Friday, July 24, 2009

Doing the Right Thing -- (Reply) - New York City

(Picture Left: --Napoleon...Just another Pittie on the shelter Euth list. But, what was Napoleon's ticket out? "Loves, men, women, kids, dogs and CATS!" That, and someone willing to Napoleon him a second chance!)

Amby111 Writes: I hope Yani finds her way out of the shelter. As Patty alluded to, I bet the Yorkie is already with a rescue group. Personally, I don't place anymore value on the life of a purebred Yorkie than a "throwaway" like Yani, and it is distressing that people get so worked up over one little dog (not that she doesn't deserve rescue), when so many other nameless, faceless animals die without any acknowledgement whatsoever. Imagine a world where humans valued all animals--cats, dogs, purebred or not--such that finding ANY loving animal in a municipal shelter would be like "winning the lottery." Reply: Wonderfully said and 100% true.

REPLY: Although I am probably one of the biggest critics of the "general public," we have to acknowledge how many in the animal community inadvertantly contribute to people's seeming "pickiness" these days. We are forever advising members of the public on choosing the "right" cat or dog for the home. We promote various "breeds" (for example, "Labradoodles are good for people with allergies!" which happens to be mostly untrue). We advise people to get kittens and puppies over adult animals. We tell people the "signs" to look for in a potentially adoptable pet.

When I use the term, "we" I am referring mostly to so-called experts who are, in many cases, no more "expert" than you or me.

But, as anyone who really knows animals and people is aware, the success or failure of any animal placement depends more on the energy and vibe of the people and how well they relate to the animal and vice versa, than it does on any particular breed or even age of the animal.

While it is true that age of dog or cat can be important if we are talking about early socialization of animals, the fact is that most dogs and cats in shelters have previously been in homes and have known early socialization and handling with humans.

As far as those animals who have been neglected or abused in previous homes, while it may take them a while to adjust to new and different situations and people, they don't live in the past, as some people might do.

Animals live for and respond to the moment. They don't worry over the future and they don't lament the past.

Therefore, any person can walk into any shelter and (putting aside considerations for certain breeds of dogs exercise needs) take home almost any dog or cat and depending on the patience, awareness and state of mind of the human, have the adoption succeed or fail accordingly.

"Happy" animal placements have far more to do with the people acquiring the animals than it does the individual pets. Animals are remarkable in their abilities to adapt to many different situations and people. Unfortunately, I don't think we can quite say the same for our own species.

Finally, I don't often have good news recently, but there is good news for both, Yani and June. Both dogs have gone to rescue.

How ironic that a bullet was actually instrumental in helping to save Yani's life!

Meanwhile, I got another very lucky (Euth List) Pitbull out to a foster home yesterday. "Napoleon" is a fantastically loving, 4-year-old, Pittie who was given up by his family due to the new and harsh rules in NYC housing pertaining to dogs over 30 lbs. His former owners claimed Napoleon even loves cats!

So, yes there are still the miracles out there.

But, as you point out, there could be so many more if only people just leave their pre-conceived notions at home and simply open their eyes to the dog or cat who truly needs them.

Those are the ones who most deeply appreciate and reciprocate loving care and treatment -- or, to put it another way:

"Its not a matter of finding the 'right' cat or dog as much as simply doing the right thing!" -- PCA

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