Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Monday

You know what's not a good way to start the week? Hearing that a local pound--which shall remain nameless--euthanized HUNDREDS of animals over the weekend due to overcrowding. That's dozens upon dozens of people's pets. Animals who, if they were lucky, were once loved and cared for. Animals who trusted people and looked to them for protection. Animals whose only crime was having an irresponsible human as their guardian. As usual, the majority of the dogs killed were pit bulls and pittie-looking mixes. Tell me again who the monsters are? The dogs or the people who treat them like trash or worse?

So here is my question to you, readers. What are you going to do this week in honor of the creatures who died over the weekend? Here is a list of ideas:
    CBBR's Lola is very much alive and well, but she was once
    moments from being killed at an area pound. BTW, she is
    adoptable and pretty much perfect.
  • Next time you see a person with an unaltered (not "fixed") pet, explain to them why they should have that animal altered and where to have it done inexpensively. Both PAWS and Anti-Cruelty Society have low cost spay/neuter clinics. Be nice, but insist. Offer to make the appointment and drive them there.
  • Educate a friend who is about to buy a dog from a breeder. Some people really don't know that there is literally a rescue group for every possible purebred out there. Urge them to check out animal control and other high-kill shelters first. They will be shocked at the gorgeous, well tempered dogs sitting on death row.
  • FOSTER! (See my last 10 blogs for all the reasons why you should.)
  • Donate to a local rescue group who pulls animals from high-kill pounds. They all desperately want to do more, but their work relies on donations to fund vet bills and other basic costs.
  • Maybe it goes without saying to my readers, but don't give up your pet. If you have a problem pet--a cat who pees inside when she's mad, a dog who barks too much, etc.--get some help! Contact a trainer, and if that trainer can't help you, keep trying until you find someone who can! Almost every pet problem is correctable or manageable with the right knowledge. You are all your pet has in this world. Be worthy of his or her admiration.
  • Consider adding a rescued pet to your life. Do some reading. Talk to knowledgable friends. Is pet ownership a possibility for you? Do you have room for one more? (A quick note on this. "I have cats" is not a reason why you can't have a dog! Ask me.)
  • Do you know a landlord? Talk to them about their pet policy. Urge them to allow cats and dogs and not to discriminate against any breeds. Tell them to screen pet owners by checking vet references and requiring up to date vaccination records and a city dog license instead of banning pets.
  • Write your state congresspeople and tell them that you want tighter regulations on animal breeders and/or mandatory spay/neuter laws for pets. Tell them that we need greater access to and education about spaying and neutering--particularly in lower income areas of the state where the rates of animal impoundment are especially high.
  • Share this blog with friends.
  • Look at your pet(s). Remind yourself that the only difference between them and the animals who were killed in Chicago this weekend is that they have you.


  1. PAWS and other orgs have literature you can hand out regarding their clinics.

  2. I don't think any service is being done by withholding the names of places that euthanize. While they may no little choice but to do so, the names of these organizations *should* be out there so that people know and make an organized effort to do something about it.

  3. The two major euthanizing facilities in Chicago are Animal Care and Control and Animal Welfare League. This information is public record. THose facilities euthanize because they are open-access / open-door facilities required to take in whatever animals brought to them. The main problem is overpopulation, not that facilities do euthanize.

  4. I did not name the facility here for precisely the reason that you suggest, Terren. These agencies are neither empowered nor funded to do otherwise, and--although I find it hideous that so many animals are killed--I don't believe the most effective intervention point is to continually bring bad PR to these facilities. But this is a reasonable point of disagreement among people who care. Thanks for writing. Keep it up.

  5. The info may be public record but it isn't necessarily public knowledge. Plus, you mention that the behavior is monstrous - so the expectation that someone would be named seems reasonable. But thanks for clearing it up! It just seems to me that awareness is never a bad thing.

  6. I get what you're saying, Lakshmi. People should know kill shelters exist and they should know which are which (kill versus no kill). And shelters should be accountable for their actions ... I just think a lot of people take the easy out by demonizing those shelters and the workers instead of looking for the root cause of why shelters euthanize. I think we're on the same page!