Tuesday, February 17, 2009

numb

The 145(?) Wilkesboro dogs are gone, dead, deceased, destroyed, euthanized, killed, put to rest, murdered, at peace, slaughtered, put to sleep ... Choose your description.

A few days ago I made a special trip to the shelter as I was asked to help put down a couple of code 597 (cruelty case) American Bulldogs that had spent their lives on chains and concrete. They looked like they were ten years old, but in reality were more like three. Their ears and tails cut off, sores abound, and starving. They were used as guard dogs and had displayed such characteristics in the kennels, so weren’t really right for this world anymore, but I was able to get them out separately for play sessions to make their last minutes as happy as possible before their end.

We knew it was the right thing to do, but nonetheless, it sucks. It’s that funny feeling that just sticks with ya for awhile until you aren’t sure why you have that odd feeling. You wake up feeling strange, then memory serves ... you killed a couple of dogs yesterday. Not something I have gotten completely used to, don’t know if I ever will, and don’t know that I ever want to.

So with today’s awful news, my mind went right back to the euthanasia room. The Wilkesboro shelter workers must have gone into overtime with this enormous task. Seventy some beautiful adult dogs, and sixty some beautiful puppies (all deemed dangerous without evaluation due to their address, as they lived with a felony dogfighter). I can’t help but wonder how those people are doing who were basically forced to kill all these innocent dogs.

Who gets to do the awful deed; the dirty work? The low-wage shelter workers who have no say in the matter; usually the same people who have cared for these dogs, who've gotten to know the dogs and have seen for themselves how truly wonderful most of them are. How are they feeling right now? I think I know.

31 comments:

Luisa said...

140+ dogs...

Michael Vick must be shaking his head in amazement.

Gonna puke now.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the kind words for shelter workers who have to do the awful deed of participating in euthanasia. I've been active in rescue for about 6 years, and I know the person who does euthanasias at my local shelter, and the animals she has been forced to kill haunt her all the time. She is an employee of the local HS that contracts with the county to run the shelter. It's an open admission shelter in rural south Georgia. She dreams regularly of a trial at her death where she must answer for the death she has dealt. Not her fault, of course, but she feels guilty.

But, she does this soul destroying work for very little pay because she loves them. If she doesn't do it, who will? Someone who loves them and treats them with dignity?

She is often verbally attacked by reps of rescues and the general public for all sorts of reasons, often for the fact that the shelter euthanizes when necessary to make space for incoming animals. The public does not seem to realize that they, or at least some of them, are at fault for treating dogs as disposable, failing to spay/neuter, and so on.

It never gets any easier to choose which animals live and which ones die, nor should it. If it becomes easy, it's time to quit and move on to save your own soul/spirit. It's an awesome responsibility and should be undertaken with a heavy heart and lingering regret.

Amanda said...

AGH! This SUCKS! As you said, Tim. =(

And ironically enough, Hector just became a certified therapy dog...strange how these things work out huh?!

Wait, no...it's not strange at all. He was given a chance. Caring people saw it in him, made sure he made it into a wonderful home who could bring all that wonderful potential to fruition.

Too bad these dogs weren't given that chance, even though it was offered.

Thanks for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Honestly: don't know how you do it. I think about it often--I do not think I have that kind of strength. I only know how deeply grateful I am that compassionate people like you are there for them. I hope that judge in NC and the so-called 'expert' from the 'Hu-freaking-mane' society have nightmares.

Millie Hubbard, Ft Myers, FL said...

I am just sick to my stomach and want to cry. How can this happen with so many people wanting to help these dogs? I need to leave work and go home and hug my furry babies.

MK Wewer said...

I agree with you. This a horrible, horrible mess. Is Bad Rap aware that over a dozen dogs were seized in Gates County this morning? Those dogs will be killed too if this fear mongering over pitbulls does not stop. We need to make people aware that Best Friends and Bad Rap and rehab these animals...How can I help?

Jerry said...

To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime. ~Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915
Almost 100 years later, and here we still are. So sad.

csdaniel said...

