Dog Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently started a job as an Enrichment Facilitator at an animal shelter. I really love the job. Basically I get to play with dogs every day! I help run play groups, walk dogs, socialize fearful ones, make and give out enrichment (kongs, peanut butter popsicles, etc.) and keep the kennel white boards and computers updated on the dogs in the shelter and the care they're getting. The main problem is...it IS a high kill shelter. It's open admissions in an urban area. The good thing is they don't put dogs down for space, but they put them down for being sick...even if it's kennel cough. They always do their best to get the dogs pulled by other shelters or rescues before that, but already I've seen a few good (or reasonably good) dogs get put down just for kc. And unfortunately, almost every dog ends up with a cough if they're there long enough. The thing that pisses me off beyond belief is that I'll see geriatric/dying or seriously dangerous purebreds or lapdogs get pulled before Pits with perfect behavior ratings. I am hoping that maybe I can get more shelters to add to their list so more dogs get pulled. I do also post the dogs' pictures on facebook and share then in hopes other rescue friends might help place them.

But anyway...the shelter is regularly harassed and targeted by crazy animal "rescuers" who are the kind of unhinged people that think all animals should be rescued regardless of health and behavior, and generally hate fellow humans. There are actually facebook posts calling my shelter "Baby killers" and a constant barrage of profanity and how we are all murderers. No matter that the dogs almost always get walks, play groups, enrichment items, meals and water, blankets, clean kennels, toys and affection every day. We are still horrible, evil murderers even if we put down the dogs who are so dangerous we can't even open the kennel door for fear of being mauled. My co-workers even warned me not to say I work there on Facebook because the people in these groups might threaten me or send awful things online. These are actually the people who make the posts about the "at risk" dogs that I share, just because it's easy. I just wish they understood that it's necessary to put down some dogs because they're dangerous or well...they're such a mess it's a mercy to do so. I'm so tempted every time I see these insulting posts or messages to ask them what they've done besides run their mouths online while I and my colleagues have cared for the dogs every single day and done our best to get them placed.

I guess I just needed a place to vent. And if anyone has any rescue connections that is willing to pull dogs (especially Pits!) from the NYC area, please private message me. Or if you want to adopt of course. There's lots of great dogs that get overlooked just because of their breed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dia

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
I only interned at a rescue for a short time but I understand the frustration. What goes on behind the scenes is hidden to the public and social media (especially facebook) allows annoying (in your case hurtful) "caring" individuals to post crap like "Hey, that dog is missing a patch of fur. My dog had that and it ended up having cancer. Treat that dog and get it saved poor fur baby sweetie pie." Like, rescues and shelters are there for pets to begin with, so they're not going to have a dog and not take basic care of it (at least where I'm from and, from what it sounds like, where you're from).

As for other rescues, I know one of our local rescues partners up with Helping Hounds up there and every month transports very adoptable dogs out of lower Alabama and gets them adopted through Helping Hounds. Alabama's pet/animal laws are horrible, so a good bit of rescues try sending adoptable shelter dogs out of the state. That's the only one I know of that goes to New York though.
We have Rivers of Love which deals with Pitts in lower Alabama. I don't know if they pull from that far away (didn't say anything on the website) but it's the only group I know of. Rivers of Love Animal Rescue. Adopt a pet in baldwin county

