Friday, October 09, 2009

Don't Blame The Dog Catcher

I read on another blog about a responsible pet owner who had to put her beloved companion and loyal friend down several days ago. My heart goes out to her as this is the hardest thing a person has to deal with when owning and caring for a furry friend of many years.

But to others who are not responsible pet owners I want you to know something from this former Animal Services Officers point of view, or dog catcher as some still call them. If you had been the responsible pet owner that you should be then your pet would not have wound up in the shelters in the first place. Your animals should be kept up and not allowed to wander the streets freely where they get run over by vehicles. (I had to pick up way to many mangled pets from roadways). They also would not get out and attack others animals or be attacked by ones who are on their own properties or, bite a person walking down the street or on a bicycle.
You do not chain an animal outside in the heat or cold all day with no shelter, food or water. We had to pick these animals up often because of an owners lack of responsibility. How would you like to be left like that all day and for days on end? The animal is at your mercy for food, shelter and water and if you do not provide those things then you do not need to have an animal in the first place. What suffering for the animal to know that you are inside all nice an comfy eating and drinking as you like while they sit outside and suffer from your neglect. But when you finally decide to give them some food and water they still greet you with a wagging tail.
Don't be mad at the officer who comes and rescues the pet from these conditions, if it were you who was chained or left out like that you would want to be rescued to.

Shelter personnel do not like killing animals in the shelter but because irresponsible owners do not tag or keep their animals up so they don't wander and get picked up, the shelters get over crowded and there is just no way they can keep them all. All of the citizens are paying for the food and care of your pet while in the shelter because you were irresponsible. It is a heart wrenching daily task to determine who must die and who still has a few days left of hopefully the owner showing up to claim them. Shelter personnel would really rather the owners claim their pets and take them back home. And if your pet is missing don't just call the shelter to ask if they picked up a brown dog with one floppy ear and a white spot, do you have any idea how many dogs answer that description? The only way to positively identify if your animal is there is for YOU to physically go down and look. Only you know your pet and he you. (You can get chips implanted these days) Okay, so you might have to pay a fine but should you be mad at the shelter personnel for that. Is the safe return of your pet not worth the small cost? NO, then blame falls squarely on your shoulders and no one else, period.

I've heard it all from people who placed blame on us for picking their animals up and bringing them in. People who would not come claim their pet, or worse, people who abandoned animals to live on the street because they "KNew what we did to animals there." So you set your animal out to fend for themselves for food, to get hit by cars, bitten and attacked by other animals (Perhaps Rabid or animals with Parvo), get sick and spread disease and starve to death etc, and you want to make the animal services personal out to be the bad guys!

I'm not going to sugar coat this either, we had to kill animals every single day Monday through Friday because of owners who were not responsible owners and it was easy to put the blame on us for the outcome. Not a single solitary employee liked doing that task. And most of us would get sick to our stomachs every time and you know who we blame? Not the animals but you. You are the cause of it, the death of so many wonderful beautiful animals who loved you but you let them down, your to blame. So don't go in the shelter with the attitude against shelter personnel as the bad guys, it is you. You did not have to hear the noises they make in the chambers or hold them while giving an injection to kill them. You weren't there to stroke there heads and try to calm them down to make it a little more comfortable for them while dying and seeing them take their last breaths forever when just seconds before, their pitiful scared eyes are looking back at you pleading for mercy. You are not the ones who wake up in the middle of the night crying and puking your guts out and asking forgiveness from the lord for the job you had to do!

We would have much preferred that never one animal was ever in need of being in the shelter, that all of them were either returned to loving homes or adopted by new owners and taken home. I don't care what you see in the movies or television about Animal services personnel hating animals, we all got into it because of our love for animals not a hate for them. I've seen animals with their chains grown into their necks, animals so skinny you could see every bone, dogs hanging from rafters in a garage, dogs in ditches dead or dying, abused and severely neglected animals, fight dogs left alive with gaping wounds with live maggots in the wound, gunshot dogs, starved neglected horses and other live stock and the list goes on.

That is all I have to rant about that for now. But I commend and applaud all of you out there who are responsible pet owners and thank you.


Chuck said...

so true wooley. only real animal lovers would understand. Also, e-mail me some time i have lost your address so i have not been able to write you.

mq01 said...

animals and children are harmless and innocent. it is the owners, adults, that create these situations that are to blame. i commend you wooley, i could not have stomached your job, but yes, someone unfortunately has to do it... it takes a special person to have the heart and guts, as you obviously have. thank you.

"Joker" said...

I couldn't do that job. I'd rather be the switch puller for Old Sparky at the State Pen than euthanize one dog. I have far more sympathy for animals than I do for people when I comes to necessary execution.

We are far too lenient on people when it comes to abuse and neglect of pets. There isn't a year that goes by I don't hear at least one "cat lady" story on the news. You know, where the cops or social services find some wacky old recluse shut up in a rancid, unliveable house soaked in cat piss and garbage. I'm sure as we sit right now, there are hundreds if not thousands more right now who just haven't been discovered yet.

They need to use the Broken Windows Theory of law enforcement here. I think just about every single sicko that's ever been caught for diddling, rape, murder, whatever, had a past history of animal abuse. Jeffrey Dahmer comes to mind first.

Why our society just doesn't get the fact that abuse of innocent and defenseless living things is the WORST possible trait in any human being. ANY PERSON who would do such things, or knowingly ignore it being done by someone else, is a WASTE OF SKIN in my book. I truly believe that crimes against animals, children, and the elderly should be punished with the harshest, most medieval justice we can muster.

I guarantee if every animal abuser was put to death, the statistics of all types of violent crimes against other people would drop like a stone. I'm just not going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen, because the assholes in charge just don't give a crap.

They'd rather spend millions of dollars on infra-red equipment to catch people growing pot than deal with all the violent sickos out there. Arrest and jail the guy who likes to smoke a little weed and doesn't bother anybody else. Give the kid who poured gasoline on a neighbor's dog and set in on fire just for kicks a $50 fine and a few weeks of "community service." That's the non-sense of law enforcement in this country today, and change you can believe in will not be coming from Obama in this regard, believe me.

It's easier just to blame the dog catcher.

FLHX_Dave said...

Heh, I did a year as a vet asst. and lab tech just out of high school. I got the job of putting some of the animals to sleep. The thing that really pissed me off was these douche bags that buy a puppy because it's cute...then want you to put it to sleep because it matured.

I quit when I realized that I was starting to hate people because of I never got used to the recently put to sleep animals jumping out of my arms as I was taking them back to the freezer.

Put in a good word to my owner. Animals need love too.

WooleyBugger said...

Yep, the job was a hard one to do and after awhile it does make you look and get hard at the people. They treat animals like some throw a way item. The only time it felt not so bad was when an animal was injured or old and in pain but it still takes it out of you. I'd even say that for most of the bite case dogs the dogs had been either mistreated or it was a reflex action from being startled such as being asleep and some little kid bumped into them or fell on them. The dog didn't think about biting it was only a reaction. Animals don't make goos Christmas gifts or birthdays for that matter unless the person has had part in the search for the animal.
Animals need attention and care and if a person is barely able to feed themselves they should not have a pet at that time.