Lockdown has been a wild ride of emotions for everyone. But one thing that has made it bearable for some people, has been the calming presence of a furry companion. As a result, the number of adoptions has increased.
While we may initially think this is a good thing for all those homeless animals, it’s unfortunately not always the case. There is a downside to adoptions during the pandemic, namely the fact that some of these adoptions are made as hasty decisions that can later have heartbreaking consequences for the animals involved.
Because of this, one vet – who has chosen to remain anonymous – has put out a plea to people to really take adoption matters to heart before acquiring a dog during lockdown following their having to euthanize a perfectly healthy puppy. The vet posted the story to Facebook through the Yorkshire Rose Dog Rescue site. The deeply sad post explained how this wasn’t an isolated incident, but a disturbing trend that they were seeing more frequently.
The post read:
“Today a man brought his dog in to me. The dog was a large, boisterous adolescent puppy. He hurtled into the room, bouncing up to me excitedly, wagging his tail all the time and nudging at my hand with his muzzle. His big squishy paws crashed against my chest each time he paused to greet me, as he bounded around the room investigating all the smells. He was an unusual cross, very striking to look at and obviously a bright and energetic dog. He was adorable.”
The vet then continued, saying that the puppy was purchased by a couple who were told that the animal was a mix of two small dog breeds. However, that wasn’t the case and after the couple took it home, they watched as it began to grow. When it proved to be incompatible with their life as the parents of a toddler, they decided to re-home it to a family member who had a tough time managing the dog.
They claimed that it was too hyperactive and destructive. The vet then explained, “I was not surprised to hear this, since it was obvious to me from this dog’s heritage that it was the sort of dog which had significant needs in terms of exercise and stimulation.”
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The vet further explained that after the dog growled aggressively at a child, it was brought in by the family to be put to sleep. The family felt they couldn’t handle it, and all local and national rescue organizations were too full to take on one more dog. The vet was devastated at having to put this dog down right in the prime of his life.
The vet added, “I know there will be people who think I was right to put down a dog who has shown any signs of aggression under any circumstances. I disagree. I know there will be people who think I was wrong to put down a dog when I could have taken it and found it a new home. I disagree. I also know that there will be many many people who have no idea that this is happening all the time in this country because of irresponsible ignorant greedy people, selling dogs to irresponsible ignorant feckless people, who then pass them on to naive and thoughtless ‘rescuers’ who eventually get to the end of their tether and bring them to me for euthanasia. All the time.”
The vet then went on to implore people to reconsider getting a dog on a whim, and if they do decide to get a dog, to always make sure that they seek qualified advice from such sources such as vets, the Kennel Club, the Blue Cross, the Dog’s Trust, the RSPCA, qualified behaviorists – essentially pointing out there is always a lot of information and there is no excuse for ignorance. The vet further asked that people acquire their dogs either from a rescue center or a reputable breeder – both sources which have decent screening processes.
The vet’s heartbreaking post followed up with, “Find out how to bring your puppies up properly so if you do find your circumstances change then at least they are rehomable. Make sure you can afford to pay for the unexpected. Make sure your expectations are fair. Please, because I can’t keep having to do this.”
Naturally, there were many people who posted to the message, sharing how devastated they were to hear about the frequency with which this can happen. And the sad post was further validated by some heart-wrenching stats from the British Veterinary Association survey which shows that 98% of vets have been asked to euthanize healthy pets, with about 53% of them stating that it wasn’t a common request. And of course, the most common citation for such requests is “bad behavior.”
Hopefully people will remember to be more mindful of what dogs they choose to take on and will make informed decisions. What do you think of this vet’s post? Let us know!
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