A Horrible Inside Look at an Animal Shelter

This just makes me sick. While we mostly post images and stories here on Love My Dog Blog that are either informative or cute-warm-and-fuzzy, or maybe a little bit sad (passing of a best friend), we also throw in occassional pleas to adopt a shelter dog.

This story is not warm and fuzzy, nor is it just a little sad, it is an inside look at the horror of living – and dying – in an animal shelter. We don’t usually show heart-wrenching photos, but I feel this one needs to be shown. If it stops just one person from dropping off their pet at a shelter, or convinces one person to adopt a pet from a shelter – thereby saving his or her life – then it will have served a great purpose. Hopefully, it will move more than just one person, and will save more than one animal’s life.

This story and image was posted on Facebook, by a friend of a friend of a friend and so on…to the point that I don’t know who it originated from. So I can’t give any real credit, but I do want to thank this person for opening our eyes. Please share it, copy it, pass it on…

Euthanized Shelter Animals

REPOST FOR IT’S IMPORTANCE….. 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 people who have ever surrendered a pet to a shelter or humane society 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 stop flagging the ads on Craigslist and help these animals find homes.

That puppy you just bought will most likely end up in my shelter when it’s not a cute little puppy anymore. Just so you know there’s a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it’s dumped at? Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays”, that come into a shelter are purebred dogs. The most common excuses: “We are moving and we can’t take our dog (or cat).” Really? 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 & 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 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats & sleeps. It will be depressed & 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 & 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 in 72 hours & the shelter is full in most cases, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn’t full & your dog is good enough & 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 & 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 & will be destroyed because the shelter gets paid a fee to euthanize each animal, & making money is better than spending money to take this animal to the vet.

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 & 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. When it all ends, your pet’s 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? Or used for the schools to dissect & experiment on? 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 who still have a beating heart & have read this are bawling your eyes out & can’t get the pictures out of your head, I deal with this everyday. I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes & start educating the public. Do research, do your homework & know exactly what you are getting into before getting a pet.

These shelters & humane societies exist because people just do not care about animals anymore. Animals were not intended to be disposable but somehow that is what they are these days. Animal shelters are an easy way out when you get tired of your animal & breeders are the ones blamed for this. Animal shelters & rescue orgs are making a hefty profit by keeping this misconception going. Between 9 & 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters (Humane Society of the US estimates 3-4 million) & only you – as a pet owner – can stop it.

I just hope I maybe changed one persons mind about taking their dog to a shelter, a humane society, or buying a dog without researching. For those of you that care— please re-post this to at least one other Craigslist in another city/state. Let’s see if we can get this all around the US and have an impact. THINK before your selfishness begins to take over.

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    • Emily D.
    • November 22, 2013

    That is so tragic. Every time someone I know talks about getting a dog, I plead with them to adopt from a shelter. Those dogs are truly in need of love. 🙁 And ‘mutts’ tend to be smarter dogs.

      • S.R.
      • February 3, 2014

      While this is a tragedy.. It’s not better than a Michael Moore film.. Really? This is life folks.. Over-breeding results in putting animals down.. unless we wish to spend more tax dollars to supplement animal shelters. Last time I checked, the majority of people live pay check to pay check.. Should we keep an animal that bites? or an animal that urinates and defecates randomly all over our home? Taking a pet into a home is a responsibility, yes! But let’s not kid ourselves.. It’s a pet. It’s not a human life! The parallel drawn between the two is ridiculous.

      I grew up with Shepherds.. yes they were a part of the family.. however, they were a pet! It drives me nuts that people treat animals like humans.. they’re simply not.. eating from an ice cream cone.. sleeping in our bed.. they’re not cognoscente.. though because they’re cute.. we treat them as if they are.. It’s complete garbage..

      As I said.. this is life.. animals die.. people die.. How about an article on arms abuse? or malnourishment in children? or third world countries struggling with genocide? It’s funny, how we all forget to take care of ourselves first.. just because something is helpless.. Our own children struggle in school, because we apparently can’t afford to pay teachers a wage that attracts the best of the best, and can’t afford to pay for the supplies and books needed to promote an education on par with leading countries in the world.. yet we’re worried about pets dying in a shelter..

      Sorry.. makes no sense to me.. We’re unfortunately a product of our social status.. and nothing more.. Very few, tend to look at the big picture going on with our nation.. A dog dies.. A child lives a life without meals and a good education.. hmm…

        • Lola K
        • February 5, 2014

        Hmm…how much do you pay for your monthly internet access? And for your computer or phone whatever you used to access this page? Maybe that money could have been better spent helping “our children”?????

        • Samantha Belcher
        • December 9, 2018

        You disgust me. and really let’s compare a need for new school books that teach our children to think in a fashion as disturbed as your own to a life and death situation of animals and the cruelty they are subjected to because of you and all humans. even the people collecting monitory donations for them are turning a profit maybe exactly what we need is to pour so many tax dollars into animals that it forces people to change. just because we’re human doesn’t doesn’t mean we are God. Shouldn’t we respect all living creatures? we have all the resources and intelligence we need to fix this problem we just have even more greed and as far as starving children – hog wash – yes we should be setting an example to other countries and showing them our nation cares more for our own animals then they are for their children. that’s shame on them not us and really pets give so much to our lives and ask for so little in return. u can’t see putting a dog in your bed well let me inform you most the people who do put a dog in their bed made the mistake of putting a human there first and got burned.

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