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Dear Mr. and Mrs. Average Pet Owner

Sundanz
March 16th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Average Pet Owner:

Thank you for contacting us animal rescuers, shelter volunteers and foster-homes about your inability to keep your pet. We receive an extremely high volume of inquiries and requests to accept surrendered animals (and none of us is getting paid OK?).


To help us expedite your problem as quickly as possible, please observe the following guidelines:

1. Do not say that you are "CONSIDERING finding a good home" for your pet, or that you, "feel you MIGHT be forced to," or that you "really THINK it would be better if" you unloaded the poor beast. Ninety-five percent of you have already got your minds stone-cold made up that the animal WILL be out of your life by the weekend at the latest. Say so. If you don't, I'm going to waste a lot of time giving you common-sense, easy solutions for very fixable problems, and you're going to waste a lot of time coming up with fanciful reasons why the solution couldn't possibly work for you. For instance, you say the cat claws the furniture, and I tell you about nail-clipping and scratching posts and aversion training, and then you go into a long harangue about how your husband won't let you put a scratching post in the family room, and your ADHD daughter cries if you use a squirt bottle on the cat and your congenital thumb abnormalities prevent you from using nail
scissors etc., etc. Just say you're getting rid of the cat.

2. Do not waste time trying to convince me how nice and humane you are. Your coworker recommended that you contact me because I am nice to animals, not because I am nice to people, and I don't like people who "get rid of" their animals. "Get rid of" is my least favorite phrase in any language. I hope someone "gets rid of" YOU someday. I am an animal advocate, not a people therapist. After all, for your ADHD daughter you can get counselors, special teachers, doctors, social workers etc. Your pet has only me, and people like me, to turn to in his or her time of need and we are unpaid, overworked, stressed-out, and demoralized. So don't tell me this big long story about how, "We love this dog so much, and we even bought him a special bed that cost $50, and it is just KILLING us to part with him, but honestly, our maid is just awash in dog hair every time she cleans, and his breath sometimes just reeks of liver, so you can see how hard we've tried, and how
dear he is to us, but we really just can't..." You are not nice, and it is not killing you. It is, in all probability literally killing your dog, but you're going to be just fine once the beast is out of your sight. Don't waste my time trying to make me like you or feel sorry for you in your plight.

3. Do not try to convince me that your pet is exceptional and deserves special treatment. I don't care if you taught him to sit. I don't care if she's a beautiful Persian. I have a waiting list of battered and/or whacked-out animals that need help, and I have no room to foster-house your pet. Do not send me long messages detailing how Fido just l-o-v-e-s blankies and carries his favorite blankie everywhere, and oh, when he gets all excited and happy, he spins around in circles, isn't that cute? He really is darling, so it wouldn't be any trouble at all for us to find him a good home. Listen, we can go down to the pound and count the darling, spinning, blankie-loving beasts on death row by the dozens, any day of the week. And honey, Fido is a six-year-old Shepherd-Lab mix. I am not lying when I tell you that big, older, mixed-breed, garden-variety dogs are almost completely unadoptable, and I don't care if they can whistle Dixie or send semaphore signals
with their blankies. What you don't realize is that, though you're trying to lie to me, you're actually telling the truth: Your pet is a special, wonderful amazing creature. But this mean old world does not care. More importantly, YOU do not care, and I can't fix that problem. All I can do is grieve for all the exceptional animals that live short, brutal, loveless lives and die without anyone ever recognizing that they were indeed very very special.

4. Finally, just, for God' s sake, for the animal's sake, tell the truth, and the whole truth. Do you think that if you just mumble that your cat is "high-strung," I will say, "Okey-doke! No prob!" and take it into foster care? No, I will start asking questions and uncover the truth, which is that your cat has not used a litter box in the last six months. Do not tell me that you "can't" crate your dog. I will ask what happens when you try to crate him, and you will either be forced to tell me the symptoms of full-blown, severe separation anxiety, or else you will resort to lying some more, wasting more of our time. And, if you succeed in placing your pet in a shelter or foster care, do not tell yourself the biggest lie of all: "Those nice people will take him and find him a good home, and everything will be fine." Those nice people will indeed give the animal every possible chance, but if we discover serious health or behavior problems, if we find that
your misguided attempts to train or discipline him have driven him over the edge, we will do what you are too immoral and cowardly to do: We will hold the animal in our arms telling him truthfully that he is a good dog or cat, telling him truthfully that we are sorry and we love him, while the vet ends his life. How can we be so heartless as to kill your pet, you ask? Do not ever dare to judge us. At least we tried. At least we stuck with him to the end. At least we never abandoned him to strangers, as you certainly did, didn't you?

