Wednesday, 29 September 2004

answering DJ's comment

Comment from: rebafandj
"I'm curious though (not sure if you know), what's the most popular reason why people give up their dogs/cats? What was the most stupidest reason they gave up their dog/cat.  For me, the most stupidest thing I heard of giving up a BEAUTIFUL Tan colored Angora who is 11 years old. No health problems....the cat was given up because the fur color doesn't match the owner's new furniture. Isn't that a HOOT?! Luckily, she was adopted quickly..BUT c'mon!?  Love your Humane society stories...keep it up! ~DJ   "One pet cannot change the world, but the world will change for that one pet."
i just wanted to comment on DJ's recent comment in my journal about owner surrendered pets at the Humane Society
the most common reason i've seen for people to surrender their pets is is "moving to a place that doesn't allow animals"
thankfully its never happened to me, but i do sympathize with people that were forced to give up their pets .. it would be too easy for me to sit here in judgment claiming i'd NEVER surrender my pets .. but just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't ever happen so i try not to be hard on those people .. i'm sure the majority of them feel bad enough
when an animal is surrendered, we try to get as much information as possible about the pet .. habits, likes, dislikes, where he spent most of his time (indoors/outdoors - with people/alone) .. what saddens me are the dogs that are surrendered that spent 100% of their life outdoors with only a small percentage of their time with people .. it just doesn't feel right that people would go to the effort of bringing a pet into their home only to banish it outdoors and not make an effort to make him a part of the family
although we DO ask why the animal is being surrendered .. the majority of the time the answer is left blank .. as long as the reason for the surrender isn't due to a behavior or medical issue, we don't insist that people share that information with us
i've only spent a few hours in customer service where people surrender their animals .. but i do have access to the owner surrender questionnaires .. we go over those thoroughly in healthcheck when we're checking the animals health and behavior
i've never run across anything like DJ wrote about, a pet surrendered because it no longer matches the furniture (sheesh) .. the reason that bothers me the most is where a relative died or is hospitalized and the surviving relative surrenders the pet to the humane society .. that just breaks my heart
just last week a gentleman's father passed away and he surrendered his dads 14 pigeons .. when we explained that there was a $10 intake fee he threatened to go outside and free the pigeons .. rather than have that happen, we waived the fee .. but all he had to do was ask to have the fee waived
the majority of the animals i've seen at the humane society are strays .. i'd venture to say that at least 80% if not more .. some of the dogs are so ferocious and threatening that we actually perform the behavior check IN the stray kennels .. usually a quick food test or the eye contact test (staring contest) lets us know if the dog is sociable enough to be taken out of his kennel for a more thorough test
when we arrive at the stray kennel, refraining from speaking to the dog in a comforting voice, we hunch down to the dogs level making eye contact (staring) .. with the kennel gate closed of course .. stares can be perceived as a threat or a challenge to dogs .. if the dog attempts to attack, he is not suitable for adoption .. period .. thankfully the majority of dogs react with submission when greeted with a stare
what puzzled me initially is when some of the dogs wag their tails .. something i initially perceived as a friendly greeting .. boy was i wrong .. if the dog lowers his head, takes a firm stance .. his shackles raise, his eyes bulge (referred to as "whale eye") indicating that the dog is nervous or afraid .. if the stare isn't broken, a nervous or ferocious dog will begin growling or snarling or sometimes attempt to attack
without knowing what the body language really means, i can understand how some people get bit, seeing only the wagging tail and believing that its a friendly greeting
on that note (i guess i wandered a little off the original subject eh?) i need to go be a momma .. my daughter had two of her permanent teeth removed yesterday afternoon as requested by her orthodontist .. the extraction ended up being more painful than anyone had originally expected .. hopefully her pain is more tolerable this morning but i've already decided to stay home just in case she isn't up to going to school
knowing she was nervous about the appointment, i had the dentist give her a prescription for valium .. thankfully she slept before her appointment and most of the day after her appointment
in two weeks we go in to have two teeth on the other side removed .. i am so not looking forward to that .. something about my baby crying in pain that just makes me want to hurt someone .. i've tried to be consoling and reassuring .. but explaining to a 13 year old to try to get her to understand that some pain is necessary is one of the most difficult challenges i've faced as a mother
i guess i wasn't  really surprised when the dentist refused to give ME my own little prescription for a couple of happy pills .. life just isn't fair sometimes

whoops .. i almost forgot to mention that my daughter made sure and asked her dentist to give her the teeth he removed

afterwards, she handed the teeth to me, telling me that "after what i went through, these teeth are gonna cost the toothfairy some BIG BUCKS"

No comments:

Post a Comment