Don't Buy Pets, ADOPT!

Posted on Monday, 29 October 2012 and filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0 . You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site


Just a normal day at the shelter. Because you think it's your right to buy a dog from a breeder while thousands of dogs are dying every day, go ahead. But don't you dare call yourself a dog lover!





A Stray's Prayer

Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair.
My body is aching, it's so racked with pain,
and dear God I pray, as I run in the rain.
That someone will love me and give me a home,
a warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.
My last owner tied me all day in the yard
Sometimes with no water, and god that was hard.
So I chewed my leash, and God I ran away.
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now God, I'm tired and hungry and cold,
and I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks and hit me with stones,
while I run the streets just looking for bones!
I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can,
or I have become just a "Victim of Man!"
I'm wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas,
and all that I want is an Owner to please!

If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good,
and I won't chew their shoes, and I'll do as I should.
I'll love them, protect them and try to obey....
when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!
I don't think I'll make it too long on my own,
cause I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die.
And I've got so much love and devotion to give,
that I should be given a new chance to Live!
So dear God, please answer my prayer,
and send me someone who will REALLY care..

That is, Dear God, if YOU'RE REALLY there! 

- Unknown -



Help mePlease give me a chance, get me out of this place! this state of life!!”. 

Confined, lonely, depressed and alone. Imagine being locked up for hours, days, months and possibly years, or even a lifetime without a single hope to see the world, to interact and to be loved.

"No. I don't think you can imagine. You simply cannot because you are not one of us. You are human - and I am just a dog."

Not only dogs are taken into a shelter daily, cats share the same fate. These are abandoned pets that had suddenly become strays. They do not get years or close to a lifetime at the shelter. It is the worst place where an animal can be! It is incomparable to human prison. An animal could get killed without a verdict or reason. The only reason offered is "insufficient capacity".

No thanks to the countless irresponsible owners who turned in their pets at the shelter with different excuses such as "we're moving elsewhere where it is not convenient for our pets to be", shelters are filling up fast and animals are forced to be put to sleep (PTS). Life is not always about convenience. If it was, life would be a sail through the sea without a storm. The Humane Society estimates around 6 to 8 million pets entering shelters yearly, with an adoption rate of only 3 to 4 million. Their statistics also show the same figure of 3 to 4 million of strays being PTS. These are huge numbers!

Regardless of whether the facility is spacious enough to accommodate these animals, the rate of admission is still higher than the adoption's. Animals that growl at the slightest, shy, weak or have any issues are often immediately PTS. However, PTS is not all about killing the less desirable animals but people at the shelter who have to make the toughest decision on the chances that these animals are going to get. This is teh only way to open up required cages for more animals to come in. These animals are given a 'waiting period' of 48-72 hours (depending on the mass intake) to enjoy their last moments of life.

Even the best dogs and cats that make the cut first round from being PTS would be given a short of period of time to find a home. When their time is up, they will then be rotated into the deadly list. Too many are admitted but too few being adopted. In countries like the United States, animals would be PTS humanely with cyanide at kill shelters. Other less fortunate ones (in certain countries unnamed) would often leave these poor animals to die. One would assume that dying with a pink portion injected into the body is the best, 'painless' way to go, but this notion is still a myth. An anonymous shelter manager had shared with us a little about euthanasia 101 since most of us have never witnessed a healthy, scared animal being PTS.



Here is a little short journal of what would be the typical last moments of a PTS animal:
1)  I was taken out from my cage for a 'walk'.
2)  I was so happy that I obliged to my leash and wagged my tail. I could not wait to get out of my bring, small cage.
3)  I had a stroll from my cage to 'The Room'.
4)  I don't know why but I had this very bad gut feeling about this 'room'.
5)  I sensed that my life is going to end here.
6)  I do not want to go in! Please don't force me to go in!!!
7)  I am so scared and I do not know what is happening.

8)  WHY WOULD THEY DO THIS TO ME? I thought they loved me? I was being good. I AM GOOD! I tried not to misbehave. I tried being the sweetest. Why would I have to die? Where did I go wrong?



According to the anonymous shelter manager, every animal can sense that their time is up when they approach 'the room of death'. Every single animal became restless as though they could feel the 'sad souls' that have been PTS there in the past. When these animals are restrained and refused to budge, the vet techs will hold these animals down depending on their size and nervous condition. During the process, the vet wil find the animal's vein in the front leg to inject the lethal pink dose. If the animal is ‘lucky’ and just ‘go to sleep’, they would probably avoid having to suffer spasm or suffocation during their last gasp for air. If they resist, they might end up getting needles torn out of their leg and yelp or scream of pain. When all is over, their corpse will be stacked on top of the other animals that were killed for mass cremation. What happened to their corpse, no one knows at this juncture.

Then, you may be asking, what about calling the no kill rescue groups since this only happens at kill shelters? No, you are very wrong. Before killing the animals, the kill shelters would call up the no-kill shelters to take these animals in. More often than not, the no-kill shelters have no choice but to turn down the offer since they are already overloaded as well. Apart from space problems, most shelters are also faced with financial restraints. Here is a social media post extracted from one of the no-kill shelter (Furry Friends Farm, FFF): 



“The truth is always painful, but this is our story – FFF house 250 dogs altogether of which only 10-15% is the one rescued by the late Sabrina (founder of this particular no kill shelter). The balance is surrendered by public with the promise of sponsoring RM 30 per/mth/per dog for the dogs' entire life. But do you know that, out of that 85-90%, only 10% diligently do so. The rest disappears after 1-2 months. So what is left for us? That is why FFF work so hard to conduct publicity and awareness for fundraising to upkeep the dogs tat are DUMPED to us!! 



Dogs live to the age of 15 years, so the commitment that we have is on long term and not for 1-2 years...So, yeah, we do strive hard for them and not for bragging or just to look good!!!”

So before you go to your nearest pet store to buy a pet, do consider getting those from the shelter instead. Sponsor a pet to keep them alive. Be committed to your pet as you would to your child. You do not dump your child when you realised that they are not up to your expectation, do you?  Pets are living beings as well. As Josh Billings had quoted, A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”



These are simple steps to reduce the number of unwanted animals:
1)  Neuter the animals
2)  Don’t buy a pet, adopt one! Help save lives. When you adopt a shelter pet, you save two lives - the one you adopt and the one who takes its place.
3)  Do not dump the pet when you realise you cannot cope to raise it. You can do your best to find another responsible owner to take your place. Think before you commit. Pet is for life 

Hopefully after the passing of my current darling pet, I will be able to walk into the shelter to adopt a dog under three conditions:
-  an unwanted or abandoned pet,
-  the one that has endured the worst hardships, and
-  the one whose 'waiting period' is about to end.


"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog." - Gene Hill




Author: Ang Mei Hwa

Copyright © 2012 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (OCTOBER 2012)

4 Responses for “ Don't Buy Pets, ADOPT!”

  1. Cindy says:

    I love this article, it is so true. How come I didn't realise till I read this article..Buy from pet shop sounds like double kill..

     
  2. Anonymous says:

    Think before you commit. Pet is for life!

    Which is why I'll be buying from a breeder (after a year of research to ensure that the breeder I'm working with is safe, reliable, and not a puppy mill). Rescue dogs are great, but they are NOT for everyone. Rescue dogs have often been abused and abandoned, and for my first dog, while I'm planning on having children during the lifespan of my dog, that is simply not a responsibility I feel I can take on. I will NEVER abandon my dog once it's a part of my family, but I'm also not going to be guilted into taking a dog who doesn't work for me, whom I have to push onto someone else.

    If you really thought that people should consider their choices and be careful in selecting their pet, you wouldn't front like there's only one way to love pets and only one responsible way to take pets into our lives. Pet ownership is different for everyone, and pushing shelter pets on people who aren't ready for the special set of needs that they come with is a way to ensure that these rescued dogs end up right back in the shelter.