Tim,

Sorry to hear about the 2 boys at OAS. I spent a little time with them last week and was saddened by their condition...people can really suck. Someone has to make the hard decisions, and at least they had you to help them on their way.

As to the destroyed dogs, words fail me. I naively thought with all the goods things that have happened, that this horrible situation would turn out well too.

Stay strong....

Anonymous said...

I cannot seem to do anything but cry over this...

Most of these dogs were PUPPIES! Puppies that did not even have a chance... then you have some MORON saying that they are bred to kill....
http://www.myfox8.com/wghp-vid-pit-bulls-090217,0,1413812.worldnowvideo

I will never ever step foot in NC for any reason....

Numb is the only word I can come up with to describe this feeling.... Tim, Donna, and the rest of the Bad Rap staff... Thank you for what you do... The Pit Bull Community is grateful we have you.

Amy
Colorado Pit Bull Rescue

Anonymous said...

God Bless everyone who tried to help.
I killed dogs and cats 35 years ago.
They used to gas the cats and electrocute the dogs.
It still haunts me to this day.
Are changes needed? Yes
But no Shelter worker should be blamed.
People at the top who resist change and aren`t doing the killing...blame them.

Blame the Organizations like HSUS and PeTA.
Blame the Judicial System.
Blame the Dog Fighters.
But don`t blame the people who have tears in their eyes,a lump in their throat and a knot in their stomach when they type about it.

Don`t EVER get used to it Tim.
That`s when people can say there is something wrong with people like you.

Princess said...

I'm so saddened by this, I had trouble sleeping last night thinking this was the outcome. Even more saddened knowing it's the truth.

Thank you Tim, Donna, Linda, Mike and all the others that do so much good and make so much progress every day, yet have to live with set backs like this. We all thank you and support everything you do!!

Anonymous said...

How incredibly sad!!! At least a few of those poor souls got a few minutes of play time before their final peaceful sleep. Its such a heartache to see all those poor dogs put down before they really had a chance. Tonight, when I snuggle and go to sleep with my precious baby, we will say a prayer for all those lost souls. Keep your head up, I know you guys tried your hardest to intervene. Some people just dont get it.

Rinalia said...

Well, that fricking sucks (on all levels).

Does make me appreciate the small victories all the more, though. It's all we've got to hold onto (besides our dogs, of course).

Brian Cluxton said...

This is so sad! The picture/painting here looks exactly like our wonderful American Bulldog, Sasha. I need to go home and hug her soon.

PitBullLadyDesigns said...

It boggles the mind. . . the senseless death that humans, distanced from the actual animal, can impose on creatures without thought or care for the thoughts of those closest to the actual situation.

Melody Polakow said...

I am so incredibly saddened and outraged.

Dina said...

Tim, you never get used to it. The day that you are used to it, is the day that you stop, because on that day, you have become less than human.

The choices are difficult; behaviors and fears taught by humans, socialization never done, killing for space, for age, for medical reasons....it all happens, it will all keep on happening and the BEST you can hope for is that you NEVER get USED TO IT.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim for speaking on behalf of the shelter workers who were forced to kill all those innocent dogs.
I am a low-paid, stressed out, heart broken shelter worker who cannot imagine what killing 60 puppies in a day must feel like. My heart aches for the poor people who had to carry out the HSUS's disgusting, hypocritical, uneducated verdict.
Thank you for all you do - I'm staring at Hector on my Bust Calendar now - how lucky we are to have him in our world!

Kirsten said...

Thank you, for this post, and for all the great work you guys do.

Anonymous said...

I left the sheltering world 3 years ago, and at the time, I felt I was doing the right thing by euthanizing the "unadoptable" animals. (There were some real unadoptables-but also the pitty puppies, and scared pets that just needed time.) There's not a day that goes by now that I don't feel shame and guilt over that, and there's nothing I can ever to do make up for it.

But what you did for those dogs was the right thing. While it's your burden now, you gave them the gift of being there to care when they needed it. Thank you.

As for the NC pittys...just awful. Awful for them, awful for the community. Shame on HSUS. What a disappointment, after what we've learned from Vicktory dogs. It is a loss for the world.

