I Support Pet Adoption

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: Never say die...URGENT!

Jerry A923616
In Danger!!!
@ the West LA Animal Shelter

One of the most difficult aspects of being a shelter volunteer is working with a dog who may ultimately be euthanized. As much as I have tried to avoid the cruel reality of death at the shelter, every now and then one comes face to face with one of their favorites being put down. It really sucks when it happens and you keep wondering, what could have been different for this particular animal.

Most of the time a dog is only euthanized for severe behavioral problems or extreme illness. The truth is that most behavioral problems can be dealt with and it is a RARE occurrence when a dog is so far gone that death is the only reasonable solution. We are extremely lucky at West LA as we so rarely deal with killing due to over-crowding. Some of the other shelters have it so much worse than we do when it comes to euthanizations in general.

Recently, at WLA, one dog has really gotten the short end of the stick. I'm not sure how, of all the Pit bulls we get into the shelter, this dog's life got so off course. We've had dogs with so many more behavior problems than Jerry! I just think his sweet demeanor led to unrealistic expectations on the part of the adopters, who are mostly unexperienced dog people with good intentions, that is, until something goes wrong.

Jerry, a gorgeous blue and white Pitbull, about 2 years old, who was originally found on the street has now found himself in Quarantine and even worse, possibly put down due to a set of unfortunate circumstances.

Jerry was adopted out twice and returned both times due to aggression issues. The first time it seemed that he was overly protective of the woman with whom he lived and was coming between her and her boyfriend. The second time he "bit" a 15 year old boy who was trying to get Jerry out of a car (or something to that effect). When Jerry was returned, he was immediately sent to Quarantine which means that he couldn't be taken out of his run for 10 days. I have not seen him since he was returned.

I don't know the exact facts about either incident, but what I do know is that Jerry is the victim in this situation. Jerry isn't perfect and may have some some issues that need to be addressed by a professional, but no one has made that effort on his behalf. No one adopted Jerry and thought, gee, maybe we should work with a trainer or maybe we should learn about Pit bulls. Everyone took him at face value and expected him to be perfect, easy and issue free. WRONG!

Frankly, I don't know what Jerry's issues are as I have only seen the sweet and gentle dog who has been at the shelter. He has always been a pleasure to be around. If anything, he could be shy at times, but overall everyone liked him including the staff at WLA which says a lot! But, here we are now discussing his last days. Due to pressure put on the shelter by the people who returned him, Jerry's days are now numbered possibly as soon as This Thursday. If you have any way to help, please call the shelter today!

West Los Angeles Animal Shelter
11361 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

Jerry is RESCUE ONLY. Please circulate.

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