Hello, gray matter all over the monitor. Have you missed seeing my head explode?
I often write about how much it annoys me when shelters and animal control agencies blame the death rate of pets in their facilities on the bad, evil, stupid, irresponsible pet owners in their communities instead of on their own policies -- including failing to harness the power of animal lovers in their area.
But if I had sat down to write this story to serve as an example of what I mean, people would have rolled their eyes and sworn such a thing couldn't ever happen in real life.
A dog owner in Charlotte, N.C., put up lost and found flyers -- hundreds of them -- after a phone repair person accidentally let his three-year-old dog, Diesel, out. He checked the website of his local shelter, Mecklenburg County's Animal Care and Control, for found dogs, and went down to the shelter every day, day after day, sometimes twice a day, checking for his dog. He even put one of his fliers up in the shelter hallway.
Well, too bad so sad, because the shelter had his dog all along and then killed him. Diesel was in a kennel for sick or injured dogs that isn't open to the public because he'd been hit by a car, and because this shelter... pardon me, slaughterhouse... has a "no pit bull adoptions rule," they killed Diesel.
Did they say they were sorry, that they regretted not showing him the dogs in the injured kennel, that they didn't lift a finger to see that this dog lived instead of died? From WSOC in Charlotte:
Mark Balestra, the director of Animal Care and Control, told Eyewitness News that Gibson is to blame because he never got a microchip for his dog. He said that’s a responsibility of dog owners and makes it much easier to find dogs.
Gibson said Diesel never had a microchip because he never left the house.
Balestra also said a picture of Diesel was on the website since Feb. 2 and that if Gibson pointed out pictures that could have been Diesel to employees, they would have looked into each one.
State law requires that stray animals be held for 72 hours before they are evaluated to see if they are healthy enough to be adopted. Gibson's dog could have survived his injuries, but he was euthanized because Animal Care and Control has a policy that doesn’t allow pit bulls to be adopted out to the general public.
So, they blamed Diesel's owner for not having had him microchipped, and not pointing out dogs on their website that could have been Diesel and asking them to check on each one individually.
Which I guess he kind of thought he had covered by scouring the stray kennels every day.
And then they killed Diesel because that's what they do to pit bulls.
But by all means, let's keep blaming the uncaring, irresponsible, dirty, rotten, public.
Photo: Cap from the video of the story at the link above -- be sure to watch it.