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There was an article today in the Houston Chronicle about the confiscation of over 300? 400? Mini Pins, Poms, Chinese Crested and mini horses by Harris County Animal Control from some greeder/sadist. We are almost at the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey which tasked our shelters to the breaking point and I can see the economic corollary. People brought their animals to the George R. Brown, but they left them. Post-Harvey housing options set up a Sophie’s Choice situation regarding pets for many people.

Having worked at a no kill shelter in an affluent area, I can attest that no adopting family was ever quizzed on succession ownership plans nor counseled on puppy/dog/cat cost reality. The breed rescues do much better screening, but they’re not stuffing three dogs in a crate with 300 at the door.
 

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These issues are extremely complex, aren't they?


A dog that spends a long time in a shelter before being adopted is likely to have lots of behavioral baggage. Then they get adopted by a well meaning but perhaps unskilled family that won't know how to handle the dog's problems. This then makes business for all of the various private trainers that are out there, some of whom are great and some of whom are clueless and some of whom are downright dangerous for the dogs and their people.


Seizure of dogs from puppy mills (which is I guess what happened near you Mfmst) doesn't do anything to shut down puppy mills. The only thing that will do that is to give them no outlet for their product. When puppies and adult dogs are surrendered by miller you better believe that the miller knows it is to their profit advantage to do so. It lets them get rid of spent breeders or breeds that are no longer moving well.


After the 2008 financial collapse lots of people in my area had to give up their homes and often also ended up giving up their animals. Our shelters and adoption organizations were overrun. The same has been true after natural disasters too. One of our current neighbors had a Katrina dog and my aunt and her family adopted two dogs from Puerto Rico over the winter.



While I want all dogs to lead happy and fulfilled lives I also feel that shelters are not the way to move dogs towards that kind of life. Shelters should be places of extreme last resort as should be breed rescues. Better education of prospective owners before getting a puppy so people make realistic choices about rescue vs. buying from a reputable breeder etc. would help.
 

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And just to pile it on, of the 800 (!) animals rescued without owners after Hurricane Harvey, only about 30 were reunited with their families. The shelter people surmised they were abandoned long before the rains started. These numbers make my jaw drop. It’s such a hydra-headed problem. I wish we could all make peace with the harsh truth that some animals should not be available for adoption and that some people are not good bets for forever homes.
 

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It is a sobering and harsh truth, but there are some shelter dogs that really are broken beyond repair or at the least beyond the skills of most people to deal with. I know two people who made the very hard decisions to euthanize rescued dogs that were just wired wrong, both had bitten their owners to the point of drawing blood and/or sutures. I admire the desire to take on a dog in need, but both of these people were heartbroken by the dogs' endings and both could have found lovely puppies through various routes and had nice life long companions.
 
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