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A shelter Dog's Life....Who gets to live...Who gets to die....

Just found this in the NY Times. The new trend for "incoming" dogs at shelters is to temperament test them. I've seen it done, and I've seen mistakes made. If people would just stop breeding and buying dogs, this "test" would not have to be done any longer. Looking for a pure breed? Look at the statistics. Many of these dogs are "family pets" turned in by the "people" that failed them, not the failure of the dog to adapt to their lifestyle....

"According to Stephen Zawistowski, executive vice president for national programs for the ASPCA, about four million dogs enter shelters nationwide each year. Some two million of them end up being euthanized, about 5,000 dogs each day, one every 16 seconds. They are not, as is often assumed, merely the misbegotten mutts, castoffs of some imaginary canine lower caste. They hail from every stratum of the human society that shaped them, from all the varied quadrants of our keeping. According to nationwide surveys, as many as 25 percent of the dogs who end up in shelters are purebreds: Boston terriers, border collies, Pomeranians, standard poodles and so on, the sorts of dogs that people pay thousands of dollars to obtain. And yet they are discarded for the same dizzying array of reasons the mongrels are, ranging from the truly fraught to the downright frivolous."

here's the full artice:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/08/magazine/08animal.t.html?pagewanted=1

It breaks my heart, I see it everyday. If you can, and have it in your heart, and have the time, space, and resources to....save a life. Don't buy one....

-dave

That's so sad and so true. I wish I could adopt all the animals in shelters all over the world! Unfortunately I can't. :'(

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that is sad. i don't understand people who need to buy dogs to get the one they want.... i've made my feelings re: buying vs adopting in another post. but it is sad.... i know that my future pups (as are my current and future kittens) will be pound puppies!!  :)  its the only way to go

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Hey Dave,

Sorry to wander away from the original topic of this post, but I just heard about a proposed act here in CA to mandate spaying/neutering pets after 4 months of age.  I am really bad about determining the REAL intent behind bills.  I know that often they are just disguises for something entirely different than what they purport to be, and I never know who to believe.  Do you have any thoughts to share on this one?  Thanks!

-Aimee

http://www.cahealthypets.com/

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This is just more of irresponsible pet owning.

Now, I keep birds, one of whom is an "exotic parrot" native to Asia. She was bred in the US by someone I know personally.  She is not as loud as an Amazon or macaw can be, but she is not a quiet, retiring personality.  I had a wild caught old IRN previous to this and his wings had both been broken by poachers, but that is another story.  I know of many MANY birds who have been mistreated because they are loud, noisy, unfriendly or just too much work.  I did below the RMSA in Denver where they worked to rescue and rehome birds who were in bad situations.  There are bird mills as there are puppy mills and the conditions are as bad and can be even worse.  They are still poaching wild birds and the US is now starting to allow wild caught birds to be brought in.  It is stupid on a number of levels because wild caught Amazons, macaw, cockatoos, conures and others DO NOT make good pets.  THey are also prolific in captivity breeders and we have more blue and gold macaws bred in this country EACH YEAR then are in the wild total.  Most people to acquire birds know little or nothing about their care and feeding, let alone how to appropriately handle them and socialize them.  Even a well socialized large parrot is likely to have loud periods daily at dusk and dawn, as they would in the wild.  They are not everyone's cup of tea.  Would-be bird owners don't have a clue about what birds need, so in the end they are abused or "set free" to die in the open.

It is the same thing with dogs.  My recent acquition of a dog was a well considered one.  What breed would fit the family and the lifestyle?  What size dog is appropriate to the yard and the house?  A dog, properly taken care of, will run an owner $1500 for the care for the first year.  Too many people buy a dog for their looks or as a status symbol, not thinking what it truly appropriate for their lives and situation.  Spaying is not expensive, but it is if you are short on funds or if you don't make it a priority.  I know a couple of people who have not spayed because they can't manage to allocate the funds to get it done.  Because there are many intact males in the neighborhood too, this is an accident waiting to happen.  I know this happens an awful lot.

It seems to me that the majority of people give as little thought to their pets as they do to where that steak or that pork chop are coming from.  This is a disposable society and most people have no idea of the permanence of things, or of commitment for a period of time, even indefinitely.  YOu can see it in the high divorce rate, the high consumption of stuff from McDonalds, the number of pets in shelters and the number of abused and neglected children.  I see far too few people stepping up to the plate and trying their best to live up to responsibilities. 

THis is a long rant and I know it.  I just see the problems with animal population in this country being part and parcel of a larger lack of interest and caring of far too many people on far to many levels.

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Thats sick. It's much better to adopt a dog because you can save it from its present situation and make a difference in it's life.

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Hey Dave,

Sorry to wander away from the original topic of this post, but I just heard about a proposed act here in CA to mandate spaying/neutering pets after 4 months of age.  I am really bad about determining the REAL intent behind bills.  I know that often they are just disguises for something entirely different than what they purport to be, and I never know who to believe.  Do you have any thoughts to share on this one?  Thanks!

-Aimee

http://www.cahealthypets.com/

Hi Aimee,
I'd have to say that after reading the link you provided and seeing some of the rescue groups that are supporting the bill, I'd give my two thumbs up. I mean at this point I'd be willing to throw my support behind anything that reduces the number of animals "killed" in shelters every year (somehow the word "euthanize" seems to sugar coat it for me). If it passes, I'd be very curious to see the result and outcome of it a few years down the road. If it does reduce the numbers of homeless pets and reduces the numbers that are killed every year....then it becomes a strong argument to make it every state. Any vegweber's in CA. have anymore info. or opinions on it?

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Thanks Dave! 

Dang it, I just read that the deadline for sending support letters was April 4!  Well, I'll be on the lookout for any other ways to support this if I can.

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