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09 February 2011


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Janet Boss

While I don't condone the shelter's policies or actions, owners ARE ultimately responsible for the well being of their pets. Yes, my dogs are microchipped and wear ID. That is minor though. I would never dream of leaving my dogs loose with a worker in the house. If someone is in my house, my dogs are safely confined. Needless to say, they are not left in yards. That is MY responsibility and mine alone.

Sad as it is, owning many breeds comes with heightened vigilance. Why? Accusations of attacks, shelter policies, anyone looking for an excuse for you to not have that dog. Go the extra mile and it can go a long way to preventing tragedies such as this one.


My husband and i had a simular story about 7 yrs ago. Two of our beloved pit's had been let out of their kennel "by accident" we called 3 counties animal control center's and took turns going to them twice a day lookin for Capone and Scarface( can we say godfather fan also lol). About two weeks later we get aletter from Ingam county animal control tellin us they picked up our dogs and we had 24 hrs to get them.....if the letter hadnt been sent two weeks after they killed them we might have been able to take action and save them!! They also had been contained in a authorized area for vicious dogs. All my efforts of flyer's showing staff numerous pictures video off cell phones was useless they found my dogs made a decision when they seen the breed and carried it out and all of this was MY FAULT for not having them contained properly and a month later i also recived a dangerous dog at large ticket,go figure;( i am sorry Diesel we will keep fighting for you and your kind!



It doesn't sound like he left the dog loose with a worker in the house, it sounds like the worker left a gate open and the owner didn't know it. He probably could not see the gate from inside the house, let his dog out into the yard as usual, and the dog took off through the gate.

It could have happened with ANY breed of dog. And the owner DID go the extra mile - he was down at the shelter every day, sometimes twice a day, looking for his dog. Not just calling and asking, he was physically THERE, looking.

Circumstances could result in any of our pets ending up at the shelter. We've had a couple of houses explode in my area lately due to gas leaks - you go to work in the morning, come home to a smoking hole - where's your cat? Did she survive? You don't know, you keep checking the shelters. Some kid thinks it's a good idea to cut a hole in your fence so he can cut through a shorter path on the way to school - you let your dogs out into your fenced yard only to find them gone 5 minutes later, too late you find the hole in the fence...

You do what you can, you do your best, but nothing is 100% guaranteed safe in this world. The shelter is supposed to *shelter*, that's why they call it that. The time for a leadership change at C-M is LONG overdue.


Could there be a blog post on "what to do when you see a stray dog"? Especially, "how to entice them to come to you?"

Over the years, I've seen a few small dogs that were running loose (no owner in sight) at the town park and the roads leading to the park. I've tried to approach the dogs, but they have taken off like a rocket and been out of sight very quickly. I'd like to help and appear to be doing something wrong. . .


I have to say that his owner is responsible to a degree. He did not have him chipped. BUT he searched and searched, went to the shelter EVERY DAY. They showed him the stray dogs, but never said, oh! By the by, we have an area seperate for injured dogs, maybe he's in there. AND he posted a flier IN THEIR HALLYWAY! This is in the end a case of BAD animal care officers. They ask for our donations to keep their facilities running, yet in the end they eithanize animals 'just because'. This is the 2nd story I have heard of late, the last one was a dog killed because his owner, who rescued him from Afganistan, didn't know they were open on Sunday. He was killed after LESS than their 72 hour policy but at least the mistake was admitted an sorries were said. Yet is sorry really enough when someone has killed your beloved pet, especially one that saved the life of 5 soldiers from an IED in Afgahnistan?


HS and shelter staff following rules and policy to the exclusion of common sense is a pervasive mentality. And I have no idea what to do to help change it except to vote with my money, time and to tell my own story about trying to adopt an elderly, hard-to-place dog. (First I was told she was no longer there. She was in the kennel area. Then I was told I couldn't adopt her because I own an intact male. A show/performance quality puppy.) And to do anything and everything I can to make sure my dogs never end up in a shelter and if they do, that they are ID'd well enough to make locating me, my husband or my vet idiot proof.


