« Cat People vs. Bird People: It's Getting Ugly | Main | Good Counterpoint to the Remarks Below »

November 14, 2007

From a Craig's List Posting

Very tough words from a righteously indignant shelter operator, in response to breeders who post there. We all know she speaks the sad truth.

Reply to: see below
Date: 2007-11-12, 3:32PM EST

I am posting this (and it is long) because I think our society needs a huge "Wake-up" call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will.

First off, this is a forum to for adoption and/or rehoming as clearly stated in the rules. All of you breeders/sellers on craigslist should not only be flagged (and I hope the good people on craigslist will continue to do so with blind fury), but you should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day.

Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know that puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore.

So how would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not!

About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses I hear are; "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really?

Where are you moving too that doesn't allow pets?

Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would".

How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?

"We don't have time for her".

Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!

"She's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family?

They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog".

Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is?

Well, let me tell you your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy if it sniffles, it dies.

Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals.
It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk.

If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.

If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted. If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed.

If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution not for long though. Most get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.

If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down". First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash they always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails.

Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door it must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them.

Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process they will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff".

Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind it was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head I do everyday on the way home from work. I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter. Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.


Hate me or flag me if you want to. The truth hurts and reality is what it is. I just hope I maybe changed one persons mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog. I hope that someone will walk into my shelter and say “I saw this thing on craIgslist and it made me want to adopt. THAT WOULD MAKE IT WORTH IT.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference From a Craig's List Posting:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yes I am bawling my eyes out. It is terrible that humans think their pets are disposable. I admire you for doing the job you do, it is hard for people who do care. I know it doesn't take long to get attached to an animal, and they don't ask to be born. I plan to relocate, and my pets are part of my family-a big part. I will find a place to live with them no matter what.
Thank you for speaking the truth, I also agree that society needs a wake-up call. Animals give so much but ask for so little. If the people don't plan to keep an animal for their lifetime, they shouldn't keep them at all.

This is a sad situation. But I know a way that we can help these animals. There is a new Free service that shelters, Vets, and Animal control are using called One call it is provided by a website called helpmefindmypet.com. When a organization gets a misplaced or lost pet in and they scan them they just call or email the microchip number to helpmefindmypet.com and they call every registry, classified add, and community post to match up the animal with the family. They have done quite well in helping reunite these pets and their parents. They also have a free service were you put your zip code in and it brings up all the lost pets in your area. We love the site; it really makes us feel like we are doing something proactive to help the animals in our community.

Try to make a difference!

I rescued my cat Noel from a rescue organization called Animal Allies. :) It's one of the best decisions I've ever made. :D.
Thanks for this wonderful article.

So what do you do when times are tough and you HAVE to move from where you live and the only thing you can afford doesnt allow pets and you have a dog your in love with and cant find it a good home what do you do PLEASE tell me! Ready to give birth in 5 days to a baby boy my husband and sons hearts are breaking but the bills arent getting paid where we were living i lost my job due being pregnant and complications my husband doesnt make enough money he is spending his free time calling up family members for odd and end jobs for money. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS ANOTHER OPTION? He is beuatiful and playful and we want to keep him but we CANT our family has to have somewhere to live and we were evicted because we couldnt afford the rent of course i am leaving out many horrible details that have happened to us over the last couple months and this is another one. So i am sorry i am soo sorry you are angry with those of us that dont anticipate the future and are happy with our pets then the price of EVERYTHING goes up and jobs get lost and the pet suffers because we cant properly take care of him If you have an answer for our dilema i am open because we have done everything but bring him to the shelter and its unfortunate that we cant post it on craigslist because not everyone is bad who gets a dog or cat from there its a free quick way to find our animals new homes so they dont end up in your shelter


The comments to this entry are closed.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise