Sunday, September 11, 2011

Casey's Voice and A Bit More

“What kind of idiot would take their dog and pay money at that place!" I remember that day someone said this to me very well.  To be truthful, mainly because of the comment, but also because it was the beginning of the end for my very dear friend Marilyn. I was sitting in Marilyn's hospital room when her husband Dave made the comment.  I turned around and said "I'm one of those idiots."  Dave looked at me as his cheeks grew redder than Santa Claus's.  Dave never mentioned it again, but I was sure to remind him about it!
So let’s see what else I have heard about day care dogs.  Well, they are spoiled, their owners are rich or well to do, often so lazy they won't exercise their own dog, and the list goes on.  I have also been asked, why I volunteer my time at a "for-profit" establishment?  Well, the list of my reasons goes on and on.  But let me say one thing:  Central Bark Doggy Day Care has treated my family very well when we needed help and no other business in the area could have helped in the way they did when we needed it the most.  I will also tell you that I choose not to volunteer my time at Lakeshore Humane Society for very specific reasons, which I will explain to you at a much later date. It has nothing to do with any of the dogs or cats that reside there.
I might as well get this out right now, I am frustrated. No, I am very frustrated with Bay Area Humane Society in Green Bay.  You see, one of the ‘spoiled’ dogs that visits Central Bark Doggy Day Care, whose name is Casey, is sitting up at Bay Area Humane Society’s shelter right now because his very responsible owners surrendered him back to the shelter they adopted him from.  Did I just call them responsible?  Yes I did!  I knew Casey's owners.  They were an elderly couple who had adopted Casey months before from Bay Area Humane Society.  Casey is a Border Collie mix who had been surrendered by previous owners.  Well now, maybe your thinking "what did Casey do, bite someone?" No, Casey was a lovely dog.  He was a puppy and just 11 months old.  Why did the responsible owners surrender Casey back to the shelter if he was a good dog, isn’t that wrong?  Did I mention he was a Border Collie mix?  Did I mention he was a puppy?  Well those two factors could explain why an elderly couple would want to surrender Casey. After all, Border Collies are high energy dogs and even more so as puppies. Now I don't know how well Bay Area Humane Society educated Casey's owners about his breed and the responsibilities that come with it, but knowing his owners, I  would bet they did not educate them one bit!
Casey came to Central Bark every Wednesday.  It was the same day I was there every week.  Casey was wonderful!  So what went wrong?  Absolutely nothing was wrong with the owners and nothing with Casey.  Is there anyone to blame here other than the shelter?  I'm blaming the shelter?  No, not exactly, but do you think Casey would be back at the shelter a second time around had the shelter done its job?  Probably not.
I have another bone to pick with Bay Area Humane Society.  Central Bark, upon finding out Casey had been surrendered, called the shelter to tell them they would like to pull Casey and keep him at Central Bark until they could find an owner.  Gee, what a gracious offer!  Taking Casey back into an environment he knows, and place him among people he knows and love him, would be wonderful.  Why would you not jump at that and say “that would be great for Casey”?  But would it be great for Bay Area Humane?  No, Why?  Well, maybe money is the reason?  Let’s see, he was adopted out at least once before so far as we know of, for around $200, then he was brought back and adopted out for another $200 and now, he's back again, which will bring in another $200 when he is adopted again.  So, keeping Casey at the shelter is in the shelter’s best interest, right?  That's what Stephanie, from the shelter told Erroll, the Central Bark Manager, "We think Casey has a better chance of getting a home from our facility, rather than letting him go to yours." So, you’re telling me that if we could ask Casey he would say, "Yes, keep me here with no one I know, eating food I don't like when I could be running outside with my friends?"  Give me a break!  This isn't about Casey’s welfare at all.  This is about the almighty dollar!  Bay Area Humane does not have Casey's best interest at heart.  So, shame on you, Bay Area Humane Society, for not allowing Central Bark to care for him until they could find a home for him.
Dogs that attend doggy day care are not any different than other dogs.  Their owners are not rich.  My dogs go there and that proves that point.  Owners are not lazy! Sometimes doggy day cares are the last resort people have to help their dogs.  Oh, and that takes me back to the shelters.  Why are there not any programs in place to help people when they do have problems with their dogs?  Would that not reduce owner surrenders? Why couldn't a volunteer man a phone or meet with people to go over strategies to help keep dogs in homes, rather than surrender them.  Thank you Central Bark for being the only resource in the community for helping dogs out.  Shelters need to step up and play that role in their community as the resource to go to for answers, about problems people face with their animals in the community. Quit blaming the public for populating your shelter.  You can be the solution to problems of animal welfare. 
In the meantime Casey is sitting at the shelter and not at Central Bark.  What a shame!

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