Janet, sure the owner could have done more if he could have turned back the clock, but the fact of the matter is, he did all he could to locate his dog when he went missing. Including, as Lis said, daily visits to the facility that actually had his dog. Sure, there's an opportunity for an "ID the snot out of your dog and do everything you can to make sure he doesn't go missing in the first place" message, but the bigger message is the lack of responsibility by the shelter.

What in the heck else was the guy supposed to do after his dog went missing? When one questions shelter workers and is told the dog isn't there, is one supposed to challenge their version of the truth and/or bust into areas not open to the public?

Collars can be lost, microchips not scanned (until last year, a metropolitan dog pound in Ohio didn't scan for chips; can't remember the reason the former warden gave, thank goodness the new warden made sweeping changes), and do people know what to do with a tattoo? (Frankly, I don't. Other than it's an identifying characteristic.) The point is, you can attempt to idiot proof, but poop occurs. Without a teensy bit of help and effort from the shelter side, YOUR dog and MY dog could end up euthanized. After all, big black dogs aren't very adoptable either.

H. Houlahan

So when the chip migrates or becomes corrupted, when the shelter scanner doesn't pick it up because of incompatibility, when the staff doesn't bother to scan because, hey, what are the chances, when they scan casually and miss the chip -- I guess that's the owner's fault, too.


I think that it is awful what happened to Diesel and blaming the owner doesn't make the situation any better. But it is naive to think that your dog, regardless of breed, is never going to leave the house unaccompanied by his owner or the owner's designate. I had my own dog get out and get hit by a car within a short time of leaving the yard. I started looked for him right away. The shelter called me a few hours later because they read his microchip. He, too, was in the injured animal area of the shelter. I am so thankful for that microchip. I also now reinforce my visible fence with an "invisible" one so that the dog can't jump or dig his way out and it doesn't matter if a gate is left open. I do what I can to prevent "accidents" but I don't believe that they won't happen.


Every time my dog goes to the vet, I have them scan for the chip. If they can't find, the dog gets a new one.

A microchip is not the panacea but it a precaution that can be easily taken.

Janet Boss

@Mikken - did you read another article that indicated a left-open gate? I'm just not seeing that here. I've suffered the result of a gate left open. I now have self-closing gates that also lock. Let me be clear - the shelter was WRONG. The owner still bears some responsibility, as well all must.


Our dogs have microchips however, the chips are from different companies. Our vet is able to pick up one of the dogs but not the other one. There needs to be some kind of universal chip that everyone can scan with the proper equipment. As for Diesel's owner, the staff at the shelter should have told him about the injured dogs, especially if he was there every day and they knew he was looking for his pit bull. Just a sad story....


I'd like to mention to anyone who thinks the owner should carry some responsibility of the blame, not all current/future dog owners are 100% informed on lost pets and shelters. Many are naive as to what really goes on in their local animal control facilities. It is not something many people think about (loosing their dog and having to navigate an unfamiliar system) and really shouldn't be required to make them a 'good dog owner' in your eyes. What should be required is that shelters "shelter" and DO THEIR JOB. In this case, it would have been comparing his photos to the dogs in the sick/injured area or letting the owner back there with them to look for his dog. It's really NOT THAT HARD. If they can't make the effort to save/shelter animals that come through their facility (regardless of breed!), they really shouldn't be there. I can't tell you how many people would come into the no-kill shelter I volunteered at looking for their lost dog (in that particular 'hood) who had no idea about the city (NYC!) ACC and I would give them the low down on how to go about searching for their lost pet. For many, losing a pet is a first/one time experience. Shelters are supposed to be the safety net . . .


As Heather said, pound workers (I can't call so many that don't shelter, shelters), often don't even bother to scan. In this case, they say they scanned and there was no chip (which the owner admitted to), but how many times does that shelter not scan and end up killing people's pets? I've been told by two different pounds in NEOhio that they don't scan - one because their scanner "never picks up anything" and one because "we don't have a scanner." Now, yes, that second one was 6 years ago, so maybe they have one now, but I don't have much faith that they'd be using it.

