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when no kill doesn’t mean no kill – death and accountability in rescue

when no kill doesn’t mean no kill – death and accountability in rescue Posted on September 16, 2017Leave a comment

An incredibly sad tale ending in a dog’s death was articled in the Herald this week.  My heart just breaks in two reading stories like that and it’s the second dog killed by another dog that’s been reported this month.

First off, let me reiterate that my current line of thinking is that socialization is more important that training.  I’m meeting dog aggressive dogs all over Atlantic Canada these days.  Something is up with this for sure as dogs are social creatures and by default get along just fine.  Humans are mucking the whole thing up with shock collars and prong collars and lack of general dog knowledge.  Sorry I had to say it.  I even encountered someone in my neighbourhood a while ago who was correcting his dog for smelling another dog’s butt and trying to make it go nose to nose.  Thankfully he owns a marshmallow dog, they can make the bad dog owners seem like they can take credit for an unshakeable great temperament somehow.

For the portion of the population who do not own marshmallow dogs, some skill and education in dog behavior is necessary to raise a good canine citizen.  A very smart dog behaviorist I know says it take two years of work with your dog to get the dog you want.  So that means two years of vigilance to properly raise a puppy, and two years of effort to shine up your rescued dog.

Anyway, a dog that is unfriendly to other dogs will rarely do serious damage.  Most “dogfights” are all noise, with a healthy dose of snapping, growling, and knock downs but rarely draw blood.  A real dog fight that draws blood is scary and dangerous to dogs and humans.  Again, most dogs are not like this.  Most people have dogs who are simply not properly socialized or have had bad experiences that cause them to be frightened, or bully other dogs.

So, when I hear an actual animal shelter manager say something like we have no control over dog fights between dogs we have adopted out in response to a dog death, my heart sinks into my belly

http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1501475-shelter%E2%80%99s-dog-screening-questioned-after-fatal-enfield-dog-attack

As of the time this dog fatally attacked another dog, he had already been failed four times by human society.

1 ) by the breeder – nobody who facilitates a puppy being born into the world should ever allow them to go to an unsuitable home – nobody should put profit above the welfare of animals – nobody should allow dogs with aggression problems have puppies – and all puppies should be properly raised and socialized starting with the breeder’s premises – the best lessons a puppy learns should be from it’s furry family for a good early start

2) 1st owner – neglected to deal with serious issues this dog had – a qualified behaviorist should have been consulted – if the dog was this dangerous euthanasia may have even been recommended – as it stands now that is probably what is in store for this poor soul anyway

3) the shelter – animal shelters and rescues should simply not adopt out red flag dogs – if the dog came into their care exhibiting this level of aggression rehabilitation can be considered but more likely euthanasia is appropriate – and in my opinion that is the job of the owner, not the shelter so take some responsibility please for your pet’s behavior – do not let aggression continue to increase in intensity – at first signs it needs to be dealt with or it becomes pretty much impossible to curb – there is only management of serious aggression – which would certainly mean this dog was not to be in contact with other dogs – I don’t know what the screening process of the Moncton SPCA is either but hopefully they did NOT knowingly adopt out a dog that had the propensity for this level of violence – and sorry but to chalk this up to a “dogfight” you have no control over is PURE bullshit

4) second owner – read above – this dogs was NOT to be in contact with other dogs – perhaps the seriousness of this was not made clear – perhaps the shelter didn’t tell you the dog was actually able to inflict damage, not just be a bully and posture with dogs and make a bunch of noise – there is a huge difference – either way it makes little sense as the story reads why you would allow that dog to have the opportunity to attack another dog this way – and for you again to say it’s just a dogfight and nobody can control that?  Sorry I call bullshit again.  Certainly, much of the fault lies on the shelter for a bad placement though as you could not provide a safe environment for a large, aggressive dog (who could?).

I expect this poor Mastiff that has been failed four times is already dead.  His young life filled with confusion and violence.  Who likely should never have been born.  My heart breaks this tortured soul who never had a chance to be happy in this world.  I would really like to know who was responsible for him coming into the world.  Blood is on your hands.  Especially with a giant breed dog litters of puppies are not to be taken lightly.

My heart breaks for this poor husky who was torn to pieces and died.  My heart breaks for the owner whose beloved pet was killed violently.

There is every reason to expect that dogs are evaluated and homed properly by rescues.

Sadly, there are some bad rescue groups putting aggressive dogs into homes in Atlantic Canada (and many great rescue groups too of course).

Please do your research when adopting a dog.  And for that matter, when buying a puppy.  Because raised improperly, a dog can become a liability.

Many amazing dogs come from rescues and shelters.  Almost everyone I know has a wonderful rescued dog.  Some have problems and quirks to work through, but aggression is rarely one of them (and never that level of severity) and never to be taken lightly.  It is extremely irresponsible of a rescue group or shelter to send a dangerous dog out into the community.

My hope is the Moncton SPCA did not understand the issues this dog had.  And my greater hope is that the shelter, and all shelters and rescues in our community are looking to this as a lesson and consulting with professionals and behaviorists for advice and screening recommendations.

Most dogs can be saved.  Most responsible rescues are “low kill” which means they save every animal they can and only euthanize for serious aggression or illness.  Nobody who is doing things right can be “no kill” because unfortunately by the time a dog is surrendered to a shelter or rescue it has already been failed many times.  It’s their last hope.  Some of them are out of chances.

Spay or neuter your pet please.  We need less of these stories.  We need animal shelters and rescues to be for emergency only and have the resources to do things properly so tragedies like this can’t occur.

Because this time, no kill was anything but no kill.

RIP to all the dogs who lost their lives due to the fault of humans.

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