Something very similar to this happens 6-8 million times each year in the United States alone.!!!

Almost a thousand times daily!!





Told by Jim Willis

Personally, I think it would be a good idea if every animal shelter kept
copies of this story at the front desk and asked everyone relinquishing
an animal to spend a few minutes with their pet while they read it. I
realize some shelters use my own story "How Could You?" for that
purpose. The difference between my fictional story and the below is that
in my story, the dog behaves well in the shelter environment. The below
is the other side of the coin - the animals who can't take the
separation from their guardian, the noise, the confinement, the stress,
and who behave badly. There is also a lesson to be learned for those who
think a shelter is the proper environment for evaluating an animal's
temperament and behavior. Animals, being resilient, usually adapt and
learn to trust another human, but first we have to get them out of the
shelter, or stop them from ending up there in the first place.


  "My Animals Need A Loving Home! - A True Story


The man walked into the lobby of the animal shelter. Behind him, two 
dogs followed faithfully, without leashes. Both dogs were calm, obedient 
and apparently well-trained Chow mixes. Their guardian was distraught. 


The man waited nervously on a line of other people surrendering animals 
to the pound. His eyes were desperate as the two dogs stood quietly beside

him.  He frantically looked around the lobby.  He spotted me with two cats

in carriers as I was taking papers from a shelter worker and preparing to leave.


He quickly sensed a rescue situation and begged me if I could also take his

dogs.  "My dogs are wonderful," he told me.  "They are well trained, gentle,

affectionate, good with kids.  They are only two years old.  I am moving and cannot

take them with me.  My animals need a loving home!"

I could see his dogs were nice dogs. One of them licked my hand when I petted him.

But, I could not take them.  I explained to the desparage man that while I could not

immediately take his dogs, I would get their intake numbers and let him know what

was happening with the animals.  I promised, if possible, I would try to find a placement

situation for them.  He gave me his pager number as he did not yet have a phone. He

then reluctantly signed his dogs over to the shelter. When a shelter worker came to take the
animals away, both dogs  tried desperately pulling back towards their former owner. The

former guardian fought back tears and then forced himself to look the other way

-- and exit the shelter doors. 
That evening I called the shelter to check on the status of the dogs.  One had already been

"put to sleep." I was told that both dogs behaved "aggressively" in the shelter. One had 
been euthanized because he had attempted to bite a shelter worker. The other was

being held for another day or two for a "reevaluation." I asked if I could see the surviving

dog and was told I could. 


I raced to the shelter to see the dog who still was alive. From the back 
of the cage, this formerly friendly and loving dog was now snarling and 
assumed a defensive/aggressive posture. The same dog who earlier licked 
my hand, now threatened to lunge at me. I dared not attempt to pet him.

He was terrified. 
Upon arriving home, I immediately called the former owner's pager  number.

Less than five minutes later he called me back. I told him what happened and

about his surviving dog. "If you want this dog to live, you need to get to the

shelter and reclaim him immediately! He is not going into adoptions."


The man started screaming hysterically on the phone. "THEY KILLED MY 
DOG??!!" I tried to explain that his sweet, loving dogs had become fearful and 
stressed in the shelter. There was no way the shelter could have placed 
them, but the man was no longer listening to me. 


The next day the Director of the Shelter called to scream at me for 
giving the man the information. "The man caused a scene in the shelter! 
We had to return the dog to him. We cannot have this kind of chaos!" I

told him he should be happy that his shelter had one less dog to kill. But, all

he was interested in was keeping the actions of the shelter workers secretive

so that others would not find out how little chance most of these animals

truly ever get.


This happened to me several years ago. Since then I have witnessed 
hundreds of formerly loved and loving pets suddenly undergo drastic 
personality changes when subjected to the stresses, depression and fears

associated with abandonment and being thrust into unfamiliar and 
frightening surroundings. Sadly, as the 'owners' leave with the promise that

the shelter staff would do what they could for the pets, most of them die.

Many of them way too soon.


The lesson to be learned is that the acquisition of animals is a 
responsibility. When one's bond to a pet is broken for whatever reason, 
too often, there is no one else to "pick up the pieces" of that broken 
commitment. Shelters and rescue groups are not the "solution." We are 
merely a stopgap for SOME animals. But, quite literally millions fall

through the cracks. The real solution is in human responsibility:  Education can

also be very helpful as most everyone who brings their pet to the shelter, seems to

believe that they have no other options, but they do.  They think that we can spend

the time to get to know this pet, and therefore have an easier time in placing him/her.

We can't.  It's not bad enough that so many adults are simply being irresponsible and

sentencing their poor and usually innocent pets to a certain death.  Then we have so many

other adults unable to understand WE HAVE TOO MANY DOGS AND CATS

RIGHT NOW!  We need them to understand how important it is to have their

pets fixed so we don't bring more into the world right now.
                      YOU ARE YOUR ANIMALS' BEST "LOVING HOME."

Nobody else, but YOU!!