I had to argue with the vet I worked for to get him to scan pets that were "newfound" to clients, because he didn't want to "offend" them. Trying to get him to explain to clients that "wouldn't you want to know that a lost pet of yours was getting assistance to get home to you" wasn't a good enough reason to try to get people to have a "newfound" pet scanned.

Those who blame owners who don't microchip are often smug about assigning blame, as if the mere presence of a microchip will prevent their pet from even getting lost, and of course, it will 100% assure that pet being returned to them because of a chip.


This is why I have a geis to always stop, no matter what, when I see a stray dog on the road. It's a rule I never break, even for a meeting, job interview, or appointment.

That's someone's dog and it deserves to not be dead.

Amazingly, they've all had collars, some had tags, they've all had owners and I've never regretted stopping 4 lanes of traffic with my car in the intersection or hosting one of them (coincidentally named Dublin like my own dog) for a week because his owners were out of town and the dog sitter never bothered to tell them he was missing.

None of the vets I've ever taken them to for chip scanning has ever charged me a dime and one gave me a bag of free food because she concluded the dog had an allergy.

It's my one fear, that my own dogs will be lost or stolen, that someone will run them over or will decide that they're too nice to return. Or worse, they end up in a shelter and get killed by some wack job who thinks they are either cursed for being a black dog or who interprets normal BC behavior as unsuitable for adoption.

I have an extra set of tags for my own dogs, just in case they lose theirs they won't be without them. They're chipped and I keep the records updated. The number of the chip companies are in my cell phone. If they had a patch of bare skin they'd also be tattooed. I already have the REWARD posters made and ready for copying, one set at home, another in the car.

The back of my business card offers a reward for any found border collie. Odds are I'd know them or know someone who did.

Before I watched "Shelter Dogs" I thought that shelters were great places that saved people's dogs. Now I think Sue Sternberg is one of the most misguidedly evil people on the planet.

She should spend less time slapping hungry dogs in the face and more time finding their past or future homes, more time finding a reason to let them live than finding a reason to kill them.

Janet Boss

Forget about chips for a moment. Don't any dogs wear a collar with a simple ID? Seriously? Yes, I've heard all of the reasons for dogs to not wear collars. For the average dog and average household, those excuses make little sense. I would much prefer that someone read a little tag and call me and no shelter involvement at all.


@Janet - sorry, yeah, that came from the same discussion over at YesBiscuit! A repairman left the gate open.


I don't "just" microchip. I have collars with my cell number embroidered on them. I have ID tags, too. I reinforce my fence to help prevent escapes. I have signs on my gate, reminding people to close them. I teach my dogs to come when called. That still doesn't mean that my dog won't get lost nor guarantee his safe return. Diesel's owner went to great lengths to find his dog and ran into an incompetent, uncaring facility. What happened was tragic and not the owner's fault. A microchip may not have changed the outcome. But we'll never know if it could have. I'd prefer to err on the side of caution and chip my dog. That way I won't be tortured by "if only..."


I can't place the blame on the owner here. Not being perfect is not the same as being negligent. The owner's actions were reasonable under the circumstances. Might some of us done differently? Yes. But that doesn't make the owner to blame. He went to the shelter and at that point I believe it was the SHELTER's obligation to look at ALL their dogs to see whether Diesel was there, or let the owner see ALL their dogs to look for Diesel. You see, THAT is what any reasonable person would expect of a shelter.


I agree that the shelter was at fault. So what are a dog owner's options if his dog gets.lost? What can you do or should you do to improve the odds of getting your dog back?

Janet Boss

@Amy - I think the best advice is leave no stone unturned. Spread the word about horrible endings such as this, so people know to ask about "back rooms". ID your dogs in every way reasonable and possible. Don't leave your dogs where others can let them out. We can't prevent things like fires to a large extent, but we can make sure the public doesn't have access to our dogs without us present. Self closing gates are a great thing. Cell phone numbers on collars are essential IMO (most people are out looking for their dog, not sitting at home for the phone to ring). Use the internet - websites for finding as well as shelter sites. Go to the shelters and ask "is this ALL of the dogs?" Be proactive and you increase the odds.


