I posted her arrival at the shelter in the way that I did because I was personally offended. I have worked for the ODCHS almost nine years now and Sadie was not the first nor will she be the last to be abandoned there. I usually don’t say anything about it and handle it the best I know how. I may mention the really worst cases but the majority of the time I just introduce the new orphan to the community.
It was different for me this time because it was early in the morning, still dark--and I was there. The drop off was obviously well planned--the chain and note and no rabies tag. I didn’t hear or see anything because I was busy feeding everyone and they are usually pretty noisy during this time. I am sure though that if they had intended to get my attention they could have done so. I don’t like being got over on, that is my personal ego and pride problem. Not good, but I will own it.
I didn’t mean to offend anyone by removing the post because of too much drama. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and when a post is made, the comments follow. A lot of folks wanted an eye for an eye, I get it. Nonetheless, two wrongs don’t make a right. Yes it was sad because Sadie already seems to have trust issues and who knows how many times she has been shuffled from pillar to post. She is very hesitant when approached by a human, but has not shown any signs of aggression, only caution. She does look at every car going by on Bivins as if she thinks her folks are coming back for her. No, she does not seem to have been mistreated or starved. Her ears seem to be bothering her but that is something a lot of dogs go through.
It is true that the family may be going through some unfortunate circumstances, and yes, I hate that. Had they made contact with me I believe we could have worked something out. When I took her in I put her in the last space available, only because Charlie was adopted the day before. Since we always take our adoptees back should something not work out (even after years) we usually keep one quarantine kennel empty. Should Charlie have to come back (or any one else who came from here) we will be hard put to find a space. If the issue was financial, we would have helped with food. If it was veterinary costs, we might have been able to help and perhaps asked for some volunteer hours in return. We have done both. We always do courtesy posts when someone is trying to re-home their pet, not saying that is always a fruitful effort but always worth a shot. If none of that had been satisfying for their situation, chances are I would have taken her anyway.
In that case I could have gotten more information about Sadie. I would love to know whatever history her owners could share with me. Were there previous homes? Has she ever shown aggression? Does she get along with other dogs? How does she do with children? Has she been heartworm tested? Was she on prevention? These are all things that would help with finding her the right home and environment.
Had we not had that one spot what would have happened? Make no mistake, when we take a dog or cat, we commit to this animal until a home is found. We vet each and every one of them. The orphans in our shelter, the shelter itself and our volunteers come first. We can only save one dog or cat at a time. So someone has to decide what to do with involuntary overflow. Guess who that is. So when one is abandoned by someone trying to do the best thing for the dog and there is no room I have to take this dog to the City Shelter. Yes--me--the shelter manager for the Ozark-Dale County Humane Society. I have done that--not often and not lately. I hate it and make myself believe that someone will adopt it from there before the inevitable happens. I am doing what I don’t want to so no one else has to. I am obligated to do whatever it takes to keep our shelter dogs safe and well and keep our little operation going so we can continue to save them, but one at a time. All of you have seen what happens when shelters become overpopulated. The manpower burns out, the funds run out, the occupants health suffers and eventually it all comes crashing down.
I don’t know what the general public thinks happens at a shelter like ours. We start at six am, feed everyone and clean all the kennels and litter boxes. By eight am the phone calls start coming in. The majority of these calls begin with ‘can you take’. One day, two calls were about a total of 70 cats and one lady pulled up wanting us to take 13 (some of them pregnant). Count it, I turned down 83 cats in one morning. There was a call recently that went sort of like this ‘I have to get rid of my dog, he keeps getting my other dogs pregnant’--and on it goes all morning. How sad is that?
In the meantime, most of the time with the help of our faithful volunteers, all the dogs get out time or walks. We make vet trips and pick up donations. We clean all of the yards, make sure the cats get some loving, and handle the seldom adoption and intakes when we have room. We do our own vaccinations and whatever medical treatments and meds that are necessary. We do heartworm prevention for all of our dogs monthly. We show dogs and cats to any and all who are interested in them. After we close the shelter at noon I do the keeping of the records, do posts on Facebook, download pictures that were taken during the course of the day. We do this seven days a week and go back at night to make sure all is well and clean for the night for everyone.
So, if I got offended by the way Sadie was left with us, I can’t apologize. But I didn’t mean to offend anyone by deleting my impulsive post. We mostly take pride in keeping our page drama free and positive and I initiated a firestorm so I decided it was up to me to put it out.
I realize this is quite the ramble, but blogs are allowed to be that, right?