People Suck

There is no equivocation for that. Let’s look into where this judgment emerges and see if you agree.

Pet Owners

Pet owners are a breed of human which embraces the nurturing instinct which keeps us from eating our young. In some cases, pet owners treat their animals with better care than their human companions, colleagues and children.

You have seen them. They are never -ever- without their dogs or lizards. Single-handedly, they support the pet clothing, food and accessories industries. Veterinarians retire well on these people’s tickets.

They rarely consider themselves owners. Instead, they feel a connection to their animals, an enjoyment in their pet’s happiness and a responsibility for care to ensure longevity and safety. Pets are family members as much as in laws, siblings and children.

Yours truly is one.

Non-pet Owners

Some people own no pets because of circumstances. They have a genuine love of animals and the caring attitude which would adopt, comfort and engage a pet on the same level as they would a child. Whether their living arrangements or income, they simply cannot give a pet a home. These people have the sense to know they are not in a position to provide an appropriate home and do not.

There are a few people who should never have pets. They have no capacity to care for anything beyond themselves emotionally.

Pet Haters

Then, there is a class of people who think anything with more or fewer than two legs or with hooves, scales or feathers should never come in contact with anything except a human plate. Their engagement of neighbor’s and family’s pets is generally intolerant and considered a point of contention at any social function which occurs at the pet’s home.

After such visits, the pet hater generally questions the sanity of the pet owner, takes a shower to scrub away any evidence of the pet and attempts to schedule future engagements at neutral territory away from the animal.

People Who Suck

Lower still on the food chain are the people who suck. These people are not only in this category. Unfortunately, they are in all of the categories so far discussed. They fall into a few (searching for non-derogatory term) orders.

Many of them have pets of their own. This is the disturbing part. These own animals. Their interaction with their pets comes when (if ever) convenient, is not particularly social, does not meet the needs of the animal and more often than admitted is nothing shy of neglect.

A bit further down the scale from them are the non-owners who openly advocate the illegality of pet ownership. These people move for housing restrictions in SFD neighborhoods. They protest for no pets in public spaces: parks, rest areas, sidewalks. They think service animals should be restricted or outlawed. Ironically, they also advocate against zoos using the hypocritical stance they are inhumane.

There is one level lower than this. These are the people who believe they have the obligation to rid the world of unhomed pets. No, they are not taking them to shelters. They are not calling animal control. Instead, they are discharging firearms and poisoning food to exterminate pets which are away from owners or have no owners.


I see it.

I have rescued one such dog. He came to my home to be Super Dog (be invisible, sire puppies and disappear). A year later on a Friday afternoon, he came back.

  • 8.5 feet of broken chain attached to the collar which was ingrown into his neck
  • Fleas, mites, bugs, worms, heartworms
  • 30 pounds underweight
  • Abscessed teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Fight wounds and scars
  • Missing fur from sleeping on concrete
  • Bullet hole in his chest

I called animal control. I had the officer deliver this animal to the veterinarian. If I had not, he would have lain on the floor in the shelter for four days until their vet came for his regular Tuesday call.

Zed came home three days (and $783) later with two chest tubes, antibiotics and pain med. Within three months, he had gained 35 pounds (and could have stood a diet) and was very used to sleeping on the couch… all 105 pounds of him.

His brother was not so lucky. He was scraped off the roadside with a shovel.

No applause. I am not proud. There is more.

This past Friday afternoon, another dog came to my home and refused to go back to wherever his owner lives. Cash, Zed’s daughter, pierced his ear for trying to eat her food, but he was content to sleep on the porch beside her for most of the day.

He was a little bit of a thing, about 3/4 Cash’s height but desperately underfed. A healed, broken rib stuck out at a 60 degree angle from the rest of his rib cage. He had fleas (and now we fight fleas again, this late in the season). But there was something else. His head was bloody where I knew Cash had not manhandled him. It was Sunday before I could get close enough to him, without him running away, for me to see it.

I called animal control. After we caught him in a humane trap, I could see the problem… and his brain. The hole in his head was large enough for me to put my thumbprint inside. He had been shot.

Shelters do not always rescue these animals when animal control brings them in. Many are put to sleep. This one is special. He is a sweet little dog who already has found a home. I would have loved to have him come back here, but I have all I can handle with the two I already own.

Cash is Zed’s daughter I kept from the litter my late husband’s dog had. She is fixed and will be bringing no puppies into the world. Beau was a puppy farm rescue who was slated to be starved. He did not sell before it was time to rebreed his dam.

What is the point?