Amy, Diesel's owner did nearly everything he could possibly do. Those are all good things to do and they improve your chances of getting your dog back. It's a good idea to also microchip. It's not expensive, and it improves your chances of getting your dog back.

But it's not a guarantee, nothing is a guarantee, and given everything else this owner did, including daily visits to the pound that actually had his dog, it's breath-takingly arrogant to assume it would have changed the outcome in this case.


Janet, are your dogs tattooed, also?

If not, why not? Wouldn't that increase your chances of getting them back?


this is so sad! i cant imagine the horror and frustration of losing your dog and then having to deal with this. very, very sad!

Janet Boss

@Lis - yes, they are. Tattooed, Chipped, Tagged with 2 home's addresses, home phone number for the one home, 2 cell phone numbers. I don't have a tracking GPS on either one, but I'd do it if I felt it was necessary!

Susan Fox

I actually don't care if, when picked up injured, that Diesel had no ID at all. That completely misses the point.

People like Janet Boss are still, essentially, blaming the owner, all "Yes buts" to the contrary.

The problem is THE SHELTER. Period. Dogs get out, collars fall off, scanners can't read an incompatible chip, owners don't know everything some people think they should, mistakes are made. But in no reasonable, compassionate world would any place called a "shelter" FAIL, the way this one did.


Oh wow. I literally gasped out loud when I read this story. It is just more sad and wrong than I can even state! How in the world can this shelter think it is doing the right thing?!?! It's seriously sickening actually.


As a shelter volunteer and a pit bull owner, I say pet owners need to take every precaution to allow pets to be found. Chips, licensing and I.D. tags ..all are good measures but nothing is fail safe. Know your community and those you visit. These people lived in an area the was not pit bull friendly. All the more reason to contain your dog at all times. Perception of a pit bull to the public is generally NOT favorable so the risk is greater, should they escape, get accidentallly let out or be stolen, you will not find it . Shelters are overflowing and community budgets are tight. Ours runs with a few animal control officers a few staff and voluteers , like me. Training is done but it can be challenging to do what is needed and following the best procedures, which can't always be overseen. Several years ago my elderly dog ran away...back to where my fiance lived before he died. I called and visited every shelter on my area except one who told me over the phone that they did not hold any animals, and I should look at the city shelters. 5 days later my friend went to post my dog's picture and poster and the shelter wolrker recognized her-they had her as a shop dog cause she was so well behaved and cared for (had a collar but the tags loop had broken off some time ago & I thight she'll never run away, she's too smart) I was l.ucky. most don't catch their dogs in transit. If she had been a pit bull, it might have had ab different ending. Ultimately, the responsibility is yours.


I'm having a bit of a problem with this presumed "requirement to microchip". Let me state up front that I am a wholesale supporter of microchips, and all my pets have them (well - except for the Betta!). But there are folks out there who have concerns about chips for one reason or another. After all, this IS a foreign object being inserted INTO the body of your pets, and not everyone is comfortable with that. Who am I - or anyone else - to force someone into compliance, ignoring that discomfort?

If the pet owner is taking other reasonable precautions for ID and containment, then IMHO, it is out of line to demonize them simply for lack of an inserted microchip.

Christie Keith

Shirley at Yes Biscuit! just told me that this is the same "shelter" that got into trouble for drugging and photographing cats and kittens in "amusing" positions... I didn't realize that.


But yeah, let's blame Diesel's owner for not (again, I quote Shirley) having his phone number tattooed across his dog's face so the "shelter" wouldn't kill him...


I find it sad that everyone is using this as an example, but somewhere along the line it seems to be forgotten that there were how many other animals in the facility that died because no one claimed them. Had those animals been prevented in the first place, shelters would have more time to deal with the occasional accidental escape and not spend the day overwhelmed with so many unwanted animals. Responsible ownership encompasses so much more than just claiming your lost pet. If people still can't get the importance of a leash law, how will we ever get them to understand the bigger picture? I walk a dog that does not respond well to strange dogs and I have people say not to worry because their off leash dog is not aggressive. They cant fathom that maybe my on leash animal is NOT nice and that they need the leash for the ability to keep their animal safe.

