- July 4, 2019 at 2:34 pm #847010
I mean, you *assume* the people knew it was a kill shelter, you *assume* they had the means and ability to get there between the time of the call and when they came, you *assume* that because they didn’t call that exact shelter looking for their dog that they didn’t try and find it, you *assume* that them not showing up or providing explanation means they don’t care about the dog. See where I’m going here…
An alternate scenario is that they work (one or multiple) jobs that they couldn’t take time off of to make it to the shelter during the hours it’s open (often working hours), or that it took them a few days to gather the money *and* a method of transportation that would get them to the shelter and take their dog home (shelters aren’t often in the most easily accessible places by public transportation). When these people lost their dog, they called many shelters but may have missed that one shelter. Not providing an explanation or giving the story of why they couldn’t make it to the shelter on time doesn’t inherently mean they don’t care; our ability or willingness to provide personal details is cultural.
I read somewhere that 30% of Americans wouldn’t be able to come up with an emergency $400 on the spot if required. Perhaps these people fall into that category. Luckily lots of vets do payment plans.
Anyways, LW, these assumptions– whether there is a potentially explainable story behind it all or that they are callous people who can’t care for their dog or give a shit about it– don’t help you make your decision. If the shelter can give you more info, great. If not, it just depends on how you look at the world.
I see the greyness and inbetweens in all situations and am inclined to believe the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt unless proven otherwise. So therefore, I would give the dog back. That’s what I would be most comfortable with, given the information you relayed about your situation.July 4, 2019 at 4:07 pm #847015
I’d keep the dog. But forget pet owners, hah! I’d hazard a guess that many parents out there would be pretty hard-pressed to come up with $130 for their kid these days.July 5, 2019 at 12:25 am #847040
So to answer a few questions, I asked the shelter multiple times what actually was going on and what information they were given by the previous owners such as how he got lost and what their excuse was… The owners never mentioned an issue to the shelter before about paying or anything and knew the dog could only be held for so many days. I agree the shelter messed up in even bringing him because if not me someone else would fall in love with him for sure. I asked the shelter what I should do and what other people do. They said some give the dog back and others don’t so they were not helpful there. I asked if they could provide me information about the previous owners and they did not have much but that it was two women and neither seemed too eager to get him back and were not emotional. I also asked the supervisors opinion about what I should do and she said multiple times she was comfortable with me keeping him and that she was happy with the way it all worked out… I am not a judgmental person and I understand life can get in the way but I am very skeptical of the lack of urgency to get their dog back when they knew the timeline… to me nothing would stop me from doing everything I can to get my dog back knowing he was at a kill shelter waiting for me for a week.July 5, 2019 at 12:28 am #847041
I personally would keep the dog if I knew the home I was offering was going to be too notch. There are a lot of things we don’t know but any owner that comes casually wandering in days late and hasn’t even offered a phone call in the interim to explain where they are or ask for extra time (phone calls aren’t out of reach of the average person I’d assume) isn’t that desperate to get their dog back. The dog might be healthy now yeah but it’s a young dog, odds are it would be when there isn’t actual abuse present.July 5, 2019 at 12:30 am #847042
And to add it was a kill shelter! Nah forget them, no way would I be that lax if my pet was in actual mortal danger.July 5, 2019 at 8:07 am #847053
Everyone please be extra careful and loving with your dogs. We had a tragedy here last night. I’m on Cape Cod with family and my uncle’s beautiful dog was hit by a car last night and killed. I don’t know what happened and don’t want to know, but I do know they had an extendible leash, and I don’t think those are great for control, and it was after the baseball game and maybe there were crowds and random fireworks. Anyway, please take all the care you can. This is terribly upsetting and I can’t imagine what it’s like for my uncle and aunt. They packed up and drove back to the Midwest this morning. I’m so sad.July 5, 2019 at 8:29 am #847054
They were in contact with the shelter, though. Messages can get lost. A volunteer could have answered and forgotten to write down what the owners said. And you’re only hearing what the shelter is willing to tell you. People can appear calm when experiencing great stress and anxiety. I would give the dog back. If they didn’t care about the dog, they wouldn’t have called at all and wouldn’t have come to pick it up.July 5, 2019 at 8:29 am #847055
Kate, that is terrible and so sad. I’m so sorry for your family.July 5, 2019 at 8:36 am #847057
Thanks Anonymousse. 2 years old. Wtf.July 5, 2019 at 9:35 am #847061
I also think you should give the dog back, or at least get in touch with them. You are only hearing what the shelter told you and I’m with Anonymousse – you didn’t answer their phone calls at the shelter, you don’t know exactly what was said in each conversation. You weren’t there to judge how emotional or not the owners were when they came in. You don’t know anything about their work or life situation. If they don’t really care about getting the dog back, they can tell you that themselves.
We don’t know how this dog came to be in the other owners’ lives, either – perhaps they inherited it from a deceased relative or took it in as a stray puppy. While it is incumbent upon pet owners to provide the best care they can for their pets, it feels icky to me to say that only people who can afford to drop $$$ on vet bills at any time deserve to have pets. If that’s the case, then we may as well send half the country’s puppies off to kill shelters. Given the statistics, most people could not come up with that kind of money, but still can provide loving homes.
Kate, I’m really sorry about your family’s tragedy – that is really awful and sad. Sending hugs.July 5, 2019 at 9:49 am #847062
No, I just… have had dogs my whole life, been hearing people scream about responsibility my whole life, and if you can’t get your dog out of a kill shelter on time or at least call them up and explain and beg for an extension, you’re not a fit dog parent. I get that vets have payment plans, I get there are credit cards, I’m not saying you have to have an 8-month emergency fund to have a pet, but there’s just a basic level of responsibility I think you have to meet, and these people didn’t. I would honestly trust the opinion of shelter staff who deal with this kind of situation all day every day.July 5, 2019 at 1:56 pm #847076
I doubt the shelter can give you their number so that you can talk to them directly. Confidentiality is a big thing.
If you had no doubts that they were good pet owners and loved this dog I’d say give it back. But you do have doubts. The shelter has doubts. You know you will give the dog a good home and you aren’t sure that they will give it a good home. Since the dog can’t talk you have to make the best guess possible. I’d err on the side of making certain the dog has a good home which means you keep it.