was a mixed Shepherd, six months old. He was surrendered two days ago by a family. Reason of surrender was given as "jumps on children." At the bottom was a note that said "Name: Sam."

    Peggy was quick and efficient, from lots of practice, I guessed. She lay one fifty-three down on his side and tied a rubber tourniquet around his front leg. She turned to fill the syringe from the vial of clear liquid.

    All this time I was standing at the head of the table. I could see the moment that one fifty-three went from a curious puppy to a terrified puppy. He did not like being held down and he started to struggle. It was then that I finally found my voice. I bent over the struggling puppy and whispered, "Sam. Your name is Sam." At the sound of his name Sam quit struggling. He wagged his
    tail tentatively and his soft pink tongue darted out and licked my hand. And that is how he spent his last moment. I watched his eyes fade from hopefulness to nothingness. It was over very quickly. I had never even seen Peggy give the lethal shot. The tears could not be contained any longer. I kept my head down so as not to embarrass myself in front of the stoic Peggy. My tears fell onto the still body on the table. "Now you know," Peggy said softly. Then she turned away. "Ron will be waiting for you."

    I left the room. Although it seemed like it had been hours, only fifteen minutes had gone by since Ron had left me at the door. I made my way back to the reception area. True to his word, Ron had the puppy all ready to go. After giving me some instructions about what to feed the puppy, he handed the carrying cage over to me and wished me good luck on my speech. That night I went home and spent many hours playing with the orphan puppy. I went to bed that night but I could not sleep. After a while I got up and looked at my speech notes with their numbers and statistics. Without a second thought, I tore them up and threw them away. I went back to bed. Sometime during the night I finally fell asleep.

    The next morning I arrived at my Speech class with Puppy Doe. When my turn came, I held the puppy in my arms, I took a deep breath, and I told the class about the life and death of Sam. When I finished my speech I became aware that I was crying. I apologized to the class and took my seat. After class the teacher handed out a critique with our grades. I got an "A." His comments said "Very moving and persuasive."

    Two days later, on the last day of class, one of my classmates came up to me. She was an older lady that I had never spoken to in class. She stopped me on our way out of the classroom. "I want you to know that I adopted the puppy you brought to class," she said.

    "His name is Sam."


    by Chris Benton
    Please Spay or Neuter your pet. ""
    Owner of Sesame Shiba Inu (Toby) 8yrs old | Illustrator & Graphic Designer | My Website - Twitter

    image
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    I teared up from the first, but the two of them back to back made me cry.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    "I'm not sure I'll ever be able to thicken my skin enough to the point where I'm not upset by the scene in an animal shelter."

    I'm glad you said that - I hope it always affects me the same way it did the first day I walked through the shelter, that it still hits me that hard, that I never lose that compassion and desire to make even a small difference. It affirms me as a part of the big picture, that we're all connected and I don't ever want to lose sight of that. Ever.

    And so I sit here and sob reading Steph's story too. wow.volunteers4paws.wordpress.com
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by tsukitsune at 2008-06-15 01:29:57
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    Very sad.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • LeonbergerLeonberger
    Posts: 3761
    There's a knot on my throat, so it's a good thing I'm writing and not speaking.
    It's sad that some people and some dogs can not know the joy of the other one's company. People out of stupidity, ignorance or just evil. Dogs out of misfortune.
    Post edited by Leonberger at 2008-06-15 05:29:49
  • scarletscarlet
    Posts: 562
    I am the faint of heart, so I can't read this....
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 4749
    Scarlet, it is even more improtant that the faint of heart read things like this. Because the faint of heart are the ones needed to step up and save the world. A faint heart is a compassionate one. Something that the world is severly lacking in.
    Grab a box of kleenex and read...
    Fuzzy Gang Signature
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • RomiRomi
    Posts: 2634
    Wow, that is really heartbreaking :(
    Romi - Portia (Boxer), Ninja (Shiba), Wink (Norrbottenspets)
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • glacierglacier
    Posts: 226
    So sad...

    I just came back from Europe, from a country where there are no shelters. Hundreds of stray dogs roam the streets, some in horrible conditions. I saw a young dog, lab mix, tail barely wagging, dragging himself on three legs, a walking skeleton. I saw a dying puppy in the middle of the road. There was a 13 year old dog guarding the local garage, covered in scars, side ripped open by a larger dog. But he kept on fighting to survive, though his fangs were worn down to stumps. They all needed to see a vet. Dogs, all over the streets, being ignored by most of the people. I wanted to take them all home. But I could not, and I did the next best thing, gave them food and affection. They craved both, for food was hard to come by and no one cared for them. Even the guard dogs melted beneath a massage...
    Just sharing my experience of another side of the dog overpopulation tragedy.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • hotarujishinhotarujishin
    Posts: 152
    'Course it made me sad. I have worked in Shelters and helped rescue Akitas, but I know those who make a steady diet of it, not the pittance I attempted.
    In New England we import dogs from the south to rescue.

    But now it seems that there is so much legislation everywhere that,

    "I no longer use language that accepts the current concept of animals as property, commodities and/or things. Rather than refer to myself and others as "owners" of animals, I now refer to myself and others as "guardians" of our animal companions and to animals as "he" or "she" rather than "it". I urge you to do the same."

    Currently, calling animals property is beneficial legally, to fight these laws and speak about the constitutionality of seizing "property" unwarranted and illegally.
    I think of my dogs as companions, but please, think about those implications where implicated.
    Britain, a BDL Rep for the Akita Club of America
    Britain Hill
    Fenikkusu and Kalitan
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • hotarujishinhotarujishin
    Posts: 152
    Too late and too tired:
    BSL, that is.

    Oh my!!!
    Britain
    Britain Hill
    Fenikkusu and Kalitan
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

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