The group of animal lovers, be they pet owners or sympathizers, need to take action. While we could be trite and talk about legislation, picketing and flogging the inhumane, there are specific things we can do. All of them are legal.

1. Call animal control. 

These underpaid law enforcement officers do a tremendous, thankless job. They are wrongly blamed for the animals which are destroyed.

In fact, they do far more good than you may imagine. They protect animals from ending up like the red dog’s and Zed’s brothers: roadkill. They take neglected animals away from owners. They are humane in their capture of diseased, hurt and vicious animals.

2. Get to know the shelter.

If you are so inclined, support the shelter where animal control takes animals. Even if your idea of support is a flat of dog food each month, you are helping. If you can spare a few hours, volunteer to bathe dogs, throw a ball or pet cats. All of these animals need love. If you can afford it, have proper environment for it and will make the lifelong commitment, adopt an animal.

3. Report.

If you know of someone who sucks, report them to the police or animal control. The police are the proper authority only in certain instances, but the animal control officer can forward the report if that is the case.


4. Stop breeding.

Ignorant people the world over want puppies and kittens. Farms are big business. They breed animals and starve or destroy the extras.  Even if your pet is only an indoor animal, have it spayed or neutered. The overpopulation of domestic animals is epidemic. A fence is not an appropriate method of birth control. (See Cash as an example.)

5. Choose wisely.

We are a consumer driven society. If you are spending your money with people who support puppy farms and kitten mills, you are not part of the solution. These are the ones we should let starve.

Do not buy animals. Adopt.

Make a difference.


Are your animals adopted? Do you know how to contact animal control? Do you know anything about your local shelter? Have you ever called animal control?

When you tweet or +1 this post, please use the hashtags #pets and #rescue. Thank you for sharing.

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. I’ve only had to call animal control to pick up one dog running wild around here. He was eating the cats food so they were starving and tearing things up. His demeanor meant he couldn’t stay even if I could have fed him and no one would claim him. All my animals are rescues of some kind, my cat (one left of the two) was originally at the pound. He had spent two years there, my cat wasn’t there so I took him and his friend. Dogs not my exactly my thing, people keep bringing them and I can’t turn the animals down because the people are stupid. I had one cat adopt me because I put food out for him every day and didn’t try to pet him while his skin was healing. He had a large bald spot, come to find out some jackass threw hot grease on him. Eventually it healed with the help of some neighbors that managed to get him long enough to put ointment on it, and he’d go back and forth. He got where he’d come inside here but no where else. Currently, there is a black lab mix, totally destructive with a new forever home. The kid’s dad found him wandering in traffic, no tags, no collar. He brought him home instead of calling animal control. Short kid came home and named him, the rest well, even though he’s no longer little and cute she still likes him. Personally, next time someone brings me a dog I’d like it to be one of the old tired ones. I’m a bit tired of the dog jumping off the porch and over my head, the day he misses his landing is going to be rather painful, for me.
    Laurie recently posted..Tuesday FTPMy Profile

    • I have called them and taken advantage of the other end of their services as well. Wracking my brain I cannot think of a dog I have ever gotten which was not rescued from something, be it a leftover puppy or one from the pound or just one who adopted us or the second generation of one of the foregoing. I really hate the abuse animals suffer because people do not know what it takes to simply care for an animal.

      • Strays love me, I think they make an announcement once they find my house. I imagine it goes something like this “That house over there, the lady there, well she might complain and yell for a minute but if she’s got it she’ll feed you. You can go back for more too. As long as you don’t bite and you wag your tail at her she’ll let you play in her yard and won’t throw stuff at you.” As long as no more pregnant dogs adopt me I’ll be OK. When they do they decide to have puppies under my house.

        I have had animals because they couldn’t stay where they were anymore because they fought with another animal. I didn’t have the heart to wonder if they had an abuse free home, so I took them.

        My food budget for these things might not be so bad if the kid would stop insisting they all have to have treats……every time she sees one on a store shelf…..
        Laurie recently posted..Tuesday FTPMy Profile

        • LOL! Mine are terrifically spoilt. Funny, so are the children 😉 Our big fight is not to feed them people food. The first time I found a bowl of frosted flakes for the dogs, I nearly lost my vision in my twitching eye. 😉

          • I had a fit when the kid tried to feed her dog her chocolate cookies, now I find her shoving food under the door at him when he’s not allowed in. The cat has fits when she tries to force feed him people food he didn’t ask for, you know the kind that’s not meat and over priced to be feeding to the cat.
            Laurie recently posted..Tuesday FTPMy Profile

