Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Letter From A Shelter Manager (The Sad Truth)

A Letter from a Shelter Manager (forwarded to us by Yen):

I think our society needs a huge " Wake-up" call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all. ..a view from the inside if you will.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day.

Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know. That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore.

So how would you feel if you knew that there's about a > 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not!

About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays" that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses I hear are;

"We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat).

" Really? Where are you moving to that doesn't allow pets and why did you choose that place instead of a pet friendly home?

Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would".

How big did you think a German Shepherd would get?

"We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10- 12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs!

"She's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family?

They always tell me: "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog."

Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment
you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies.

Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps.

It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it.

If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose.

If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don't get adopted.

It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are. If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed.

If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long.

Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment.

If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down"....

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk - happy, wagging their tails.

Until, they get to "The Room", every one of them freak out and put the brakes on when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them.

Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are.

Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff".

Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams.

They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pet's corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage.

What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head I deal with everyday on the way home from work.

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much further than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.


Hate me if you want to. The truth hurts and reality is what it is.

I just hope I maybe changed one person's mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog.

I hope that someone will walk into my shelter and say "I saw this and it made me want to adopt." THAT WOULD MAKE IT WORTH IT!



  • At 3:55 PM, Blogger Më| §zë said…

    damn damn damn....

    i had to put my dog down, and that was because she was really old and sick...
    this is what? healthy dogs that have been abandoned...

    dogs do have a very strong sixth sense, they know death is approaching, and can sense a presence nearby.

    i've been telling my friends not to buy their dogs, pick up any stray by the roadside, and chances are, that stray is waaaaaay better than that purebreed that they were gonna get...

    well, at least a few of them did listen.. they got their dogs from friends that have mongrel bitches that had puppies..

    ~to change the world one person at a time~

    but it's still not fast enough to save those poor dogs...

  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger Shoba said…

    God bless you, dear. Pray for those your hands are too small to help and God will do the rest.

    It's like that story of the man walking along the sea shore picking up stranded star fishes and throwing them back into the sea for they would die if left on the shore.

    Another man coming from the other direction crossed paths with him and asked "What is the point of what you are doing? There are hundreds of them along this beach and the beach stretches for miles. What difference will it make?"

    The man who was about to throw a star fish into the sea, looked at it in his hand and replied, "It makes a difference to this one."

  • At 12:59 PM, Blogger kaven said…

    Hello,may I know does Yen's boarding located? I have a dog here in PJ but my hometown is in Peneng. Everytime i went back peneng for holiday i have to look here and there for someone to take care of my dog.I tried a boarding pet hotel once during CNY and it charged ALOT and my dog became thinner when I picked her up. It would be nice if I know my payment for boarding go to help other dogs in need.

  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger kaven said…

    oh,and may i copy and paste this entry to my blog? I hope can persuade my friends not to buy dogs from pet shop.

  • At 10:44 PM, Blogger Shoba said…

    Sure Kaven. Go ahead and copy and paste, but please put link or mention blog

    Yen's telephone number is in the post. You may call her directly. I board my dogs with her too. She is an animal rescuer and does wonderful work rescuing abandoned dogs and re-homing them.

    She uses the income she earns from boarding to help strays and abandoned dogs. So you will be indirectly helping them too by boarding with her.

  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger Rene Yap said…

    AMEN right there.

    That's what I've been trying to tell people. So sick of those 'animal lovers' who don't do their research and go ahead to buy that sweet little puppy at the window.

    x.x One of the ways to bring down puppymills is to firstly, check your law. The law here says that you can only have 3 dogs. No puppymill has ONLY 3 dogs. Bring them down that way.

    Man, I wish I was older so I could get more involved (cuz then, I'd be able to drive). Ah, a few more years.

    Keep up the good work.

  • At 2:59 PM, Blogger Rene Yap said…

    Oh and Mei (?)Sze, try advising that owner of that mongrel bitch to spay his dog?

    Breeding purebreds or mutts (which are not champions or working dogs) are both equally bad.

  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger Shoba said…


    So young and already so wise. I'm impressed. The world needs more kids like you.

    You still can help. Someone is organizing a fund-raising event involving car wash at Sunway. Will be posting details soon on the blog. Would you like to volunteer to wash cars to raise funds for Furry Friends Farm?

  • At 2:49 PM, Blogger Rene Yap said…

    Thanks Shoba. =]
    I would love to if I wasn't in East Malaysia. Perhaps next time when I visit KL during the November/December holidays. =]

    However, I did send a little money (well all the USD I had) from my Paypal to TV Smith for those dogs stuck on the island. Hope things turn better for them dogs over there soon when you guys go back.

  • At 1:35 AM, Blogger Shoba said…

    Oh, were you one of those who sent the money to TV Smith. He and Sabrina were overwhelmed by the generosity of all those who sent in money. It has helped tremendously in the rescue and medical expenses.

    You cannot even imagine what a blessing your thoughtful act has been to the dogs. It has not only helped with the rescue and rehoming but your act of kindness also raised their morale.

    It gave them hope to press on despite the mammoth task ahead. The depression felt over the cruelty of the Pulau Ketam people were countered by the kindness of others like you.


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