Best of luck with everything and it sounds like ya'll do a great job with the shelter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Wow, that must be so tough. I agree rescue people can be quite crazy. I feel for you, but I don't know what to tell you. I guess all you can do is ignore them and be the bigger person. Best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
Sucks that some people ruin the "rescue" name. But like others have gotten offended by "small dogs are bad behaved" or "big dogs are bad behaved" in previous threads here, seems like this thread may be the same but with "rescue" instead of small dogs. I will not take your rant personally, and do feel bad that you have to put up with extremists. You are obviously doing your best and it's a lot more than the general public does, so keep doing the good you're doing and be proud of that. I am also not making excuses for extreme rescue people, but sometimes people get this way by having to see what they have had to see in the past. Just a different perspective. I guess some people get upset knowing that dogs are being put down for minor health issues like kennel cough which can be treated. Either way, they should not be lashing out as it makes no difference to the dogs in the end. If these people care that much, there are more proactive ways in helping the shelter so it doesn't need to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sucks that some people ruin the "rescue" name. But like others have gotten offended by "small dogs are bad behaved" or "big dogs are bad behaved" in previous threads here, seems like this thread may be the same but with "rescue" instead of small dogs. I will not take your rant personally, and do feel bad that you have to put up with extremists. You are obviously doing your best and it's a lot more than the general public does, so keep doing the good you're doing and be proud of that. I am also not making excuses for extreme rescue people, but sometimes people get this way by having to see what they have had to see in the past. Just a different perspective. I guess some people get upset knowing that dogs are being put down for minor health issues like kennel cough which can be treated. Either way, they should not be lashing out as it makes no difference to the dogs in the end. If these people care that much, there are more proactive ways in helping the shelter so it doesn't need to happen.
Don't think I'm saying most or even many rescue people are like this. Hell, I consider myself a rescue person! It's just these certain groups--and I don't mean rescue groups, I mean more or less groups that formed like hate groups against kill shelters, are out of their minds. I see people crying sometimes at the shelter or just looking very sad because of our animals getting sick or put down/dying, it's not like we don't care. People AT the shelter are pretty much all upset dogs and cats are put down for minor issues, but we aren't the ones in charge. And I know there are more good rescue people who aren't calling us sadistic murderers, than these nuts. I'm grateful for every rescuer who comes and takes each dog or cat. But just for goodness sake be nice and understand that the people you see working at the shelter don't make the rules.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,829 Posts
And then you get the 'anti-shelter' people who think that the shelter should just adopt any pet to any person who walks in, regardless of how well that pet might do in that person's home.

I know of a couple, they are into hunting with hounds and for fun vacations, like to go shooting prairie dogs (because, ya know, the holes can break a horse's leg). Like, that many people travel on horseback through prairie dog desert areas now days. In my opinion they just like to use live animals as target practice. Plus they had a small dog that was a pet (as opposed to their hounds which are not pets) and they decide to breed her so she could have one batch of puppies to make her a better dog before they spayed her.

The woman, actually got ticked off of me, when I suggested they not do that...that if they are happy with the dog they have now, there's no reason to try to make it better and send 4 or 5 more puppies into this world that is killing millions of puppies every year due to out of control dog breeding.

Well, one day I was talking about the shelter with a co worker (I use to work at this shelter too)...and that couple was there and the husband says, I wouldn't give a "g.d. dime to that ridiculous place"

Of course, I said, what's ridiculous about a place that offers shelter, food, and medical help to animals that have no where else to turn"

He first complained about how much they wanted to adopt a pet (and here it's cheap...only $35 to $50 depending upon age, and sex of the animal). And he said that they would let people just pick the animal they wanted...that they required one to fill out a questionnaire and wold even refuse to adopt if they didn't like what they read. (and I'm thinking 'Well Duh!')

Then told me about how the shelter was taking in feral cats, spaying them and returning them to where they were found. "It's Stupid" he said and a waste of money.

I said, "Actually, no it wasn't...and there is solid proven scientific studies and logic behind the practice, which has been going on for decades now in bigger cities around the world" And I explained that they found if you just round up the cats and kill them or whatever...then any cat that escapes the round up, just breeds and also more cats move in from other areas where there's a bit of a population and the problem isn't solved.

But, in spaying and returning cats...it keeps cats kind of in the same area, and if a new one should come in...especially if it's not spayed or neutered, it lessens the chance of another litter. Feral cat colonies can then be maintained at a lower population, and the ferals can also be monitored, given vaccinations and even have feeding bins set up to help them live a little healthier lives.

