Countless dogs, cats, and other pets are left in shelters every day. While owners are often making the best choice they feel they can for their pet, it doesn’t change the reality that many of these animals don’t get happy endings. Even in private shelters that don’t euthanize pets, animals often end up without a home for so long that they become a shell of what they once were.
One medical/intake manager at the Griffin Pond Shelter has shared a post revealing what really happens when owners drop off their pets in hopes that it will change people’s minds if they’re thinking of leaving their companions behind out of convenience.
PJ Regan uploaded a photo of a dog later revealed to be named “Baby” as she stood on her hind legs and stared out the window, unsure of what was happening to her after her former owners left her at the shelter with no information about her personality, history, or why they’d chosen to leave her there in the first place.
Some of you may already know I took a job as the medical/intake manager of a county shelter.
Here’s a glimpse into my day… and the beginning of any number of days for a dog who was just surrendered by their owner. Baby stayed at this window until her intake examination began. Confused as to what just happened.
My job is to vet all surrenders and strays, however they end up here. And to weed through at least a dozen calls a day of owners looking to dump their pets at the shelter for any number of excuses, none that I can empathize with. When you tell them “no” or that we are “over capacity” and the wait can sometimes be a month out… that same animal comes in as a stray the next day or weeks later. It happened twice in the last two days.
Your move, your landlord, your allergies, your kids, your finances, your lack of diligence in training and socializing the animal (resulting in aggression toward humans/animals) or lack of researching the breed you chose and it’s needs (resulting in destructive/”bad” behaviors)… your problem. Not theirs.
But the quick fix for you is this pictured. Take note.
Baby might be at the shelter for a few weeks or a few months. Maybe a few years. The longer she stays here potentially the more instituationalized she will become. Like a prisoner. Potentially making her less adoptable over time.
Right now she’s a happy go lucky young girl. I make sure to play fetch with her at the end of my day everyday. Our staff does their best day in and day out to give our always full shelter the same treatment, something the animals can look forward to while they’re here. Whether it’s a short stay or the long haul.
But nothing beats a place to call home.
Think about your reasons for surrendering your pets. Maybe you might have the capacity to think outside of yourself.
And think about your reasons for breeding/purchasing your pets while shelters/rescues across the country remain full.
Wrong answers only.”
PJ soon discovered that Baby was a friendly, intelligent dog. He was easily able to teach her basic commands as well and speculated that her former owners weren’t willing to adapt their lifestyle to her needs.
Thankfully, Baby has already been adopted, and her new family told The Dodo that the dog has excellent manners and that “there’s never been a sweeter dog.”
It just goes to show what some love, patience, and the right environment can do for a dog!