Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Doomed Dogs

Doomed.  That's a strong word, but accurate.  We went to look for a dog to adopt at Kalamazoo County Animal Control and saw the death row of dogs.  It broke my heart, really.  We saw 2 potential Swager-dogs, and at least 8 that will never again see the light of day, unless they euthanize them outside. 

Simon and Sylvia were totally freaked out by the loud barking of these poor beasts, made worse by the closeness in the rooms.  Cage after cage had signs on the door that read "Caution", "I Bite", and "Do not Open".  There were sweet dogs mixed in with these poor creatures, barking out their protests, "I'm a good pup, I'm not a biter!"  But I was drawn to the eyes of the sad, wild beasts with the warning signs, mostly pit bulls.

They weren't born mean, these American Pit Bull Terriers.  They weren't bred to be beasts of terror that shred small children and attack with such ferocity that their kind is being outlawed in our state.  The United Kennel Club registers these animals, and proper trainers show their sweet kind natures and their willingness to please their owner at dog shows around the nation.  Sadly, it is exactly this willingness to please that lands them here...on dog death row.  They aim to please their owners.  When their owners teach them to attack, they do, eager to bring a smile to that twisted owners face.  When their owners beat them so they'll snarl and show their aggression, they comply, anxiously awaiting a "good dog" or a milk bone.  When they are neglected and mistreated, it only makes sense that they will attack...they are starving and have only an animal instinct to survive to go on!  No one took the time to teach them the right way to behave. 

So these beautiful animals will die.  It is too late for them.  They didn't have the good fortune to be born a Maltese or a Labradoodle.  They weren't someones beloved Pookie.  They were treated like they had no value.  Just a piece of meat... a very muscular burglar alarm.  I looked into their eyes and saw their fear, and I have no comfort to offer them.  Not even a pat on the head.  Even the ones that are well socialized will soon be illegal in the State of Michigan.  Why?  Because any fool can own a dog, and lots of them do.   

When we do choose our new family member, I hope I will remember these other animals.  I hope I remember to treat MY beloved Pookie (or Pepper, or Candy) with the respect that they deserve.                 

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