He said it was still stupid and they should just kill them as they found them, and that would stabilize the population just as quick. It ticked me off, and I just told him 'Whatever, I'm just glad that there are compassionate people out there who are dealing with things in a newer, less brutal way, and that they way we treat our most basic defenseless ones, the animals and the children, says a lot about how we are evolving as a society....as humans. And I would rather see people reach out with compassion towards any helpless being or creature than with than violence".

His wife was all huffed up about that...but I told her that some people actually look into problems and try to figure out better ways of fixing them, and others just do what's been done for centuries even though it doesn't work....and they should actually go read the studies on the internet before they spout off about how stupid the shelter was being in the feral cat program.

Also, I might add...that most of these feral cats are from ranches...pets tossed out of cars because the owners thought that the cat could survive in the country, especially since there's a ranch house near by. The ranchers here love the cats, they keep the mice out of the grain sheds, and tack sheds...but they don't go out of their way to take care of them. And the ranch dogs end up killing a good number of the cats.

Most of the ranchers, btw, love this program. They have lived most of their lives seeing feral cats over populate their property, and how many die due to lack of food, illness, and from predators. So many will even go get cage traps from the shelter, and bring in the trapped cats to have them fixed and immunized and will then take them back to the ranch and let them go again.

One rancher I know, said it's better now because he no longer sees 4 or 5 pregnant cats and then later seeing dozens of kittens that he knows most won't make it. He said almost all the kittens end up dead, every year because of lack of nutrition, or illness, or killed by tom cats, etc. But then enough would survive and along with more dumped cats there would be cycles of too many cats again and then adult cats would start starving or there were constant fights and matings.

He said that now, they have basically the same cats, and if a new one comes in, he doesn't worry about it getting pregnant, if it's a female and if it's a tom there's not even as much fighting as the neutered males are not as territorial nor wanting to fight due to a female in heat. Then when he has the time, and is going to come into town, he said he can plan a capture for the new cat and take it to the shelter and either leave it, if it's gentle enough, or take it back as another ranch feral.

The shelter understands that these ferals are not going to get the same care as an adopted house cat, but they do work with the ranchers, donating to them cat food during winter months and asking the ranchers to at least set up a way for the cats to get into a shed or barn that has straw or something for them to burrow into to keep warm during the worst of the winter weather. Most ranchers are good people and are willing to do that.

Anyway, it's a bit off topic from the original rant here...but not by too much I hope...it's still people...like the couple I mentioned, who flap their lips about something they don't know anything about, nor are willing to check into it...and be willing to let go of old ideas about animal care and can't or won't see why these new solutions work.

Also...in adopting...that it's' not a good practice to just hand over any animal to any person that wants it, as some animals might not be good around children, or a cat might not fit into a home that has other cats if that cat is aggressive towards other felines.

Sorry this turned out longer than I expected.. :p This is why I try not to rant very often... I build up steam and then it's hard to stop...lol.

I hope you can learn to ignore the 'clueless do-gooders' at your shelter....you know you are doing right by the animals in your care and that is your shield against those who *think* they know what is what.

Stormy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
Although very different, and yet sharing some similarities, my job can be like this. Right now I'm working as a forensic nurse. Long story short, someone commits a crime, they may have a mental illness or developmental delay, so they get sent to us. They are on a 30-60 day assessment, and we determine whether they are fit and responsible, not criminally responsible, or unfit to stand trial.

We get some pretty high profile cases. Sometimes the public does not like the decision our team comes to, and they have no qualms about telling us so. A large amount of people roll their eyes and claim "they faked it and got off easy for claiming insanity". (Side note: very hard to successfully fake an axis one diagnosis, and sometimes being in the forensic system is longer than the jail time they would of got. For example, we had someone sent to us for theft for under $500. Petty crime. They were with us for ten plus years because it took us that long to get them stable enough to consider living in the community.)

