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« Weekly Roundup - -Week Ending 6/16/13 | Main | San Francisco area dog bite fatality »

June 19, 2013


Jen Brighton

Awesome post, Brent. It's very easy for those of us who are more fortunate to judge those who aren't. Until you've walked in their shoes or worked in that environment like Lori has, you don't know what you would do under the same circumstances. I've often wondered if I lived in a high crime, poverty stricken area would I think differently about many things, such as assuming all pit bulls are vicious. Environment has a huge impact on how we perceive the world, same as environment has a huge impact on how dogs perceive the world.


Thanks Jen. Couldn't agree more.




I remember years ago when we moved to Omaha we were looking for a house to live in and when we told one landlord that we had a large dog he said that was good we would want one in that neighborhood. We decided to look in another area. We ended up having to rehome him because he was going stir crazy in boarding since it took so long to find a place. As far as being too far away fron a vet I walked miles to a vet with two toddlers to take a stray to the vet in the snow. That distance thing is not a good excuse if it is something you want to do.


I do not have an answer for this.

But I will say I was taught growing up that if you could not afford something, you did not get it and if you could not afford to keep something you let it go.

I am blessed that I have never had it come down to "can I afford a pet" but I have come awful darn close. We had to break a lease once because we could not afford to heat the apartment we were staying in, and breaking the lease cost us our security deposit as well as our last dime. We were fortunate that we had help getting into a different place with better terms, but even still we ended up defaulting on a loan and ended up moving in with family for half a year. One more thing during that time would have probably cost us dearly and while it never came down to heat or food, it all too often did come down to which bill do we have to pay this week to keep it from being shut off.

We had cats during this time, but we had them prior to the "financial collapse" and we were able to make due. I can't fathom bringing a pet into that type of situation - which many poor people do.

There are cases where people have had a serious turn of bad luck or were lied to or misled (like in our case with the cost of heating that apartment) and need help, and can take that help and get back on their feet. But there are other cases where you just know they 'want it all' with out having to pay the piper.. they make excuses, they take advantage, and they ruin it for those people who simply need a hand. Those of us who want to help, don't know where to reach out because there are so many scammers out there. People who say they can't afford this or that to help their pet, while seemingly showing off to the world expensive cars, the newest and greatest cell phones, designer handbags, etc. (yes, there are people who have those things and aren't scammers. don't yell at me if you are poor and have a designer handbag that you got as a gift or found somewhere.. you aren't the people I'm talking about, I'm talking about the people out there that make you look bad)

So, what is the answer? we can't help everyone. heck we can't even provide adequate care in this country for the human population. too much $$ being funded into medicare and medicade which the country doesn't want funded. People complaining about "Obamacare" Government services are being cut all the time leaving kids and humans on the street with nothing.

There should be help out there for those that have a true and utter need.. but figuring out who has a need and who has a want that they are making you believe is a need.. that is the one we can't seem to figure out.

Jen Brighton

Connie hits it on the head when she mentions how she "was taught growin up." That has a huge impact on how we treat and deem whether animals are part of the family or disposable.

My husband has often told the story of him and his friend as teens driving in the country and accidentally hitting and killing a kitty on the road. They were so distressed. This friend's father was a veterinarian. They went to the closest house and talked with the farmer who said it probably was his cat but "there are a lot more where that one came from."

Historically farm animals, dogs and barn cats were not thought of as pets, although for many farmers that trend seems to be changing.


Lots of truth in this post ... but lately I'm also seeing a lot of people giving up their dog the minute they hit a rough spot. It makes me think it comes down to a sense of commitment, values and whether you really view your dog as family and what you're willing to give up (or not) as far as your own personal comfort and convenience. (No, I'm not talking about people in poverty whose utilities are getting turned off, though I do bet some find ways to keep their pets if they want to badly enough.)

I do always say I'd live in my car rather than give up my pets ... what I mean is I would do absolutely anything in my power to stay with them even if I hit hard times. It really dismays me to see for how many people the first solution is to "rehome" their pet the minute they hit a glitch. I have no idea how they can do it. I'd rather live in a crappy apartment in a bad part of town with my dogs than a palace without. I also wish we as animal lovers/rescuers would first think "how can I help this person keep their pet" than "here's another pet we have to help 'rehome.'" (Ick, hate that word. They're family members, not socks you change.)

Cheryl Huerta

OH my goodness where do I start?

First off what a GREAT blog Brent. As a pit bull advocate I deal with both sides of the equation and I can tell you that MOST people who do shelter or rescue work judge those who would surrender, they call it 'dumping', their dog to a shelter and some of them even feel free to comment in the 'public domain' on Facebook and other social media when they are campaigning to get funds, a foster or a home for a dog. It literally turns my stomach when I see this judgement dealt out day after day after day by people who clearly have a LOT more compassion for the animals they care for than for the people who had to make that often extremely difficult decision to get rid of their family pet or the dog who was their security provider.

It's my personal belief that if more of these judgmental shelter/rescue workers would focus a LOT less energy on hating those who surrender their pets to a shelter and dedicated a lot more energy to providing low or no cost programs to help these people keep their dogs that we'd all be much better off for it as a society. YES it's certainly agreed that there are some people who really don't care what happens to their pets and just wants to get rid of the problem BUT I truly believe that those people are truly the exception and not the rule.

I just posted a HUGE rant on my personal Facebook page a few days ago when a rescue person I know stated that a dog was 'dumped' at the shelter by the human's when I knew for a fact that was NOT the case. In fact the people who surrendered the dog to the shelter, in good faith, actually found the dog as a stray and had taken care of it for several weeks before realizing that this was not a good fit into their own pack. They did what they felt was best not only for their family/pack but for the dog and then they got vilified for it by those they trusted to help. That is so not cool in my book!!!

At any rate thanks for this. I truly hope it will make some people think. I will share it with all of the shelter/rescue workers that I know in the hope that next time they want to vilify someone for surrendering a dog to a shelter they will remember to have some compassion for the human and not devote all of it to the dog/cat.

Anne berth

The problem is not the dogs. "It's society"????! "Society" is made up of people. The problem is, and always has been, the uncaring people.


Anne, no doubt that society is made up of people. And yes, people who are both unaware, and uncaring about poverty, crime and conditions that unfortunately a significant number of Americans live in are certainly a big part of the problem. Although unfortunately, I know that isn't what you're referring to...

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