I also get frustrated at lumping all shelters together. I volunteer at a county shelter and I see how bad they are treated by the public. Some volunteers take pictures of things that may remain incomplete despite knowing that giving meds is more important than folding clean blankets. These same people scream dog killer outside the euthenasia room when I have seen the staff cry over having to euth so many kittens. All of this for barely over minimum wage pay. But someone HAS to do it because of people who are not responsible enough to contain, spay, neuter, etc.

I am sorry for Diesel, but even sorrier for the others no one else bothered to claim. Those are the ones who need a voice and are a much higher occurance than the Diesel examples of the world.


I don’t have a tracking GPS on either one, but I’d do it if I felt it was necessary!

How do you defend this failure to do everything possible?

Seriously. You don't believe that a tracking GPS is necessary for your dogs. Diesel's owner, who clearly cared, and clearly went to a great deal of trouble to recover his dog including daily visits to the facility that had him, didn't think a microchip was necessary for his dog, given his other precautions. What makes your lack of action responsible, and his irresponsible?


"If you live in an apartment better not have a pet, because the owners can come in whenever they want. Better cage up that cat or dog all day and put a lock on it."

I was having some difficulty at one point scheduling a time with my landlord for work to be done at the house because I wanted to be present. She wanted to know why I was so insistent on being there, and I said it was because I was concerned that other people coming in and out wouldn't be as careful as I was with not leaving doors open and keeping track of the where the critters were and such.

Her response? "Well maybe I should just take the part out of the lease that lets you have pets then!".

I'm happy to say that she didn't stick to that, and we were able to work something out. And maybe this belongs more under the "what do we need to change in society to make it easier for more pets to find/keep homes" heading.

But the fact is that landlords CAN claim an emergency need to come into your home, and chances are they will not be anywhere NEAR as careful of doors/gates/etc. as you - the pet owner - would be. As she said in another one of her less-than-stellar moments - "Sucks to be a renter, doesn't it?"


If this had been a child lost or taken by the state and placed into foster care, (and YES THIS HAS happened,Florida) and then "lost" to the state & family with no real in-depth search done to find them as it is thought the "parent" should have taken more precaution with the child to begin with, we would still be watching the headline news... but since it was "just an animal" this story will soon be lost


Wow - blaming the owner? Really?

While I agree I can see no reason the dog wasn't wearing a collar with an ID tag, collars fall off all the time.

Our oldest dog is chipped, as is our oldest cat. We stopped chipping about five years ago when more than half the chips we had inserted either migrated or stopped working. Couple that with the fact that H.Houlahan is spot on - few shelters have universal scanners - and microchips present little benefit as far as I am concerned.

Tattoos would be the best solution if there was actually a central database to connect them back to. Using a telephone number is just silly - what happens ten years later when you MOVE? You update your phone number! Don't think you'll move? Fires and floods happen all the time...

Bottom line is that the shelter's main PURPOSE is to reunite lost dogs with their owners - something that this shelter FAILED miserably at.

And Shirley is right - this shelter is already operating under a giant black cloud of suspicion as it is.

It's situations like this one that make it clear to me that the courts need to start taking into account personal damages when dealing with pet related lawsuits, rather than simply the dollar value of the pet.


I have no words except, I am so sorry for the owners loss and RIP Diesel, you will never be hurt again.

Shannon Hill

My little dog wears a harness with a Boomerang tag. He has a fat little Pekingese neck, so the harness stays on and a collar won't. Also, his tag lists my number, the vet's number, and his medical conditions (several.) He is also chipped, never goes outdoors without me, and no workmen are allowed in my home unless I am present. Pretty sure that covers all the bases...I hope.

Susan Fox

Hindsight is always 20-20. But I'm not sure anything would have saved Diesel, other than choosing not to be born a pit bull in North Carolina.

Mary Mary

2.While I don’t condone the shelter’s policies or actions, owners ARE ultimately responsible for the well being of their pets.

Comment by Janet Boss — February 9, 2011 @

Janet, I am going to bet I am 10 times more OCD than you are about covering all my bases with certain things.

And yet, something bad can still happen that is out of my control.

It can happen to me, my house, and to my pets, the passengers in my car.

