The Dog that No One Wants (Off Topic)

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Homeless dog at my door.  I think she’s wishing she could come in and join my dogs.

My town has a dog and cat problem.  While there is a humane society, it’s not “no kill,” and the statistics are grim.  Almost every month, 160-250 animals are euthanized at the local shelter.  I can say this with certainty as I see the numbers at every humane society board meeting.  I personally think this is shocking, but perhaps it’s not uncommon for small Texas towns.

People either don’t want to spay or neuter their animals because, “Oh, I think she should have at least one litter first” or because “He’s a boy. He ain’t having puppies. It’s not my problem.” or simply because the cost to spay and neuter is high.

Let me stop here to say that I’ve read people are far more interested in stories about cats than dogs, so if you’re one of those people, simply pretend I’m writing about a cat.  In a way, I’m writing about all of the homeless animals that no one wants.

Anyway, the dog above is homeless and the mother of three puppies–if they’re still alive.  She’s been wandering our neighborhood for a couple of weeks now.  The neighborhood sees her and mostly ignores her.  Isn’t that awful? I include myself in that.

The dog catcher has been called (not by me) and says he can’t catch her. –I’m not sure that’s true since I petted her, but currently the shelter/humane society is at capacity so they don’t have room for her anyway.

Knowing the number of animals put to death at the local shelter, I am loathe to take her there.  It’s almost a certainty she won’t be adopted and that she will end up as one of the 160 to 250 monthly “statistics.”  I can’t face that. There is also a high chance her puppies will end up with Parvo if they go to the shelter.

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Mama dog eating the dog food I put out for her.

On the other hand, what kind of life does this dog or her puppies stand to have living on the street? Not a good one.  I’m torn.

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There is a backstory to this. When I first moved here, I rescued a mama dog and her five puppies and delivered them all to the local shelter.  I thought I was doing such a good thing.  They were all promptly put to sleep. Not one survived. I didn’t know this was going to happen, and I felt horrible for a long time afterward.  Yes, I cried. A lot.

As you can see from the photos, I’ve been feeding her and giving her water.

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She looks at me as I walk by with my dogs and her eyes say, “Hey, I’m here.  I’m a nice dog.  Can I come with you? Could I be part of your family?”  There is hope in her eyes as she follows a short distance behind me.  And then I close my door and my heart on her.

What kind of a person am I?

I cry because I have three dogs, and I can’t take on another one.  I just can’t.  I’m at capacity too.  My neighbor next-door has five dogs.  A friend here has more than 30 cats. (Please don’t judge this friend because her house and yard are extremely clean despite what the image of owning 30 dumped and stray cats might conjure. She spends half of each day cleaning and hundreds of dollars out of her own pocket to spay and neuter them.)

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My three dogs who aren’t supposed to be on the bed. (Sorry for the poor photo quality.)

So why am I telling you this?  My hope is you spay or neuter all of your animals so sad little dogs and cats like this homeless one aren’t the end result.  Also, If you’re going to get a pet, please make your next one, one that comes from an animal shelter.

Finally, to feed her puppies, this homeless dog killed a chicken.  In her circumstances, I can’t say I blame her.

Below is a poem I wrote about what I see as I walk my dogs and how sometimes we refuse to see our social problems.

Where Your Chicken Went

I will never tell you where your chicken went

(Stinking to high heaven on the street between Sycamore and Pine)

Mama dog with three puppies beneath a car

In a town, apathetic.

And the trucks park as yard decoration

In the grass with the flowers in a row by the curb.

I will never tell you where your chicken went.

Meth addicts wave from their perches and porches

Saying “howdy-do!”

