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The passionate eye!

April 12th, 2004, 12:47 PM
I have been upset about something I watched last night. Just wanted to get opinions on what you all think.

Sunday, October 5, 2003 at 10PM ET/PT
repeating Friday October 10, 2003 at 10PM ET
repeating Sunday April 11, 2004 at 10PM ET/PT
repeating Friday April 16, 2004 at 10PM ET

"When I die, will I meet the animals that I have made judgements on? How would they judge me? Would they want me to go to heaven or hell?" - Sue Sternberg, private animal shelter owner

Each year, more than five million animals are brought to shelters across the United States. A lucky few find homes, but the majority of these animals are euthanized. For the people who work in animal shelters, emotions vacillate between passionate hope and bitter disappointment for the animals in their care. Shelter Dogs is a provocative and heartrending look at the complex issues surrounding animal sheltering woven through the tale of one shelter and its staff.

At the heart of the documentary is Sue Sternberg, a world-renowned animal expert and an animal welfare pioneer who has created Rondout Valley Kennels, a model animal shelter in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York. At Rondout Valley Kennels, dogs live in suites decorated with rugs and chairs. They listen to piped-in music and attend classes to make them more adoptable. Each dog is carefully assessed and temperament tested. If a dog is mentally deteriorating in the shelter or shows aggression, Sternberg will euthanize the dog, believing that it is a more humane option than a lifetime in the shelter. As Sternberg agonizes over each animal, faces rising debt, and becomes increasingly worried, the viewer is given a first-hand look at the difficult ethical choices the shelter staff face every day.

Staff members race against time to keep their charges healthy and sane before these animals deteriorate in the stressful shelter environment. The warm feelings of placing animals in new homes are offset by the deep frustration over the countless animals waiting to be placed. While some animals may quickly find homes, others - because of illness, behavior, age, looks, or simply because there are too many - are difficult if not impossible to place in homes. These animals often are left to live out their lives in shelter cages, or they are put down. How do shelter staff members manage the swelling tide of pet overpopulation, limited funding, crowded facilities, and the growing controversy over euthanasia? The ethical dilemma is deeply troubling. Is it more humane to sentence unwanted dogs to life in a chain-link cage, or is it more humane to euthanize them?

Shelter Dogs is produced by Heidi Reinberg and Cynthia Wade.

Visit the Shelter Dogs web site.

****me again. This women pissed me off so bad and upset my daughter. She had this fake hand and kept poking dogs. One dog she went and told the owner to put the dog to sleep cause it was agressive. Well heck I would be agressive to if I was being poked, the Poor older fellow was heart broken.
Then she was going off about no kill shelters that they are doing a dis-service to the dogs cause they stay in there for years in cages. That putting a dog to sleep was best. Oh and then she goes off about agressive dogs and how any sign of aggression the animal should be put to sleep. No offer to trying to work with the animal. Boom to sleep. Like in her eyes 2 of mine would be gone. Like she had a cocker spaniel that had a raw hide. Well at first the dog gave the warning growl. She kept it up and poked and poked the poor thing with this hand. Well sure the poor thing was fighting back by this time and hysterical. That was it she said dog down. I could have smacked this witch a good one I tell you. I would be mad if someone was trying to steal my dinner. I would loose my temper if someone kept poking me too!

April 12th, 2004, 12:54 PM
I saw that too! I bawled through the entirety of it..I have to stop watching that stuff. I didn't sleep and today I just have this gloomy feeling come over me from watching it amaruq.

The fake hand poking that beautiful spaniel....well shux I'd bite it too!

The dog knew it was fake and that it was being teased. For gosh sakes thats probably what started the dog off being nippy.

Then she thinks she's doing the best thing possible by giving him McDonalds nuggets and having him PTS

Oh I'm glad you made this post, I was going to but it just upset me too much.

Feeling like a zombie after watching that last night. Sadie's coat was soaked with my tears as I held her while I watched it.

I'm gonna go make a tea and hug my Sadie.

April 12th, 2004, 03:45 PM
You girls have to stop watching these kind of programs,they make you heartsick and give you nightmares.We all know cruelty to our beloved animals goes on every day and that the root of the problem are people,callous,heartless people:mad:
These programs don't effect them,just us and it does no good to watch it,there is not a darn thing you can do about it....
Keep on doing what you are doing,helping with what you can,raise your voice if someone is listening,but don't break your heart watching these kind of things.I don't,because I cannot deal with it and do nothing and it makes me totally miserable:(
My husband wonders how I can watch"Trauma"on TLC,but it does not bother me to see a person being operated on,a person who was shot or stabbed,they know whats happening,animals though are totally at the mercy of people and can do nothing to defend themselves.
I remember watching a HS-program,where an old Lab had been dumped and the poor thing was so depressed and lonely,he was slowly dying,giving up
:( The face of this dog followed me for weeks and I cried rivers..
but now,I don't watch anything where animal-cruelty is involved.
I don't even like the Phone-commercial with the pigs being hoisted up and I know they are stars,for now until they become bacon:mad:

Bill & Bob
April 12th, 2004, 03:54 PM
I watched that last night as well. It was defenitely a tear jerker, but there were some happy moments as well when dogs were being adopted that wouldn't otherwise have been. In terms of it's documentary value, I thought it was pretty good. I didn't agree with everything Sternberg said, but I also wouldn't ever want the job that they have either.
Myself, I worked in prisons for a number of years so the institutional vibe of it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. I remember walking into the first SPCA when I started looking for Bob. One step through the door and I was saying to myself, "this looks eerily familiar". Once I found Bob though, I wanted him out of there ASAP.
In terms of the fake hand, is that a standard tool used in evaluating dogs aggression? Honestly I don't know. I didn't stick around the shelters long enough to find out much. I just know that when I got Bob, I got a little report card from his evaluation. I assumed they must have some sort of standardized tools to test the animals.
All in all, I thought the film certainly brought up some interesting ethical issues for discussion. I also have to say that I could never do the job those people do everyday. Far too much opportunity for attachment and heartbreak.

Lucky Rescue
April 12th, 2004, 04:08 PM
Sue Sternberg is a lunatic - a self-appointed "Hitler" (her term) of dogs.

Her "Temperament Test", which I call a Torture Test, ensures that most dogs that she gets her hands on are killed.:mad:

April 12th, 2004, 04:29 PM
Lucky,I thought that name sounded familiar..:mad:

Lucky Rescue
April 12th, 2004, 04:42 PM
Yeah, in this pic I imagine she is talking about the solution to the Rottie and pit bull "problem." :D

April 12th, 2004, 04:52 PM
What irks me is that she tries to convince herself it's all okay, and tries to convince her staff.

It's almost like she gets a kick outta it!

April 12th, 2004, 07:42 PM
Is she also a memberof PETA?

April 12th, 2004, 07:48 PM
I wanted to beat that women silly with that hand.

Her ways of determining a dog were awful and too quick. "Ok you stay ...go go go!" i hate her

April 13th, 2004, 07:47 AM
I see there is another showing of this show but I think I will avoid it like the plague...............I can not watch these shows it just rips my heart in two sounds like this sue witch needs to be put down as she is tooooooooooo agressive:D

April 13th, 2004, 08:06 AM
I've seen the"fake-hand"training on Animal Planet and if the dog agressively defends his food-dish,it's usually something that can be corrected with patience.
In my opinion it does not necessarily mean the dog is dangerous,but afraid to lose his food..
Iggette I agree with you,I think this woman gets sadistic pleasure in ruling over the lives of these dogs,she needs to be put down for abnormal behaviour:D

Lucky Rescue
April 13th, 2004, 10:31 AM
"Let's Euth Sue Sternberg!":D Sounds like a good campaign!

By the way, it's interesting that she can't be bothered to put even the smallest description OR pic of any of the dogs she has on her Petfinder site - the few who managed to pass her torture test.

I guess she knows that people will flock to adopt them from the Great SS, sight unseen!:mad:
SS's adoptees (

April 13th, 2004, 10:41 AM
Isn't it wonderful the exposure she' s getting for all the 'good' she does!

I honestly think this woman is warped, psychotically warped in the sense of getting odd enjoyment from what she does.

If her methods were used on us humans every woman having pms, every person with autism and just plain anyone having a bad day or coming from an abusive environment would be euth'd.

LR I'm still laughin!! McNuggets first??? lol

April 13th, 2004, 01:03 PM
I didn't see the show THANK GOD!!!! SHows like that make me crazy! I have heard of that woman, actually 2 people talking about her in a pet store. I couldn't believe my ears. They actually liked her methods, which is why they were looking at the cute little shi-tzu's and not the big rotti/pitbull rescue dog that was right below them. It broke my heart!

I can't watch any shows like that, the flood gates open and thats it...everything will set me off!

As for the fake hand, I agree with you all.....if someone was poking me constantly, I would go ballistic and bite the biatche too!!! She needs that hand shoved up her................!!!! :D

Lucky Rescue
April 13th, 2004, 01:39 PM
A letter from some of SS's former employees.

Here (

April 13th, 2004, 02:04 PM
OMG!!!!!! She is a complete LUNATIC!!!! :eek:

April 13th, 2004, 02:41 PM
I knew it you can see it in the evil womans eyes

The trainer told me the next day Sue had become very angry about Valentino being rehomed, and she felt “Sue needed to kill a dog that day.”