I have the ULTIMATE solution. Laugh at it if you want, but if we are looking at the "covering all bases" continuum, here's the ultimate protection: Put the animal down the day you get him. That's the ONLY way to make sure nothing bad happens to him.

Saddest thing I ever saw at a shelter: Two elderly guys came to the front desk. They wondered if a dog had been brought in. The dog belonged to their friend, who was in the hospital, and somehow got away.

I don't know the end of that story.

The owner should have taken better care of himself so he didn't end up in the hospital.

Maria Shanley

Nothing ever can cover ALL the bases! Just here in Sheridan county this year, people have had their houses burglarized with pets escaping in the process, had drunk drivers demolish their fences, and had weather-related fence failures. Our local shelter does scan for microchips; however, that didn't help one dog who ended up in the miserable excuse of a shelter 75 miles north in Hardin, MT (dog only was saved because the owner went up there to look). Any animal can get out without it's being the owner's fault; ID doesn't cover all circumstances.

H. Houlahan

Mary, you've finally arrived at the PeTA solution!

Mary Mary

Call me Ishmael. I mean Ingrid.


To Diesel's owner - I am so so sorry for your loss. As to the Shelter - hope you all rot in HELL for doing such an inhuman thing. An amimal should be looked at and cared for as one of your children. It should not matter if the animal is a PIT/ROTTY/SHEPARD/POODLE/CAT/TURTLE/BIRD, etc. IT is still one of GODS creatures and it is up to us (HUMANS) to care for them until the agression or adoptability is proven, or until the higher spirit takes them. NO ONE has a right to put an animal down because of the BREED. Whatever happened innocent until proven. I Wish People would wake the F**** up and smell the coffee. It is never the breed but the owner who causes such issues. Diesel should have been cared for with the upmost repsect and treated like if you (human) sustained an injury. Diesel did not cause harm to anyone so why put such a loving dog down because of the BREED. PITS are very loving dogs. People should stop looking at the PITS as vicious animals. Instead take a look at the owners. Better yet go adopt one and see for yourself how loving these dogs really are. I DID! I am a first time PIT owner and I had a lot of different breeds. The PITS are an amazing animal, loving, and caring. They give more love then the other breeds I had. I had a SHEEPDOG/HUSKEY/LAB/CHOW/SHEPARD/AKITA. The one that has showed me unconditional love is my HEMI (PIT).


Couple issues here.

Was this the shelter's fault? Sure it was, and just about everything about most shelters needs to change. We should do whatever we can to force them to change. That's a slam dunk.

But shelters aren't going to change anytime soon. So how do you protect your dog? Accidents happen no matter how careful you are.

Three things you need: Microchip, collar with ID tags and TATTOO. Why tattoo? Because it makes your dog stick out like a sore thumb at a shelter. He becomes special and interesting, and they'll spend a little more effort to find his owner. I worked in a high kill shelter and left because I couldn't stand it. Death is a way of life in most shelters, the solution to all animal problems. Plus almost all the dogs there don't have owners or owners that care. The default is that no one gives a crap about the dog, no one is looking for him, no one will come for him. The default is usually true, so shelter workers don’t try to find owners. Not right but that’s how it is. When a dog with a tattoo showed up at the shelter I worked at, the shelter workers got busy trying to find the owner. The tattoo was proof that someone owned the dog, cared about him, really wanted him back.

Tattoos don't fall off like collars and tags. They don't fail to show up on a scan like chips.

Both the ear and groin area should be tattooed. If just the ear, it gets cut off by thieves. If just the groin area, it doesn't get seen unless the dog is flipped over. A tattoo is easy to do when your dog is knocked out for X rays, neutering, whatever. Buy a tattoo gun and do it yourself if you have to.

Tattoo your cell number, which the phone companies can't make you change.

No guarantee, but a tattoo is one more level of security. With shelters like this, dogs need all the protection they can get.


Jennifer wrote:

There needs to be some kind of universal chip that everyone can scan with the proper equipment.

