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Dog Stories and Poetry
by Patricia Walter

Animals are Put to Sleep Everyday in Shelters Across the US

Patricia, I do not know you but your actions make me feel you are a loving, caring person, as your husband must be. I have a short story to share with you and all readers about a sad situation last week, and others should also be aware of the circumstances.

Last Saturday I was walking my dog like I have so many days over the past few years at a local park when nearing the end we came upon a stray dog. Some men were working near the dog and helped me to capture it since it was so afraid, and I saw that it was a young puppy about 3 months old, but extremely underfed. The bones were showing through the skin and fur, and it was filthy dirty and smelly, but I was able to cradle him in my arms and drove him to my veterinarian about 3 minutes away. They agreed to check him out and gave him a fair bill of health along with medication for his ring- and round- worm condition, and of course gave him plenty of food and water which he consumed quickly and politely.

I took him home and gave him a bath, probably the first in his life, fed him, and walked him, and allowed him to sleep for several hours, peacefully, on the floor right near my chair. Talking the situation with my live-in girlfriend, she stated that since we already have a dog, it might be best if we gave the stray to the SPCA here in Dallas, and let them try to find a home for him. Since I was unable to get in touch with anyone there at the SPCA, I called several other no-kill establishments and asked for their help, but none were able to accept pets. One man said that a shelter could come and retrieve him and I decided to use that service and called them. They were available 24 hours a day, but the wait was so long that I decided to deliver the dog myself at the 18 mile distance, but they were unresponsive to the locked doors after hours, however they did have a drop box to leave animals in, so I put the puppy in the box and closed the self-locking handle.

I was so sad when the dog looked at me with those small, almond-shaped, brown eyes as if to ask me, �What�s wrong? What did I do? Aren�t we friends?�

When I returned home from that incredibly long ride, I sat in my SUV and wept like a child. (I am fighting tears now just writing this.) Because I was so overcome with grief from what I just did, my girlfriend said that if it mattered so much that we could probably get the dog back and make arrangements with the apartment complex we live in to keep it for a few weeks until it was healthier and we could more easily find a good home for him, as I have done with a stray dog before about two years earlier.

Unfortunately I couldn�t get in touch with anyone but an answering service employee that said I should be able to reach someone on Monday morning since I could not connect with anyone Sunday, try though I often did. I drove down to the shelter again to claim the dog and I was unable to find it. I looked in every cage three times and did not see him. I then asked an employee if I could speak with someone that was working there on Sunday but he was not there on Mondays. Nobody could account for that dog�s whereabouts, and one officer told me, after I described the dog�s emaciated condition, that the dog may have been destroyed if it was in poor enough condition. The officer went to find another person who might be able to tell me more. I said to another young lady employee that I hoped the dog had not been put to sleep in such a short time, and she commented that it wasn�t likely and that usually they wait about 72 hours before doing so.

I found out Tuesday that the dog had been destroyed, and that they destroy dogs every day. There is currently some condition now known as Parva that is contagious, and they could not risk anything spreading to other animals so the decision was made; the animal is their property once it is in their custody. I suffered an excruciatingly painful loss once I found this out.

More people should be aware of these circumstances because of the inconsistent and unforthcoming information I finally uncovered. Had I known that the decision as it happened was possible, I never would have let the dog out of my site.

I hope others will benefit from my mistake and from the information I am passing to you to place on your site and in front of as many people as you can. It is a feeling of remorse that I can�t seem to shake off, and I would save people that feeling anyway I can.

Jim Angel
Dallas, TX
[email protected]


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