Many animals end up in shelters every year; they are discarded as old laundry; they escape from their yards and get lost; owners move and leave the dog behind. Many people seem to think they emerge from the womb knowing how to behave in a way we need to. They are not given the attention or exercise they need to co-exist in the home environment, so they are held outside and become more difficult to deal with in the process. They become destructive in the home as a means to get their energy around. They bark, jump and sometimes they even potty in the house. They do all of these things because they were not trained to sit quietly, go to the potty out, and greet people.
Maybe the owners gave the dog to the kids who are really too young to take on such a big responsibility; they no longer have time, and the list goes on and on. This is, to me, not being very fair to the dog and it is simply frustrating.
It is the people that do not take over ownership of these animals that are at fault for shelter overcrowding. If there are behavioral problems, I can ensure there is a trainer or behaviorist that can help you or at least have a good evaluation on the dog. Many behavior problems can be prevented through proper handling, socialization, and leadership skills. All of which should start before the dog is 16 weeks old and should continue. Training is often simpler than you think if you are consistent and follow through. You must nevertheless be willing to give your time to your dog. Not everyone will be fit for the challenge, and not all the behaviours can be fixed, but then there are the dogs that need just some basic house manners.
Our dogs are not perfect; they are dogs. People are also not perfect and are not expected to be and sometimes it may be beyond the control of the owner to have to surrender an animal to the police.
There are various types of animal rescue organizations, such as breeding specific rescues, general shelters (some are no-kill, some use euthanasia) and organizations relying on foster. They all exist nationwide and have the same purpose – to save as many as they can. This obviously takes money whether from donations, funding, adoptions or state and local funds.
Many dogs need shelter to have a fair chance at life. Those who are left behind and neglected may have a new start in life once temperament testing has been performed. Many of the shelters who adopt euthanasia are the ones that hear a response on the lack of giving the dogs a chance. It can be beneficial for a dog to be a long time in a shelter and deteriorate too. They are overcrowded and are often underfunded and rely on volunteers only to run effectively. It is sad to say that most cannot be saved. There are simply too many and in many respects not all are habitable. The shelters do their part to the best of their abilities and have too many dogs on their doorsteps.
Shelters sometimes heat up for having to make decisions that they do not like to make. It is not their fault that these animals are there, it is lack of education. Many people are not aware of several aspects of dog ownership.