In short, this little old rescuer/foster momma has reached the point where she would prefer you pet owners to tell her stories like this:
"We went to Wal-Mart and picked up a free pet in the parking lot a couple of years ago. Now we don't want it anymore. We're lazier than we thought. We've got no patience either. We're starting to suspect the animal is really smarter than we are, which is giving us self-esteem issues. Clearly, we can't possibly keep it. Plus, it might be getting sick; it's acting kind of funny. We would like you to take it in eagerly, enthusiastically, and immediately. We hope you'll realize what a deal you're getting and not ask us for a donation to help defray your costs. After all, this is an (almost) purebred animal, and we'll send the leftover food along with it. We get it at Wal-Mart too, and boy, it's a really good deal, price-wise. We are very irritated that you haven't shown pity on us in our great need and picked the animal up already. We thought you people were supposed to be humane! Come and get it today. No, we couldn't possibly bring it to you; the final
episode of Survivor is on tonight."

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Pet Owner, for your cooperation.

susieqt
March 16th, 2008, 11:05 PM
Sundanz,
Your letter is so real, it is almost funny. The last paragraph about not being able to bring the pet to you "cuz Survivor is on" really hit home to me.
A few weeks ago, a lady adopted a bichon mix from us. After a week, she decided that he was too agressive because when her son walked him once, he barked and lundged at a person walking down the street, imagine that! She couldn't bring him back to our shelter as she has a big SUV and gas is too expensive!!! I wanted to freak out at her but was afraid she would bring the poor dog to a kill-shelter near her place, so we had no choice but to go and pick him up after working all day!!! Ugg! Being in the business can make you hate people alot!!!:crazy:

Love4himies
March 17th, 2008, 07:49 AM
:cry::wall:

Some humans are so selfish!

want4rain
March 17th, 2008, 08:19 AM
sadly L4H, its the deepest plight of man. :sad:

-ash

badger
March 17th, 2008, 10:27 AM
Susieqt, that is one sad story. And she's raising a child! Did she ask for her money back?

Jim Hall
March 17th, 2008, 10:44 AM
well done and very true but thier are also the keepers who come to you with tears in thier eyes looking for a way to keep thier pet or simpley honestly can not Thier are also the times when you get a call from someone you found a good animal soul for and they say thank you soo much


the rewards far out way the frustrations

CearaQC
March 17th, 2008, 10:57 AM
She couldn't bring him back to our shelter as she has a big SUV and gas is too expensive!!!

That person isn't using her brain. She got the SUV and now she has to pay for it in more ways than besides money. Total lack of responsibility.

I would have said, "Would you give away your child too if he misbehaved? Here are some phone numbers of dog trainers. Grow up and act responsibly!!"

What do people think? That they get a puppy and it will automatically behave properly without any sort of training or discipline?

That's the kind of person to put elderly people in an institution because they think having an elderly person around cramps their lifestyle.

:mad:

Frenchy
March 17th, 2008, 11:11 AM
What do people think? That they get a puppy and it will automatically behave properly without any sort of training or discipline?



If you only knew how many people are like that ! :frustrated:

joeysmama
March 17th, 2008, 11:42 AM
I can not even imagine what it is like for those of you working in animal rescue. Animals are even more "disposable" than kids are.:rolleyes: Thank goodness there are people as strong as you are. It must take all your willpower to be nice to these idiots long enough to make sure they at least surrender the animal and not drop it off somewhere, which is what would likely happen if it becomes the tiniest bit inconvenient to get him to you. :frustrated:

NoahGrey
March 17th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Hi Sundanz,

I understand your frustations immenlsey. I work for a Humane Society as a Animal Control Officer. I see this everyday. It truly is heartbreaking how easily someone can just disregard a pet. These type of people do not classify them as pets, just merely objects. In my opinion.

While yes it is extremely hard to see, you have to look also at, while they are giving up their pet, aleast they are bringing it to the shelter. They could have VERY VERY easily just dumped it on the side of the road...another issue that I deal with everyday. Yes, I have picked up dogs that were tied to trees on roadsides, dogs that have been left behind, when it's owners have moved out and taken EVERYTHING..but the dog. A mother cat and her two kittens, left in a apartment. 2 week old kittens, 10 to be exact. that were dumped in a box on a very busy road. All kittens had to be bottled fed around the clock. The domestic bunnies that people just throw outside, because they think they can survive like their wild counterparts. These are plights that I deal with on a daily basis.

Like I said above, it is very frustating. You should be more upset at the people who just don't have/don't care about even attempting to surrender their pet to the HS. They menality is it is just easier to dump it...and free. These are the people that I wish bad things to happen too.

ACO22

kiara
March 17th, 2008, 01:55 PM
As a rescuer I've heard it all. I was called today by a woman who told me that she has a mother and three kittens to give up. This is her second litter. We are living in the province of Quebec, where there are hundreds of animals abandoned every year and unfortunately many of them end up euthanized. I took advantage of this call and gave her a lecture that she is not a responsible pet owner and why did she allow her cat to roam unnutered? And did she know how many animals are already out there abandoned? She didn't seem to care! We, the rescuers are volunteers and can only do so little and help a few. There is never enough money and not enough people wanting to adopt these precious animals that did not ask to be born and then discarded on the streets to fend for themselves.