    This is such a judgmental, manipulative, and narrow-minded article. Instead of focusing on the plight of shelter dogs and what everyone can do to help them (like make donations of time and money to shelters, as I do) or warning people about pet stores and puppy mills, you focus on guilting people who make the decision that's best for them as pet owners. Shame on you.

     
  3. Lolita says:

    I guess we could say that everyone's choice is different. I personally never knew about what happens at the shelter had I not read this article. It was really informative by the way. I cannot possibly imagine the suffering a dog has to go through at those shelters, but now I do.

    The entire article was really helpful in shedding some light on the matter, but perhaps the introductory sentence would have sparked off some debate: "Just a normal day at the shelter. Because you think it's your right to buy a dog from a breeder while thousands of dogs are dying every day, go ahead. But don't you dare call yourself a dog lover!"

    I love dogs and I don't think I would mind getting one from the pet store if I see a cute pair of eyes staring at me. But I think I'll take a trip down the shelter to have a peek first.

    Other than that, thank you for the article. The popularity of this article on Tumblr is absolutely amazing. It's good to increase the awareness of what happens at the shelter.

     
  4. @Anonymous: This is my response to your comment.

    Think before you commit. Pet is for life!

    Which is why I'll be buying from a breeder (after a year of research to ensure that the breeder I'm working with is safe, reliable, and not a puppy mill). Rescue dogs are great, but they are NOT for everyone. Rescue dogs have often been abused and abandoned, and for my first dog, while I'm planning on having children during the lifespan of my dog, that is simply not a responsibility I feel I can take on. I will NEVER abandon my dog once it's a part of my family, but I'm also not going to be guilted into taking a dog who doesn't work for me, whom I have to push onto someone else."


    Most rescue dogs are abandoned and abused, but not all. Please note that some of them are just born out in the wild for survival. The purpose of this article is to shed light on what will happen to those un-adoptable animals at the shelter. It is to voice out what people have ignored, not knowing about the situation in those shelters. The article did not intend to aggravate the fact that some people do choose to buy their dogs. Please also bear in mind that NOT ALL shelter dogs are aggressive and if one would like to adopt, there will definitely be some suitable ones waiting at the shelter that are waiting to be brought home. The idea is simple - if you adopt, you save two lives - the one you adopt and the space you create for another.



    If you really thought that people should consider their choices and be careful in selecting their pet, you wouldn't front like there's only one way to love pets and only one responsible way to take pets into our lives. Pet ownership is different for everyone, and pushing shelter pets on people who aren't ready for the special set of needs that they come with is a way to ensure that these rescued dogs end up right back in the shelter.

    Many others who have adopted shelter pets are doing just as fine as the ones bought. Only time and care are needed to nurture the right pet. If the owner is not training the bought pet properly, it might end up to be more aggressive than shelter pets. At the shelters I volunteer at, more often than not, shelter pets are more friendly and well-mannered.



    This is such a judgmental, manipulative, and narrow-minded article. Instead of focusing on the plight of shelter dogs and what everyone can do to help them (like make donations of time and money to shelters, as I do) or warning people about pet stores and puppy mills, you focus on guilting people who make the decision that's best for them as pet owners. Shame on you.

    Thank you for your comments. Like you said, everyone has their own decisions to make. There are two ways you can see this going:
    1) You buy and others thought of buying as well because shelter pets are "not adoptable" - then all shelter pets have to pay the price. There will not be anyone adopting. Yet many have adopted and are happy with their decision.

    2) If you choose not to adopt, that is your decision but at the same time, we have to acknowledge the fact that these animals are dying almost every minute. I have also mentioned the fact that these animals are dying almost every minute. I have also mentioned that there are simple steps to reduce the number of unwanted animals, so I cannot see how this article is "judgemental, manipulative and narrow-minded." It is not merely abut adopting shelter animals.

    By the way, the introductory quote was adopted (not my own quote) from a site that I found very provocative, hence the caption.

    Thank you for your feedback.

     

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