If a dog ignores Sue, it’s labeled dominant aggressive

Sue promised a backyard breeder that 5 or 6 Great Pyrenees dogs surrendered to Sue would be rehomed. These…malnourished, neglected dogs were driven directly to the vet and promptly euthanized. They never came into the shelter or got a bath, a meal, or a warm place to sleep


Something needs to be done about this woman, she's got a bloody concentration camp full blown with these dogs...she's a freaking psycho I tell you. She can't control her own life so she controls the dogs lives. I wonder what other torturous things she does to them.

Making me very angry, turning green now (and not from my greenies protein shake)

April 13th, 2004, 02:44 PM
What can we do to stop her?? That is absolutely ridiculous that nothing has been done with all of the past employee accounts of the stuff that is going on. Isn't any of that illegal where she is??? That makes me FURIOUS!!!!!!!!:mad:

April 13th, 2004, 02:54 PM
Where is she at?

April 13th, 2004, 02:58 PM
Oh get a load of all this b.s.

is the head of Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption, a community not-for-profit animal shelter which serves both the local (upstate New York) community as well as runs national programs dedicated to ensuring the quality of life safe animal adoptions, quality of life at animal shelters around the world. She has over 23 years of canine behavior experience, including as an animal control officer, a behavior consultant at the ASPCA, a kennel and animal shelter owner, a successful competitor in a variety of dog sports, and a teacher of dog trainers. Since 1993, she has operated a not-for-profit animal shelter in rural New York called Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption, which is featured in an upcoming HBO documentary called Shelter Dogs ( Her most recent book is Great Dog Adoptions: A Guide for Shelters (Latham Foundation Press, 2002, Her first book written for the general public on adopting a great dog is due out in September through Wiley Publishing. Sue has five dogs and two cats (all adopted), and shares her yard with a host of adopted farm animals. She is an accomplished fiddle player, a mineral and fossil collector, loves Earl Grey tea, and is a major Star Trek fan.

LOOK she's training others to do the same thing and charging a paw and a leg for it:

Internship with Sue Sternberg

Come and immerse yourself in the shelter world. Each 8 - 10 hour day will be spent in different ways along side Sue Sternberg. Hands-on experience daily.

• Train and work with shelter dogs
• Observe and receive instruction on temperament assessments
• Observe behavior consults
• Participate in Training Wheels® and Lug-Nuts™ programs
• Observe surrender interviews
• Observe and/or participate in dog training workshops
• Assist with adoptions
• Learn safe and defensive handling techniques by working with difficult and aggressive dogs
• Free attendance at any on-site workshops during internship

Cost includes lunch, beverages and snacks. Motel and lodging info available on request. $100 non refundable but transferable deposit holds spot. If course doesn't fill, deposit fully refunded or transferred.

Internship fee: $1,200 check payable to: "RVAA

April 13th, 2004, 03:04 PM
WOW I gotta great site for you guys to look at....

Victims and survivors of Sue's

Remember that beautiful shepx Agnes:

While Agnes was in the office, she lunged for a small dog, my daughter grabbed her collar to prevent her from hurting the dog, Agnes twisted and fell and dislocated her hip. I was not there for this, I was not even aware of it until the next morning when I found Agnes on the floor of my office, unable to get up. Sue had been aware of it. We called the veterinarian and were going to bring Agnes right in, however it was too painful for Agnes to be lifted. All of us together decided it would be best for Agnes to be put down. The veterinarian gave me a choice of 1pm or after 7pm when he would be able to come and euthanize Agnes at Rondout. My husband went to the vet's office and picked up pain-killers to get Agnes through the day. We asked the veterinarian to come at 1, or as soon as possible, so Agnes wouldn't have to suffer too long. Sue called the veterinarian and asked him to come after 7, then she called the two film-makers who had been doing a documentary on Sue and Rondout Valley Kennels. She kept Agnes allive on the floor in my office, in pain, as each of the staff members came in and sobbed over her. This poor dog had her last hours spent with bright lights and cameras in her face, just so Sue could have a "dramatic" documentary.

April 13th, 2004, 03:05 PM
:eek: What a friggin nut case!!! ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 13th, 2004, 03:42 PM
Luba,that site is horrific,I just had a is this allowed to go on? With all the staffs testimony and NY Spca,how can this monster still be killing dogs?
Maybe there'll be some reaction to the show,there are a lot of dog-lovers out there....can we do something?

April 13th, 2004, 04:25 PM
Apparently shelters and spca rave over her??

Why I have no idea. This woman is making a fortune on this!!

April 13th, 2004, 07:35 PM
I am so depressed about this woman (monster). I know she had her staff watching a video camera showing how bad "Beau" was.

Why is she allowed to go on like this? Is there not a way we can stop her? I know I am in Canada but dang this is just killing me inside.

April 13th, 2004, 09:31 PM
Me too Amaruq,a great injustice is being done to these poor animals.......maybe we can write somewhere:confused:

April 13th, 2004, 10:10 PM
I can't imagine that people haven't done something about her previously. Maybe emailing the one that did the documentary would help?

I'm not sure where to start on this one, anyone have any idears?