While I try to keep this site positive and uplifting, the sad reality is that for many dogs, pitties in particular, life is anything but. It has taken me a while to write this. First I had to put aside my frustration and my anger toward those people who do not value the lives of their pets and a system that allows healthy, devoted family dogs to be routinely killed. I am still angry and extremely sad, but I am trying very hard to be fair and objective. The truth is there is a big problem with our shelter system and if no one talks about it then things will never change. So, I begin……
For ten days I watched a particular shelter dog and worked hard to find him a home. He was six years old and had lived with the same family for his entire life. A big, older, beautiful pittie who loved to play, offered his paw and sat patiently for treats. He was brought to the shelter because of a new baby in the family. He had lived with adults, children and other animals. When he became an inconvenience he was disposed of like trash.
During his stay at the shelter he became more and more anxious. He seemed to be looking for his family and cried in his cage. He did not do well when they tried to assess his behavior, and was not made available for public adoption. He needed a rescue to save him but without a home for him to go to the rescues’ hands were tied. Although he was healthy when he walked in the door, he quickly got sick at the shelter. He was diagnosed with kennel cough and, instead of treating him, he was immediately placed on the kill list. The next day he was gone. He never stood a chance.
This is the reality for all too many dogs. That same day there were six beautiful dogs, all pitties, killed in just that one shelter. All were failed by the people they loved and a system that is overloaded and underfunded.
To the family of this particular dog, you had months to try to find him a home. You took the easy way out. You left him in a kill shelter with strangers and walked away. He was scared, confused and heartbroken. Maybe you did not mean to hurt him like this, but maybe you should have thought a little more about how he would feel. And maybe you should have asked what would happen to him, or maybe you just did not care. My advice to people like you is, if you cannot commit to a pet then you should not have one. Simple as that.
And to this dog and all the dogs like him, I am so sorry. I know the blame starts with your owners but there is plenty to go around. You never got the chance to meet most of us, but there were many who loved you and tried valiantly to save you, and I believe we would have if only we were given a little more time. It still brings me to tears every time I look at your picture and see your sad face. You looked so defeated and your eyes begged for a second chance. I think you knew, and that is the saddest part of all.
You were a good boy and humans failed you on so many levels. You deserved better from all of us. Run free, big boy. I pray you are finally at peace.