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The Historical Mandate for Dog Adoption

The Historical Mandate for Dog Adoption

A headline in the Long Island Star, December 8, 1876, stated, “Two Bull Dogs Chew Each Other Up.” Cheered on by gamblers, the $1,000 dog fight continued for nearly four hours.

Throughout history, the inhumane treatment of dogs was scarcely noticed. Children and factory laborers were often subjected to physical and emotional abuse without scandal. So the fate of a dog was not even on the radar screen of the average person.

Unwanted or abandoned New York City dogs were frequently drowned in iron cages that had been lowered into a river.

But all that was to change with the arrival on the scene of Henry Bergh, a wealthy New Yorker. Bergh, a fierce defender of horses, dogs, and all animals against abuse he dedicated his life to the organization he founded in 1866, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA. This would become the historical mandate for dog adoption.

Henry and his ASPCA awakened the nations’ consciousness to the plight of dogs and animals everywhere, as ensuing years would find in the ASPCA a model for societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, (SPCAs) across the land.

Preventing animal cruelty soon demanded that a program be established for the adoption of unwanted dogs to new homes giving them a second chance at life. The SPCAs would lead the way in making this a reality and are a critical component in the current effort to save dogs from abandonment and death.

Why would anyone abandon their dog today?

There are many reasons why….some understandable ( I did not say acceptable), most not…here’s a few :

Dog “Buyer’s Remorse”-: A weekend trip to the pet shop, a birthday or holiday gift, geez a dog is such a great idea ! But then the reality sets in that a dog is a living being that needs food, exercise, medical care and affection. Too much trouble? Drop the dog off at the pound…or just dump the poor puppy at a park or on the road.

Change in Lifestyle or Financial Hardship: If a pet owner loses his/her job or moves to a new home where dogs are not permitted, Fido often finds his love rewarded with a new address at the local animal shelter

Death of Owner: When a death occurs in a family, it is quite common to see Mom or Dad’s best friend being dumped at the local pound by family members who either can’t or won’t provide home and sactuary to a beloved dog.

Run Away Dog- Fido the dog runs off to play and have fun. Perhaps, the dog runs away due to abuse. If the dog owner can not or does not try to find the dog, he may well end up caged in a pound until adopted or euthanized.

Failing Health: Certain serious health conditions may make dog care an impossibility or prohibited by a medical practitioner. These otherwise wonderful dogs may be dumped at a shelter or abandoned by the owner or a family member.

Long Distance Move- When people move to another city, state or to a foreign country, the responsibility of taking a dog along may be more work than the owner is willing to endure. And in the case of international moves, quarantine laws may make the transition difficult. The easy solution for many, sadly, is to dump the dog at the local dog pound and never look back.

Allergic Reactions- Some people complain of allergies to dog fur, dander and the like. When they sneeze, Fido is shuffled off to dog prison.

Loss of Interest- A puppy or dog is brought home and everyone agrees that this new dog will be the family pet for a lifetime. When the novelty of dog gurdianship wanes, the dog is surrendered to an animal shelter
Millions of wonderful dogs are euthanized in the United States and other countries each year. Until recently, unwanted dogs in Tijuana Mexico shelters were electrocuted.

For those of us who find all this dog abuse abhorent, there are ways to help.

Educate your friends and family about the wonderful dogs that can be found at shelters. Many people believe that no “good dogs” are to be found at a pound.

Volunteer at a dog rescue or animal shelter and help the organization find unwanted dogs and puppies a new home.

Support” no-kill” efforts in your area prohibiting the killing of dogs and puppies in shelters.

Dogs-4Life.com offers news, information and resources on dog adoption, dog rescue, dog nutrition and dog care.
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