Dependable Erection

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dog story

Posted on my neighborhood listserv last night:
My husband XXXXX just found a dog on Leon St in our neighborhood. It's a white female and she appears to be pregnant. My neighbors report that she's been hanging out under a neighbor's house today and acting a little snarly. We have no experience with pregnant dogs but my husband thinks she may be very close to whelping. He is taking her to the animal hospital. If you know anything about this dog please email me. XXXXX asked me not to give any other identifying information as he fears someone might claim her to get the puppies. But the opposite is just as likely--that someone dumped her because they did not want the puppies. She has a collar but no tags. If she is microchipped the hospital will figure that out.


The followup email shared the info that the animal hospital wanted $1000 to deliver the puppies, which are due in the next 1-2 days. Which of course the good Samaritans who found the dog aren't in a position to pay. (Who is these days?)

But the real key is the highlighted sentence above. This is almost certainly another of Durham's abundance of unregistered dogs. We've got pretty much no money in the county budget for dealing with the thousands of dogs that make their way to the shelter each year, about 400 of which end up being euthanized, which is a polite way of saying killed.

But do any of our politicians think we need to come up with a better way of ensuring that the thousands of irresponsible dog owners bear the burden of the their irresponsibility and pay the full cost that they are currently making the rest of us bear?

Hah!

UPDATE
: I stand corrected. Here's the latest email:
The pregnant stray we brought home last night successfully birthed eight
pups overnight and this morning. All are alive and healthy (and
completely adorable). We located the owner through the Durham animal
shelter.
Owner, dog, and pups were reunited this afternoon. I send my
heartfelt thanks to my neighbors who sent well wishes and offers of
money, food, crates, and other kinds of help. It was very much
appreciated. Our next-door neighbors XXXXX and XXXXXX were a huge help,
and their friend XXXX, who used to be a vet tech, was generous with her
time as well.

The owner intends to sell the puppies; in fact, six are spoken for
already. She has no plans to spay the dog, which we both found
distressing. But that's another (long) story and definitely another
post. We were happy to see the dog happy, and she was indeed overjoyed
to see her human companion today.

Don't know if that means the owner simply contacted the animal shelter looking for their dog, and they were able to be hooked up with the people who found her, or if the dog was in fact registered. I sincerely hope it was the latter. But of course, the unanswered question remains, how do we incentivize spaying or neutering? Wouldn't it be reasonable to require anyone whose intact dog winds up at the shelter to neuter it as a condition of it being released? Wouldn't that save the rest of us a bunch of money in the long run?

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4 Comments:

  • My Mom says, "No good deed goes unpunished."

    Isn't that the truth?

    Mandatory spay & neuter, or at least an free spay & neuter program and tax incentives to make RDU residents sterilize their animals, would go a very long way in helping with this problem.

    By Blogger Laurie, at 9:52 PM  

  • I've been thinking that a free spay and neuter program, regardless of income, is the way to go. How much does APS have to spend to take care of 1, 2, 5 or more litters of pups from each un-spayed dog that is owned by an irresponsible owner? How much less would it be to spay that one dog? How much does it cost animal control to chase down stray and loose dogs? I'm sure that it's a massive amount of money.

    I like your suggestion to require spay/neuter of dogs brought into APS that are running loose and are claimed by their owners. I think the key, however, is to do it at no charge. As soon as you start levying hefty fees you'll greatly increase the chance that the owners won't claim the dog and will just get a new puppy, leaving APS to care for the dog at great expense and hope to hell that they can find someone to adopt it.

    We have to stop the flood of puppies that are the result of irresponsible dog owners. Until we can do that, we are just spinning our wheels, stuck in the mud.

    By Blogger SteveG, at 9:37 AM  

  • In response to the update, perhaps the kind people who sacrificed their time and efforts to help this mother dog give birth should request that the dog owner reimburse them for all of their expenses, as well as the time that they spent. If the owner won't pay up, maybe they should consider taking them to court.

    That may be the only thing that will cause this irresponsible dog owner to grow up and act like an adult. Buying a damned dog tag and/or microchipping is a hell of a lot less expensive, and less embarrassing, than dealing with angry neighbors or a judge.

    By Blogger SteveG, at 9:43 AM  

  • I don't know how you can incentivize sterilization beyond the tiered registration fees already in place (which are a fine idea.) If people are non-compliant with registration, then there's really no reason to expect them to sterilize, either.

    I have no problem with sterilizing any and all animals that end up in the shelter, and billing the owners for it when they claim them.

    Related: when I moved here with my dog, getting him registered at the lower (sterilized) rate proved to be terribly complicated. We had adopted him from a rescue in AZ, and he was fixed when we got him. We therefore had no record of his sterilization. Further, no vet (here or there) would vouch for his sterilization since they hadn't done it. In the end, I ended up taking him to the office on E. Club and insisting that someone personally convince themselves that my dog indeed had no testicles.

    I finally got someone who cheerfully agreed to do so, but the fact that they found the request unusual suggests to me that: 1) most people would not go to that much trouble; and 2) the process could probably stand to be streamlined a bit.

    By Blogger Brian, at 10:50 AM  

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