So I feel you. It can be so frustrating, and outsiders don't under stand the nuances of the systems we work in. All we can do is try to educate, and walk away when people are unwilling to listen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
I for one think it's pretty sad that high kill shelters exist. I am not blaming the volunteers there as tracie88 is 100% right, they are not the ones to make the decision, but how can you be upset that other people get upset about animals being killed at a high-kill" shelter? I don't feel it is ok to euthanize pets for simple illnesses, but i'm not going to go on social media and post things like Tracie88 is saying others are. If shelters can have such nice things like Tracie88's shelter does (i.e. enrichment facilitator), why can't they try to do more fundraising in an extra effort to be able to afford to treat the animals (if this is what is holding them back from euthanizing) and reach out farther to "non-militant" rescues to help pull more dogs? On this forum, everyone is about trying a way to help a fellow pet (which is why I like you guys so much), so why not for shelter pets? Tracie88, i'm not bashing you at all, I commend you for what you do, I just don't understand why you would be upset that other people are upset about animals being euthanized without a proper fighting chance. It's probably not geared toward you personally as a person, so please try not to take these things personally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,899 Posts
Extreme dogmatic online discussion distorts the internent and the general socital discourse.

I see it in a lot of the facebook groups in particular. The Icelandic ones are having an issue with one individual who seems to just be in a really rough place personally. This individual has been accused of reselling dogs rehomed to her after promising a good forever home. Or even selling or rehoming dogs she was just petsitting or fostering.

Regardless the problem is that there can´t be any reasonable discussion in the groups because it turns into just bullying, horrible nasty bordering if not crossing into illegal harrassment. Consequently mods have to just have a blanket rule if this person is mentioned that post is deleted.

Therefore if I were rehoming, or looking for a petsitter I would not be warned about this individual. However I do not agree with mob justice either, it´s a fine line to tread.

It´s not helpful, it doesn´t provide a solution to shout at someone, whether it´s the person who might be experiencing immense personal problems and struggling with life. Or the shelter trying to do its best in a bad situation. It doesnt do anything to shout "abuser" "killers". the only thing it does is to provide an ego boost to the poster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
@timber I'm not upset that people are mad about animals being put down. I'm upset they are taking it out on the employees that take care of the animals and don't make the rules. It's one thing to say 'ugh I hate that all these animals get put down!' It's another to say 'I hope all these asswipes burn in hell!!!!!' About the people who work there. The hatred they spew is horrifying.

This shelter DOES have an entire department of people whose job it is to find other shelters to rescues to take the animals. Many do. I don't think I've seen a non-Pit Bull dog put down ever. It's just that the 'undesirable' bully breeds are often still left by rescues. They try, and they're very happy to hand the animals over other rescues.

The shelter isn't quite as high kill as it make it sound. To me it's high kill, but I'm used to no-kill. They do put down a lot of cats, but not so many dogs. Sometimes we need to put down the dangerous dogs, and that I'm not too torn up about. It's an urban area and there are plenty of dogs bred for or used for fighting in the area. This is also a city run shelter so even if there were the efforts to raise money to do things, the city and possibly state would have to approve it. If the protestors want someone to be mad at it should be the city itself, not us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,928 Posts
I have lots of respect for you. I volunteer at a shelter that rarely has animals PTS and I wouldn't want to volunteer at one that was high-kill. :( People are silly with their comments in today's world at times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
Unfortunately it's human nature to blame one person or the other. There are 2 options; try not to take it personally (easier said than done) or volunteer/work at a no-kill shelter. I'm sorry you have to read all the nasty comments geared to the shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
I was once asked the question "Is it no-kill or slow-kill?" Sometimes dogs have to be euthanized. It's sad and heartbreaking that they got to that point, but is it fair to make them live miserably in a shelter for the rest of their lives? As I keep thinking to myself on this forum, we all come from different places in the world. My hometown prefers small dogs and very few bully breeds get adopted, but my college town loves larger, bully breeds. A lot (I'm scared to say most) of shelters and rescues have caring and compassionate people that aren't euthanize-crazy. Even if the dog doesn't have an illness, outsiders have no idea what the mental state of the dog is. It's not fair in any situation to look at a fraction of the story and start a blame game on social media. Honestly, I would look at disabling comments on Facebook pages like that because even the "Somebody do something while I do nothing" posts annoy the crap out of me. :D

