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Friday, Apr. 18th 2014

Dog rescued from shelter attacks 3, fatally shot by deputy


Super Sad Story and a story that needs to be told… 
First off this is my opinion on the situation, with some facts from the story. I do not mean to stereotype or create the assumption that all shelters are like this because they are not! In fact most if not all shelters are overworked, underpaid and held to standards that I feel in some cases are unattainable… That being said lets start with the definition of “No Kill”  (I got this from Wiki, and please understand this alone will not be agreeable to everyone)….

A no-kill shelter is a shelter that saves all healthy, treatable and rehabilitatable animals. A rule of thumb is that, to be no-kill, a shelters saves more than 90% of all animals received.[5] Ideally, No Kill would mean all “adoptable” and “treatable” animals are saved and only “unadoptable” or “non-rehabilitatable” animals are euthanized, but 90% is the threshold. Definition of the terms adoptableunadoptable and what is treatable, may vary widely between organizations[6] and this has led to controversy. A common definition used by shelters is that of the Asilomar Accords, created by a group who described themselves as “some of the most influential leaders in the animal welfare movement”.[7][8] The Asilomar Accords definition has been criticized by other No-kill proponents as being too vague, which may lead to “misuse and misapplication”.[9]

Public pressure in my opinion caused a lot of this problem, along with the idea that aggression can fixed… Many of you know I think about aggression like alcoholism or anger management… They are things that can be modified and or improved but never completely fixed… And due to social media ability to “firestorm” a story a shelter can get unbelievable pressure to make a bad decision.
I am not gonna be popular saying this but there are dogs that are just plain not adoptable! It is our job (shelters, trainers veterinarians and such) to consider societies safety before all else and as this story points out even when with a professional trainer the dog bit again… Could other things be tried, sure but at what point does the risk out weight the reward? Some would say never and that all dogs should be saved but in my opinion this is just not possible,fair, safe or humane…
All this being said the real solution to the aggression problem is in prevention not treatment…. As the saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… There are to many people getting dogs and never socializing them or training them and then turning them into the local pound or shelter when they can no longer “deal” with the dog…
The other thing I want people to understand about aggression is the time it sometimes takes to classically or opperantly condition/train dogs like this… I consistently warn clients that this is a protocol that will take months if not years not days or weeks… It is easy to say you can commit to this type of training and management lifestyle but in reality people start of great and then just quit the training leaving society with another dog that if pushed or put in the wrong situation could harm another dog or human. As I said at the outset this article it is probably gonna make someone mad and be some what unpopular but this horrific story needs to at least make us think… Everyone from the shelter to the person thinking they want to save that dog.
My heart goes out to everyone involved there will not only be physical scars but mental ones as well. As always your comments are welcome…..
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