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The Dark Side of Animal Rescue by Donna Wilkins

Seldom a day goes by that I Could Have Been Adopted (ICHBA) does not receive an email from other rescues pleading to save dogs scheduled to die because their animal control facilities are high-kill shelters that have either run out of space or have a time limit on the number of days they keep an animal.

I don’t even open these emails anymore since there is no way our small group can help. Our own county is already overrun with homeless dogs and cats. But those unopened emails lead me to question whether humans should have domesticated the wolf and wildcat to the point of complete dependence. Would they have been better off if left to fend for themselves like deer, squirrel, wild turkey, raccoon, possum, and bear?

People get indignant about dogs roaming alone or in packs, killing chickens and goats, raiding garbage bins, rousing us from deep sleep with barking, going to ground under porches, camping out on our doorsteps waiting for a hand out, and producing litter upon litter.

What is amazing to me is that many people hold the animals responsible for all of the above. As if they got together and hatched a plan. The fact is that those of us with two legs are simply reaping what we have sown.

Consider these examples ICHBA handles on a daily basis: We met the man who thinks neutering his dog makes him less manly. A woman wanted a puppy from her beloved female dog, mated her, kept one offspring, but gave the rest away without considering the problem of overpopulation. Once, we watched six puppies rain down from a box a man casually tossed into the air in the middle of a field. We’ve confirmed that our local law enforcement officers, concerned about a pack of stray dogs, lured them into an enclosed space with live chickens, and then shot them like fish in a barrel. For six months, ICHBA has been tracking a feral dog that has had 18 puppies. More than likely she has given birth to at least 18 other pups in the six months prior.

In this day and age of instant access to information, not knowing can no longer be used as an excuse for not having dogs and cats “fixed.” In addition to being educated about spaying and neutering, it’s easy to find clinics to do the surgery plus provide basic vet care at a very affordable price. For help please write to thefarnival@gmail.com.

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