As for the breed rescues: While they're great and all some can get really, REALLY picky. Golden Retriever rescues are, from my experience, generally great but then we had a rescue (can't remember the breed) that didn't take one of the dogs because it didn't look enough like its breed.

There's so much that goes on in shelters/rescues that Facebook animal vigilantes can't even dream of. Shelter workers go through hard things every day, from having a euthanize a dog or cat or losing a sick animal or going out to rescue 70 dogs at a false rescue or puppy mill or fighting rink. We can tell Traciek88 to just ignore the haters but would we be able to after having a day at a shelter? Even no-kill shelters get crap like that. The one I interned at always got slammed for adoption costs and the application process and, most of all, for not taking in everyone's dogs whenever they didn't want them. People are vicious no matter what you do.

As for solving the issue, I'm a little bit of a passive aggressive person when my buttons have been pushed too far. :D I don't know if you have the authority to do this, but I'd respond to every comment with the same message: "Thank you for your concern about our shelter and its inhabitants. If you would like to express your concern for these animals, we accept monetary and/or item donations. We also have volunteer hours available and have a fostering program. We are in high need of these services and are looking for caring individuals who love these animals as we do."
Every. Single. Comment. :D People can disagree with the way a shelter is run all they want, but they have no say in the matter until they actually try to help out and understand what truly goes on there day to day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
"Somebody do something while I do nothing" posts annoy the crap out of me. :D
Absolutely annoys me too. Very well said.

We can tell Traciek88 to just ignore the haters but would we be able to after having a day at a shelter?
Unfortunately there is not much Tracie88 can do about the people with a big voice on social media. You can get upset until you turn blue in the face, but that will never stop people from posting vicious comments on social media. Even though it can be tough being in a shelter environment, an outlet needs to be found so these people don't burn out or fall into depression, which is good that she has come here to vent and let her emotions out. It's the same with other high-stress jobs, an outlet needs to be found that works for that person to be able to get through the day in one piece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for the support. It's also a bit troubling how these groups post/market about the dogs. There are plenty of dangerous dogs (as I mentioned) or borderline dangerous dogs, that they either don't post about, or just make it into a sob story. There was one dog that was so dangerous we couldn't even get him out of the kennel to walk him without getting attacked. But he was just described as being "terrified". Well that doesn't mean he won't kill someone! And just all the petitions they make to make the shelters "no kill". Well, open admissions shelters can't be totally no kill and be safe. But if you want to do something why don't you raise some money so we can have better kennel/cattery facilities that control the air and therefore disease transmission better? THAT would reduce the kill rate a lot!

I'm learning to cope with it better, and there are many dogs who get pulled by rescues. I saw there were about a dozen or so dogs on the kill list but the vet tech today told me that he wasn't putting any dogs down today, so most or all of them must've been pulled! :) Now I'm on a mission to find us some professional groomers to come in and groom some of the non-shedding breeds who come in looking like month old laundry. And I'm going to try and find some more rescues who will take our Pits.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
422 Posts
Our shelter puts down dogs for space just recently a dog escaped his yard owner called ac to get the dog since he was out of town they agreed gave him 72 hours to pick us dog up he went next day to pick up the dog they said they put him down less then 24 hours later and were lying saying he surrendered his dog and is only calling media to get money out of them. Our shelter doesn't allow pits to be adopted only rescued if not rescued are put down they put puppies and kittens down for something as simple as eye infection or just because they need more space. They give dogs only a few days to be rescued or adopted some not even a day
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top