Shannon Nott received a yellow Lab puppy as a gift from her daughter early last year. She named her Lucy. While Ms. Nott worked during the day, Lucy did the typical things you would expect of a young Lab left alone – she dug at the carpet, chewed on furniture and chewed a hole in the wall. Not knowing how to handle Lucy’s destructive behavior, Ms. Nott agonized over the situation and ultimately decided to take Lucy to the Kansas Humane Society so they could adopt her out to a good home. Last week, she surrendered Lucy to the Kansas Humane Society along with “her rawhide bone, toys, brushes and a new bag of dog food”. Ms. Nott was very distraught over her decision but thought it was the right thing to do. She signed the surrender form, including an acknowledgement that she was choosing not to purchase, for a $30 fee, an option to reclaim the dog if she changed her mind.
Ms. Nott went to her car in the pound’s parking lot and called her sister, sobbing. Together, they decided that Ms. Nott should go back and get Lucy and they would “figure something out”. But when she returned to the pound’s lobby, she learned the Kansas Humane Society had already deemed Lucy unadoptable – due to the description of the inappropriate chewing behaviors – and had killed her.
Kim Janzen, the Humane Society president and CEO, said, “To an outsider, it’s going to seem that we acted rashly, but we didn’t.”
Janzen said she couldn’t say how often an animal is put down in the relatively short time frame that Nott’s pet was.
Really? Couldn’t say? So I take it this is not an isolated case of barbarism on the part of the Kansas Humane Society but rather one of many – too many to count apparently.
It doesn’t help an animal with severe anxiety to be placed in a kennel, and that animal’s stress would raise stress for other animals at the shelter, Janzen said.
“Ultimately, what we wanted to do is avoid putting the animal through additional stress.”
How kind of the Kansas Humane Society to avoid subjecting Lucy to the stress of sitting in a kennel by subjecting her to the stress of the kill room instead.
Most people won’t adopt a large pet with such behavior, she said.
Well maybe, but definitely nobody will adopt her if she’s dead.
The newspaper contacted the ASPCA for comment on the situation and the ASPCA representative basically says the owner should have tried harder to find the dog a home herself and the pound is not to blame for the immediate and needless killing of Lucy:
“When faced with the incredibly tough decision to relinquish an animal, the ASPCA encourages pet owners to explore every possible option — including checking with local breed rescue groups and no-kill shelters as well as friends, neighbors and family members to see if they might be able to help care for that animal — before relinquishing it to an open-admission shelter that in all likelihood is already overburdened.”
See, the Kansas Humane Society is already overburdened. So they really can’t be faulted for taking a normal, healthy Lab immediately to the kill room. Cos, you know – overburdened and stuff.
You know who else is overburdened? Every rescuer I know. Every no kill shelter I know. Every caring pet owner who takes in a pet off the street or puts food out for community pets or fosters pets off death row from their local kill shelter to save their lives. And yet none of them are killing pets. How can the ASPCA seriously defend this abominable practice? Where is the condemnation for the killing of Lucy and those like her in pet slaughterhouses all over this country? It’s outrageous.
Shame on the Kansas Humane Society for killing Lucy and shame on the ASPCA for its failure to condemn the killing. Both organizations should be overburdened – with shame.