There is such a standard. It's called an "ISO chip". They are used everywhere in the world except the US. They are even used in Canada now. They aren't used in the US because they are not proprietary--any company can make them--so not as much profit for the big corporations. Avid and Home Again have fought tooth and nail to make sure their mutually incompatible proprietary systems are the only ones sold in the US.

ISO tags are widely used in the US for livestock, but not for pets. A couple of companies have tried to offer ISO chips for pets but have been sued of of the market by Avid or Home Again. By the way Avid sells ISO chips for pets in Canada and probably other markets.

Gladys Amherdt

First thing that needs to change are the names of so called "shelters". This one was Animal Control and Care". Most people have no idea that it is not like Animal planet on TV. Animal Cops save every animal and find it a home. Until facebook, that's what I thought. I had no idea what was going on in America with our most wonderful dog friends. I have been horrified and here is another horrific story for me to be angry over. If they kill dogs at all in any way at these "shelters" the word Kill has to be in the name. Innocent people bring them there having no idea their fate, thinking they are doing the right thing.

It should be "Mecklenburg County’s Animal Care

and Hi-Kill Control".


To SHannon Hill:

How about the drug cops busting down the WRONG DOOR when you're not home? Got that covered?

How about those foreclosers swooping in to the WRONG HOUSE (really, this has happened), emptying it out, including your pet and putting a new lock on the door? Got that covered?

I'm disgusted by comments that dogs HAVE to have microchips otherwise the owners are negligent. If you live in an apartment better not have a pet, because the owners can come in whenever they want. Better cage up that cat or dog all day and put a lock on it.

I agree with Mary Mary, who is being quite contrary! ;-)

S**t happens. But in THIS case, it was entirely avoidable if the help in that hellhole had been doing their jobs.

Mary Mary

The problem is that the word "responsible" is not easy to define. It is grey.

Who killed the dog ... the shelter vet who injected the drug? The front desk clerk who didn't try harder to help the owner? The shelter director who tolerates bad practices? The bad parents who didn't teach the repair guy to close doors and gates behind him?

Really, I am not kidding. I think about this stuff ALL THE TIME because I help shelters adopt out animals to people.

I am a lot less critical than I used to be because I live in the third dimension, not in my ideal world, that world in which adopters LISTEN TO ME when I tell them certain things about medical sympoms, food to avoid, which vets to avoid, etc.

Is it my fault when they don't follow my instructions? Because i should teach it more clearly, more emphatically, i should do more followup?

Shrug. I'm not perfect either.

Janet Boss

Wow - go out for a bit and all of the sudden I seem to have been labeled as the owner-basher. Please read ALL of my responses, the ones that say THE SHELTER WAS WRONG as well. Please also read the ones that say that we can't plan for everything, but we can increase our odds. While you're at it, please pay close attention to find that I have suffered tragedy due to an open gate and am not unsympathetic, just have NOW taken more precautions.

@Deanna - my dog is a little black dog ;-D. No, I don't think any dog is immune to the risk associated with poor shelter management, but do KNOW that APBT owners are forced to be extra vigilant.

As far as microchips, no, I don't believe they are THE answer. They are one of a few [reasonable and possible - please read my previous post] ways to HELP the situation.

Some of my comments were GENERAL, in response to AMY, about how an owner may deal with a situation.

I've been a pet owner for many years, and involved in rescue and shelter work for a good portion of that. There are poor examples and good examples of both shelters and owners. Better policies, more vigilant owners WILL INCREASE THE ODDS of a dog getting back home.

No, there are no guarantees, and short of a bubble (or the instant euthanasia, we all have to live with our own choices of what is "enough".


not one of you have commented on the staff of the majority of the local shelters. young kids, high school kids for the most part just doing routine daily requirements to get a paycheck, or sentenced to so many hours of community service.... MOST ONE OF THESE KIDS DON"T CARE IF THE ANIMAL IS FOUND BY THE OWNER OR ARE EUTHANIZED... ITS JUST ANOTHER CAGE THEY EITHER DO OR DON'T HAVE TO CLEAN THAT DAY. I have witnessed this one too many times myself being a vet tech.... it is a huge imposement on their very busy day for you to ask them to take a 2 minute break and go look for your dog.

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