Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Becomes of the Simply Nice?

(Picture Left: "Bruno." Owned, healthy and fully trained dog dumped at shelter because owner is "leaving for college." Bruno is a very nice, already neutered "Heinz 57" mutt who nevertheless ended up on shelter euth list. Apparently, nice just isn't exotic, exciting or newworthy enough.....The reality (and irony) is that simply nice is usually a death sentence in animal shelters.)

Today was pretty cool. Rescued a nice dog from the Brooklyn AC&C's euthanasia list -- without even leaving my house! These days, one can often arrange rescues, transports and sometimes even adoptions through phone work alone. It beats the old days when one often had to climb fences, squeeze in small holes and pull all kinds of maneuvers in order to rescue stray cats (or an occasional stray dog). Now, a simple phone call "pulls" the animal from the shelter euth list and other calls arrange transport and either boarding or foster care of the dog.

Sometimes I miss the old challenges of standing out in the freezing cold with humane traps or patiently trying to outwait and outwit a terrified dog, but then again, not really. -- It is, after all, much easier and actually more effecient this way. We can save more animals by networking and communicating with others, though it is not merely as "exciting."

Not sure exactly why I decided to pull "Bruno," (pictured above). He doesn't appear to be an especially "exotic" or gorgeous dog. But, he has a good behavior and health profile from the shelter and is already neutered. Why did an affectionate, healthy and supposedly already trained dog end up on the kill list?

The shelters are totally "packed" now and the animals only get a few days. Its kind of amazing and ironic that so often, it is the healthy and social animals who "go down" at the drop of a hat, but shelters and even many rescues will go out of their way to "save" the severely injured, ill, disabled (three legs or blind, for example) or even behaviorally challenged, IF the animals are PB, cute or have some unique "story."

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense and to me feeds the public misperception that all the shelter animals get "rescued" and saved. -- After all, if Michael Vick's dogs can get rescued and rehabilitated, why wouldn't the healthy and friendly dog someone is dumping at the shelter when they "move" get rescued and placed? Most animals don't require months of "rehabilitation." But, if the dog (or cat) isn't tiny, cute, PB or have some compelling "story," chances are, s/he simply becomes a shelter statistic.

Not fair, practical or sensible. But, for one nice and regular shelter "mutt" things worked out today. It won't garner a story on the news, Animal Cops or Dogtown, but the reality is if we could ever get to the point of being able to rescue all the "regular," but simply nice cats and dogs, that indeed would be THE major news story!

True "news" is often found in the mundane, rather than the sensational. -- PCA

1 comment:

skdean53 said...

It seems to be the two extremes that are most likely to be adopted--the "perfect" (the young, housebroken,trained,groomed pets) or the "rejects" (those with disabilities, amputations, blindness, and the like). I guess no one wants the average dumped pets unless they are exceptional in one way or another.