Monday, March 13, 2006

Soap Box

I believe I've mentioned that I used to volunteer at the local animal shelter at least once or twice a month. I started volunteering again and was there on Saturday when this lil' 110 pound bundle of joy came in. He "ran" away from home and his owner decided to not pick him up so he's up for adoption. Besides answering questions for potential adopters, I play with the dogs and walk them when we're not busy. Well since Kaos (pictured left) was really friendly and welcoming of my petting from outside his kennel I decided to go in there and play with him a bit. All was good for the first 5 minutes until I guess the "urge" got to him (he's not neutered yet) and he decided to well you know. Imagine trying to control a 110 pound rottweiller who is almost as tall as you are while on his hind legs when he's decided you look kinda good for a human. Luckily for me he knows basic commands and after yelling SIT twice he sat down but still had the "hey there hottie" gleam in his eye. At first I thought he was exhibiting some alpha dog behavior but when someone else went in there with him, he was fine.

Remember those prison movies where the prisoners start racking their metal mugs across the cell bars when they're upset or if someone is being released? Well that's exactly how the shelter is when there's a dog walking down the kennel hallway, except replace the sound of mugs across the cell bars with repeated barking from about 20 dogs. Crabs in a barrell I tell ya. I really love volunteering at the shelter because despite the noise and (sometimes smell) it's really fulfilling and you don't have to worry about the animals telling you shut up, or NO or you're not my mama. However it can be a little discouraging when you see some of reasons they're sent to the shelter.

I'm going to stand on an elevated surface and preach to you guys for a minute:
  • Please for the love of god DO NOT give someone a dog or Cat as a present even if they beg you for one. Unless you're willing to take care of that pet once the novelty wears off or when fido/fluffy hasn't mastered the art of whatever skill you're trying to teach him or if he still decides that peeing on your rug is more fun then going outside.
  • Owning an animal is at least a 15 to 20 year commitment and isn't a commitment one should jump into lightly. Just like you can't return a child after you've adopted it you shouldn't think about returning the dog or cat once you've adopted it.
  • Owning an animal, dog or cat is a huge responsibility, think food, vet bills and/or pet sitters.
  • Men, neutering your dog isn't neutering yourself, get your dogs neutered or spayed. It's healthier for the pet and unless you're a licensed breeder you shouldn't breed your dogs anyway. There are so many animals put to sleep every day in this country because of over population. I can't even remember how many men come to the shelter see a pure breed Rott or Bull dog and seem so disappointed when I tell them all the animals that leave the shelter are neutered or spayed first.

Talk about stereotypes but why do some of the Hispanic and black patrons immediately head toward the Pit bulls and try to pet or agitate them despite the signs that say DO NOT PET, DOG BITES or DO NOT GO NEAR KENNEL with a damm block in front of the kennel. Most of the pits that come to the shelter are really sweet and nice dogs but some are actually mean and quite dangerous. Mofo's can't read I guess. It pains me because it's people that make animals vicious and dangerous.

I'm done with my rant.

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