Monday, 31 January 2005

humane society update

i sometimes have a difficult time coming to terms with situations that occur in my life .. especially so when the situations were what i consider avoidable or preventable
so it was with a situation that occurred last weekend at the humane society ..
since the city of San Jose opened up their own shelter late last year and reduced the amount of incoming pets to our shelter, we have more room to offer to other shelters to help them reduce the overcrowding that sometimes occurs .. last week we had 27 dogs transferred from a shelter in a neighboring city .. 10 of the dogs were puppies
last saturday we were scheduled to healthcheck all 27 dogs for possible adoption .. at first glance it was obvious the puppies were deathly ill with what was obviously parvovirus .. since i was the only one not scheduled to work a full day (the virus isn't contagious to cats so my own pets were safe from the virus) so the supervisor had me gown up and hold the puppies for parvo testing .. sadly, they all tested positive .. they were all suffering the effects of advanced parvovirus .. an extremely contagious and often deadly disease for puppies
and now a large number of our kennels are under quarantine until they have been sufficiently disinfected to prevent passing the virus on to other dogs at the shelter
when i returned to the shelter this past saturday i learned that none of the puppies survived ..
not only is my heart breaking for the adorable puppies, i am livid that a shelter can operate so poorly that 10 puppies can pass through their facilities to our shelter without one person noticing that the puppies were ill .. i am angry that not one person noticed that what should have been bouncing playful puppies were instead lethargic .. noticeably lethargic
so i get to spend my day transferring sick puppies to quarantine to prevent any more dogs at our shelter catching the virus .. and of course afterwards it was necessary that i leave the shelter immediately afterwards to prevent me from transferring the virus .. i spent the day bleaching my clothes and disinfecting myself ..
i also learned that the supervisor that has become my mentor over the past year had given his notice .. i was thinking it would be several months before his replacement was found but i found out this weekend that last weekend was the last time i'd ever work with him again
part of me wants to call him today and thank him for sharing his knowledge with me .. for helping me learn more about canine behavior after my involvement with the fight between the pitbulls .. for giving me enough knowledge that my fear didn't overwhelm me and prevent me from returning to the shelter ..
but i'm not good at good-byes .. some things just don't get easier with practice

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