Dumping Senior Dogs and Pets – A Rant
Every day my email and Facebook newsfeed are filled with sad little horror stories of dumped and abandoned dogs and it rips my heart out every time but what really gets to me the worst is the abandoned senior dogs and pets. These dogs; 8, 10, 12, 15 years old and some even older… You look at their faces; muzzles silver and white and grey, eyes clear or clouded, seeing or blind or somewhere in between, but the one thing common on every one of those precious faces, and you can feel it, is the defeat, the sadness, the confusion.
These once beloved pets, from the tiny and frail little Chi’s and terriers and mixes to the medium and large dogs, some relatively healthy, some not so lucky; sick, arthritic, blind, deaf… you see these poor creatures lying on cold, hard concrete, scared and shaking. They don’t understand what happened to them after years of faithful and loving companionship, they’ve been tossed aside like unwanted old shoes.
Maybe they’re no longer spry and spunky enough, or maybe they’ve having accidents in the house, or maybe too many medical bills and problems or maybe someone just got tired of them and wanted a fresh, new furry possession. I say possession because if that pet were truly a beloved family member, as they should be, they wouldn’t be getting tossed aside!
Oh, I’ve heard the excuses… we didn’t have time… we couldn’t afford them… we have to move and they don’t take pets… and on and on and on. I understand that times are tough and things happen, it’s reality and it sucks but I can also tell you that if you really love that pet you will exhaust all avenues to find an alternative… a rescue… temporary living arrangements… help for med costs, ect.
I look in the faces of my babies, both seniors, Jezzie at 10 and Bruti at 9, and cannot even imagine any reason I would abandon them. There was a time when Jezz was a puppy that I went through a difficult period in my life. I lost my home and job, long story that has no bearing here, and had three dogs at the time. I didn’t dump or abandon them. I actually lived out of my beat up old SUV for a few weeks, bouncing between friends’ homes to clean up and job and home search until I found a place that allowed me and my dogs. There wasn’t another option for me. I see people who have little to nothing, homeless, living on the streets, still managing to love and care for their pets the best they can, refusing to dump or abandon them even though it would make their situation more tenable.
Quick Disclaimer – yes, there are reasons that someone may have no choice but to surrender a pet; illness and they have no way of caring for the pet themselves, having to relocate a family with children on short notice due to a dire situation or something along those lines. I can understand but those are seldom the reasons for dumping a senior pet, regardless of what one may claim…
How can people do it?! Can someone tell me how a person can take a dog or pet, that’s been a member of the family for years, and unceremoniously just drop them off on the side of the road or at a kill shelter, not caring what happens to them. Or perhaps they’ll lie during intake about the reason they have to give the pet up and the condition of the pet, perhaps not disclosing medical problems or behavioral problems, in effect creating more problems for the now abandoned pet.
We want to lash out at shelters when we hear the euthanizations, ie. kill, rates and some shelters are better than other, some shelter staff are better than others but the bottom line is that most of the publically funded shelters are underfunded, under staffed and over populated with those unwanted furry little creatures that are so easily dumped and abandoned by “owners” and breeders. They are the real guilty parties…
And I tell you, for those heartless bastards who can so easily dump your dog, man’s best friend who offers nothing but love, loyalty and devotion, so heartlessly and callously, your time will come… maybe not today or tomorrow… but it will come…
And as you can see, many agree…..
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