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On December 20, 2012 my humans added a new member to our family.  He is Scotty, a shih-tzu/beagle mix, fifteen years of age, blind and partially deaf.  Yet, he is also smart, determined to find his way around to prevent his world from shrinking, and kind of heart.  In the few brief days we have been together I have seen him stand tall against another dog that thought him helpless.  The other dog turned and ran when our Scotty refused to yield ground.  The odd part is that had the other dog asked nicely he would have had no problem getting his wish.

Upon hearing Scotty’s story of how he came to be with us, I am appalled that his previous humans thought him unworthy of their love when a young pup was brought into their pack.  Without another thought they delivered their pet they had owned for five years to the humane shelter and walked away.  In his case, it may have been a blessing since they had long since ceased to comb his hair or have him groomed.  Tumors grew on both eyelids and at the humane shelter he was found to have such terrible teeth that eight of them had to be removed.

When does a pet cease to be a living, breathing animal that needs love as much as any human?  Where is the humanity in tossing aside a dog, cat, horse or mouse because it becomes inconveninent to own it?  Scotty has not even reached incontinence.  He barks to let everyone know he really must go outside.  Despite this wondrous trait, he was cast apart from his family.

I have noted that it is not only animals that humans remove once they lose their helpfulness.  They tend to push their parents aside, too.  Sometimes difficult children are also given to institutions to raise.  To be sure there are times when it may be better for the human to gain much needed care their own cannot provide.  However, sometimes it is merely for convenience sake or to obtain something the other owns.  This puzzles me to no end.  Does it occur to those ridding themselves of a burden that they may one day be removed from their homes by children who find THEM to be too difficult to bother with any longer?

Having lived with Scotty these eight days I find him to be good company, undemanding but most willing to learn whatever mistress may try to teach him.  She claps loudly to get his attention.  The sound penetrates his near deaf ears and guides him to her side.  She speaks in a louder voice to command and he strives mightily to do as she wishes.

May I suggest that anyone who has not the metal to care for animals in all instances please leave adoptions to those who are willing to give hearts, hands and time to us?  If you cannot exercise your pets then please adopt only those who are great couch potatoes; a whippet or greyhound may not be what you need.  Most certainly sporting dogs should not even be considered!

And to those who already have pets and find it uncomfortable to keep them once they age, please DO take them to the humane shelter or other no kill shelters.  Taking them to a normal pound gives them almost no chance for adoption.  Death will come to them more than likely.  While they wait their turn, they may witness others being killed.  Would you wish to see your fellow humans being slaughtered while dreading the killer coming for you?

Humanity is not just a word.  It is doing for those around you as you would wish them to do for you.  Rest assured that the dog who loves you when you are young and able will continue to adore you as you grown older and more infirm.  Shouldn’t loyalty flow both ways.

Our Scotty is fortunate in that he will be loved until his final days if he wants to remain with us.  He will be fed, nurtured, exercised, cuddled, and petted.  He will have a roof over his head and toys if he wishes.  Would that all dogs and other pets could look forward to the same.