Eyes eating, searching, picking

As the church pews are filled with those who self-serve

In the cafeteria of God–Free Meal–Only beef, no chicken please

With a glass of iced tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “The Dog that No One Wants (Off Topic)

  1. That’s a heart wrenching story. Love your poem. It says a lot. I can’t understand people who treat animals as property and dump them when they become inconvenient. It is a privilege to have the love and devotion of a pet. Our dogs did not come from shelters but the younger one’s first owner died and she needed a new home and the other one has epilepsy and teeth problems so could have ended up on the reject heap. Both have been neutered. They are so protective and loving and are family members, not just pets. There is a similar problem in Melbourne with unwanted dogs, but there are several rescue places with a no kill policy. There are also two lost dogs homes that do euthanise, but there they don’t do this immediately. Over the years there have been suggestions that potential owners should be made to do a “caring for animals course” as part of obtaining a dog or cat licence, but often it is the unlicensed ones that are dumped. I don’t know what the solution is but it definitely involves education from an early age so that children learn to respect the animals in their care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My apology for not replying sooner. (Life got in the way.) I think you do understand this problem. It doesn’t matter that your dogs didn’t come from a shelter. You love them, give them a good home, and most importantly, they aren’t out making unwanted babies. A “caring for animals course” would be a good thing, but there are still some people who just don’t “get it” no matter what. I could give you examples, but this reply is already long enough. I’m seriously considering taking the mama and seeing if I can find her a home in Austin.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, although a sad one. It is very true that more people should spay and neuter their pets. So many people bring a pet home and when they get pregnant they go dump it somewhere. When I came back to the farm I knew there were around 20 cats. My first project was to call the local humane organization and see if there were funds to have ALL the cats shaped and neutered. To my surprise, the was able to get donations to have them all done. She also adopted a few of them out to other homes which was also great. There are various organizations besides the shelters that can assist with spaying and neutering in some localities. It is a shame that so many shelters are forced to euthanize animals that they can’t find homes for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You did a good thing! My friend with her 30 cats never wanted 30 cats, but no one wants them and she has a big heart. I cleaned animal cages at the local shelter for over a year as a volunteer, and I can tell you that some very nice cats were put down. Someone passed away and their 3 mature and healthy cats were delivered to the shelter where they sat for 4 months. No one wanted them and ultimately they were all put to sleep. Parvo virus has also been rampant in our local shelter. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is just freaky… but I have a stray cat, with injuries, who is starving, so I began feeding him/ her. AND I have been considering writing a blog post… much like yours !!! about the abandoning of animals here in the south.. I truly think it’s rampant in southern climates – I know it is in Florida. People figure – they can survive fine in this climate and some soft-hearted person will pitch in and help them. UGH… People!
    I have 2 cats… my cats have given up their backyard so the stray can have it – they don’t get along. I could go on, but I think I will go write a post instead.
    I feel for you… our situations are similar. I’m sure this cat will be put down if I can somehow trap / catch him and turn him over to Animal Control. (They have tried to pick him up, but he runs)… and they are out of traps… they are all being used! Horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree that the abandonment of animals happens more in the south. I also look forward to reading your post. I know in Dallas, TX, one of the animal shelters there maintains a feral cat population. Those cats will never be friendly enough to live in a normal home, so they capture them, spay or neuter them, and then release them in the area where they all live together. Oh, and they also feed them. My former employer, a university, did the same thing with an on-campus feral cat population and occasionally we’d all get an email asking for donations to feed the feral cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That does happen here too. The Animal Control officer was telling me that on the next street over from mine there is a group ? of people who capture / spay & neuter cats, then let them go. A lady up the street leaves her garage open and feeds the strays. Like the one hanging out at my house, many wouldn’t make good pets. I actually feel worse for stray dogs, as their general nature is to need humans and love. I’m not saying cats don’t, but many cats prefer to be left alone. But either way, it’s not fair to the animals, and I pity them all.
      The animal shelters up north receive dogs from the south. Recently my daughter wanted to adopt a cat, and one of the shelters she visited DIDN’T HAVE ANY! So yes, there is a huge difference between the north and south.

      Liked by 1 person

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