I recently lost Tegan and Sleeves. They escaped the backyard fence through a small hole they made and were gone. I like to imagine them sneaking under the deck and slowly chipping away at a weak area we couldn’t see, as if my backyard was the State Prison in Shawshank Redemption. Wishful thinking I know. Their escape was my irresponsibility as a pet owner and I felt horrible. When I realized they were gone my life stopped, there was nothing more important to me than finding my dogs and bringing them home. We checked the Animal Shelter twice a day, every day because the dogs we know as just Tegan and Sleeves, you would know as Pit Bulls, which means at our local Animal Shelter they have 72 hours to be claimed or they are euthanized.
Hanging around the Animal Shelter you hear the term “Owner Surrender“ a lot and I thought to myself what does this mean? Are we truly a society without moral responsibility that treats our pets as something disposable? Did these owners just decide they didn’t want their pet any more and couldn’t be bothered with finding them a home? Was contacting rescue groups too much work for them? Have they not heard of the wonderful world of social media, craigslist or even the newspaper? And what possible reason could make someone feel that “Owner Surrender” was the best option? Behavioral Issues, Divorce, Money, Moving, Children, Sickness, Death, Stress, Time, Age, What? I’ve dealt with all of these issues in some form myself and my dogs have dealt with them right along with me like troopers...
I can’t imagine what would lead to “Owner Surrenders”, maybe they feel the Animal Shelter is their only choice. Maybe they are in the dark and don't know there's unlimited resources and information available to help deal with dog behavioral problems and even some financial issues. Maybe they don't think about their dog being put in a small kennel (if there is space), surrounded by scary noises, strangers and other animals. They are confused, stressed and living in fear when they need to be cute, cuddly and well behaved to have even a small shot at adoption. Maybe they never took advantage of one of the many spay and neuter clinics in their community and now have unwanted babies. Maybe no one told them the ASPCA estimates that 6 to 8 million animals come to the Shelter every year and 3 to 4 million are euthanized. Maybe they don’t know that in most places the odds are worse for a Pit Bull who, no matter if he can sing and dance, will not be put with the adoptable dogs.
|Sleeves and Mama|
Please, make responsible choices not only as a pet owner, but before you even decide to get a pet. If situations arise to where you can no longer keep your pet, do the right thing and find them a good home. For me it's not just "Adopt, Don't Shop", but "Adopt, Don't Drop", from your local Animal Shelter.