Heather said...

I think everyone above has said it, sick to my stomach, unnecessary, outrageous, saddening these are just some of the thoughts that go through my mind. After everything you and BestFriends and the other organizations that helped give the Vick dogs the love they deserve. I am so disheartened for you. I literally yesterday sent the details to every dog lover I knew to make those calls. I have written a piece on my blog and are sending people your way. Thank you for standing up for our bully breed.

Anonymous said...

"Seventy some beautiful adult dogs, and sixty some beautiful puppies (all deemed dangerous without evaluation due to their address, as they lived with a felony dogfighter). I can’t help but wonder how those people are doing who were basically forced to kill all these innocent dogs."

I pity the poor workers who were basically forced to kill the innocent dogs. We all have to live with the decisions we make daily. In this economy a job is a job sometimes - sad but true. Can one sleep after a day's job? I am having great difficulty sleeping tonight.

Anonymous said...

"You wake up feeling strange, then memory serves ... you killed a couple of dogs yesterday. Not something I have gotten completely used to, don’t know if I ever will, and don’t know that I ever want to."

You put them to rest. Not an easy process to go through - it shouldn't be. Thank you for your dedication and compassion.

leigha said...

i will never get used to the fact that this happens so often and so ignorantly to the poor dogs in these cases. and i will always hold onto hope that better days are coming for our beloved pitties everywhere. though it brightens my world to know of the wonderful lives the vick dogs are now leading, at the same time my world darkens and my heart aches to know that these dogs in nc paid the ultimate price for being in the hands of the monster who bred them. and to those who made this so very horrible inhumane decision to have these dogs euthanized with no consideration for the ones who could have a full life, i hope you know that your decision broke the hearts of many. the humane society of the u.s. will be hearing from me. to those dogs.. rip sweet babies, go to rainbow bridge. i am crying my eyes out over this. so very sad...

Tim said...

Thanks for all your kind words, they have allowed me to let go some of those tears that needed to come after feeling so numb for too long. But I still can't imagine what the Wilkesboro shelter workers are going through. There must be quite a bit of resentment for starters.

Katie said...

I have thought, at times, about applying for work at one of the shelters near me. They have improved their kill rates significantly in the past several years, but still they do euth plenty. And plenty of those dogs are pits, just because that's what they get so many of.

I am no stranger to euthanizing animals. I've worked half a dozen years in veterinary medicine. But it's different, it's oh so different. And at the end of the day, I just don't think I have the resiliency to do it.

I have such sadness in my heart over those NC dogs, dogs I never saw, dogs I never looked in the eye, dogs I didn't have to apologize to before doing the unthinkable. I have sadness for those who had to do the deed as well. It's just not right. It's just not fair. On so many levels.

Thoughts said...

This makes me sick to my stomach. So sad.

Anonymous said...

OMG! WTF! I can't even put into words how this makes me feel. PETA has nothing on HSUS. It was the easy way out at the expense of those poor innocent dogs. Thank doG for BAD RAP.

Thugs-R-Us

Jeff (Stu's dad) said...

Can my heart break any more?


The problem with this case was that there was no Vick. No celebrity to draw attention. Where was the “special master” to oversee the evaluation of these dogs?! The Vicktory dogs got that.

Shame on them
Rest in peace beautiful angels.

Jennifer Pit Bull Rescuer and Advocate said...

I am beyond heartbroken over this. Over these innocent souls that were the victims not once but TWICE. More more importantly though, I am INFURIATED. I don't know how and I don't know when but it is my mission to completely expose the HSUS for the hypocritical, heartless bastards that they are.


RIP babies, may you run free from torment.

Samantha Laine said...

Oh. And yes, how were they feeling that day? And how are some still - reeling. And remembering. This picture you have put here. This picture. Goes straight to the heart. Pierces. Wilkes 145. Or 146. Not soon forgotten. Same with the photograph of the Wilkes pup you guys posted. Call me a silly fool but cannot look at him, or her, without crying like a child. And the same with this picture. But tears are good sometimes. Sometimes the only healing wind around. Thank you. Beautiful post.