NoahGrey
March 17th, 2008, 02:24 PM
As a rescuer I've heard it all. I was called today by a woman who told me that she has a mother and three kittens to give up. This is her second litter. We are living in the province of Quebec, where there are hundreds of animals abandoned every year and unfortunately many of them end up euthanized. I took advantage of this call and gave her a lecture that she is not a responsible pet owner and why did she allow her cat to roam unnutered? And did she know how many animals are already out there abandoned? She didn't seem to care! We, the rescuers are volunteers and can only do so little and help a few. There is never enough money and not enough people wanting to adopt these precious animals that did not ask to be born and then discarded on the streets to fend for themselves.

And sadly these type of people will never learn. They will go on living their life in there own selfish, sad, pathitic, it's only me in this world bubble. Never caing about anything but themselves. And truly think that they can do no wrong and will "try" to find logic in their everyday doings.

ACO22

ancientgirl
March 17th, 2008, 06:52 PM
Sadly, many people see animals as disposable. They don't realize these are feeling little creatures. They have emotions.

I swear, I like animals more than I do some people.

There are people here on this board who suffer health issues, yet we deal with it. We take medication, we clean our homes we have air purifiers. Anything to keep our pets because we love them and they enrich our lives more than we can put into words.

What kind of example are they giving their children?

coppperbelle
March 17th, 2008, 08:17 PM
I stopped listening to the excuses a long time ago. As long as I can get the poor dog out of that home and into one that is loving, is all that matters. I had one couple drop off their dog and I had to console the husband who was balling his eyes out in my kitchen. His wife sat there smugly smiling. My husband had to leave the room as he couldn't watch the guy cry. That same couple told me their dog was house trained. NOT! I have now learned how to question people and get the information I need on the dog.


On another I am very surprised that people don't know that Goldens are born already trained. :wall:

My biggest problem is with people who dump their old dogs on us. They don't want to be bothered with vet bills or dealing with a dog that needs
a little more TLC.

susieqt
March 17th, 2008, 09:18 PM
Susieqt, that is one sad story. And she's raising a child! Did she ask for her money back?

She put a stop payment on her cheque...I just wish we would have cashed it sooner!

Boubou
March 17th, 2008, 09:20 PM
Badger - I'll answer that one - the lady took it upon herself to CANCEL THE CHEQUE before it was cashed - can you believe it??? It's amazing what people will do to get something they want. But if it's at all any inconvenience to them when they don't want it anymore....so maddening. And then to insist that someone pick up the dog because our shelter is just too far away and gas is too expensive and threaten to send the dog to a high kill shelter if we don't immediately. That lady was told everything about that little dog before she adopted it and she didn't care, she just wanted him sooo badly, said she had a dog with similar 'issues' growing up, etc. And not even a week later, she did this, unbelievable!! I secretly wished some very, very bad things happen to her :evil:

ancientgirl
March 18th, 2008, 11:54 AM
That lady was told everything about that little dog before she adopted it and she didn't care, she just wanted him sooo badly, said she had a dog with similar 'issues' growing up, etc. And not even a week later, she did this, unbelievable!! I secretly wished some very, very bad things happen to her :evil:

Sounds like the one with the "issues" is her.:loser:

Frenchy
March 18th, 2008, 12:02 PM
My biggest problem is with people who dump their old dogs on us. They don't want to be bothered with vet bills or dealing with a dog that needs
a little more TLC.
Which is most of our fosters :sad:
Badger - I'll answer that one - the lady took it upon herself to CANCEL THE CHEQUE before it was cashed -

:wall: omg !

Love4himies
March 18th, 2008, 12:31 PM
This lady sounds like a "flighty fluff head" that is extremely immature and acts on impulse without any thought given (signs of an immature thought process, similar to a teenager's brain).

:mad::evil::loser::wall:

shane 123
March 18th, 2008, 03:27 PM
I sooo can relate to your post. I couldn't keep doing my job because I was on the verge of beating up on an owner that was just too much. I quit- now I pick strays up and bring them home and care for them until I can rehome them myself and I make sure I follow up on the animal and the people.

Shabby
March 18th, 2008, 04:19 PM
Hi Sundanz:

Well said! Many humans don't deserve the privilege of being blessed with an animal friend, and a "privilege" is exactly what it is. Animals are not 'things', or 'objects', they have feelings, emotions, desires, wants and needs just like us human people.

I have no patience and no tolerance whatsoever for humans who think and treat their animal friends like furniture to be exchanged when things don't work out, or worse, to be eliminated and snuffed out because they're too lazy to be honest and find an alternate solution.

Thanks for caring about our animals friends so much!:dog::cat: