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This is a true experience from the inside of an animal shelter through a manager's eyes. Have your tissues ready... You will need them.

 shelteruk1I think our society needs a huge "Wake-up" call. As a pound manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will. First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal centre for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people, you do not even know.

 That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my pound when it is not a cute little puppy anymore. How would you feel if you knew that there is about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the pound purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into my pound are purebred dogs.

 The most common excuses I hear are; "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving that does not allow pets? Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German shepherd would get? "We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my six dogs! "She's tearing up our garden". How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her. we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog". Odds are, your pet will not be adopted. How stressful do you think being in a pound is? Well, let me tell you, from the moment you drop it off, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family. Sometimes a little longer if the pound is not full ukanimalshelterand your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies.

Your pet is confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I do not, your pet will not get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.

 If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, staffy, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just are not adopted, it does not matter how 'sweet’, or 'well behaved' they are.

 If your dog is not adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter is not full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long.  Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.

 If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed, because shelters just do not have the funds to pay for even a £100 treatment.


Here is a little euthanasia 101

For those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down". First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it is strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink  stuff". I hope that your pet does not panic from being restrained and jerk. I have seen the needles tear out of a leg and  been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all do not just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves. When it all ends, your pet’s corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? You will never know and it probably will not even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and cannot get the pictures out of your head. I deal with everyday on the way home from work. I hate my job, I hate that it exists. I hate that it will always be there unless people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter. Between 60 thousand animals die every year in UK pounds. Only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can. owever, rescues are always full, there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.  My point to all of this; DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE! Hate me if you want to. The truth hurts and reality is what it is. I just hope maybe I can change one persons mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a pound, or buying a dog. I hope that someone will walk into my pound and say, "I saw this, and it made me want to adopt". THAT WOULD MAKE IT WORTH IT 

"About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into my pound are purebred.” 


NOTE from BOSTON TERRIER NETWORK: This is a real up close view, from a dear friend, who sees shelter pets every day. Do not forget to go and hug your shelter volunteers and staff. They are our front line in this never-ending endeavor to save our fur friends.  No not every shelter manager is this caring some have given up, been beaten down. Could you do this job and stay positive as Gill? my eyes fill with tears every time I read this...