          • LOL! I miss the cat. He was such an omnivore. To date, he is still the only cat I have ever met who would eat artichoke and would pass on beef for spinach. 😉

  2. This year, through town management, the police finally linked up with the animal control. The animal control officer is also a police officer, with the ability to arrest people on the spot. There is no delay anymore. There are vets here who donate dog and cat food to the local food pantry. It might be a resource for someone needing an additional supply for strays or their pets. I use them for my rescue cat. I can afford to take care of her, but it helps me out with the cost of shots and apartment insurance I must pay to cover damage and injury to others in a subsidized apartment. I would carry the insurance whether or not I had to, even though she is an indoor cat. Teasing and other bad behavior on the part of people can and usually will cause the animal to protect itself. You’re right. People really suck.
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Poem – Anaphoric RideMy Profile

    • Our ACO have always been LEO. The arrests are prompt; the transport takes a few for an appropriate unit to arrive to haul the offender away.

      It is good to hear of vets giving back. Where I am, that does not happen. The services they provide (at a charge) are as close as they are getting to “public service”. Ugh.

  3. I can feel you seeing RED. And I appreciate the title of the article as well. It makes me shake my head. Our last pup Snobear, who we finally had to put down this last summer was a grand 16 year old American Eskimo that we got through a rescue. I’m pretty sure he was the runt of the litter and was rescued from a puppy mill ultimately shut down doing the very things you say – starving them. We weren’t necessarily looking for a puppy, for the rescue had all kinds of Eskimos of all ages that were either abandoned or neglected and taken from such owners. What a joy that noble dog was to us for so many years! Our next dog will be a rescue again. I am in utter disgust to hear of those tales of senseless abuse to those dogs in your story above. Absolutely loathsome.

    I like your ideas, and will consider spending more time and effort supporting the local animal control shelter. I haven’t given it much thought until now, but thank you for reminding me…
    Phil recently posted..Fun With PumpkinsMy Profile

    • I know how much you love Snobear. It was not easy for you. Looking back, I have had rescues (lots of puppy rescues) which were the best animals I could have ever hoped to have. You are welcome for the reminder. Plenty of people know the adoption portion, but have no idea how many other things there are you can do to help support the shelters and animal control. I will post another day about how to help the ACO in your area. I have never known of one which could not use some help.

  4. I love this post Red. I agree with everything that you said. Adopt, don’t shop! Oh…and I got the notice of this post by email. You wanted us to let you know. 🙂
    Wendy Reid recently posted..The House on the Highway – A Halloween TaleMy Profile

    • Thank you, Wendy. This one was just eating at me. I could not let it lie. I know I posted about animals a couple of months ago, but this one just would not wait. <3

  5. As always, an excellent post.
    the thing I don;t understand is that it’s so much effort to be mean to a pet.
    If you don’t want it, just don’t get it. They’re easy enough to avoid.

    The puppy mills on the other hand are an abomination, and should be shut down, or penalized for overproduction.
    El Guapo recently posted..Trifextra – Why I WriteMy Profile

    • To be truthful, Guap, I have no idea. I cannot wrap my brain around the concept. I am also thankful I cannot. As to the mills, I have yet to see one which is truly humane. I have known a handful of breeders who I did not think were stinking bananas. All of them had owners for the puppies before breeding. It is the only breeding I can marginally endorse. Considering most of the purebred dogs my family have owned came from rescues, I still am not so sure even planned breeding is optimal. And please, do not get me started on show dogs. We could be here all night 😉

  6. Animals are such terrific companions it’s hard to imagine what some people can do to them. I understand not everyone is an animal person, but then you shouldn’t have a pet.
    Binky recently posted..Hope LaughsMy Profile

    • That is my thinking as well. I simply cannot understand those who want to destroy what they do not want, and those who want no one else to have one either.

      Then again, I feel that way about lots of other things as well…like drinking and smoking.

  7. I can’t tell you how I feel about people abusing animals – my dad was just such an abuser who attacked our pets when he could no longer attack us.

    Needless to say this made a mess of how his three sons feel about animals! 🙁

    I had a pet cat who went nuts so I found him a new home where he wiped out the rat population, but he could never be a house pet.

    These days I volunteer to feed neighbours pets when they are on holiday and made friends with them, but I now know I could not afford to feed a pet.

    On the plus side I have a friend who has rescue dogs and when she’s collecting for local rescue centres I usually cadge an extra envelope so I can make two donations when money permits.

    As for the dog who was shot – I’d like to shoot the B*stard that did that!!! 🙁

    Don’t get me started on the neglected ones – you are a true Angel Red!!! 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Friday – A love letter from Doug.My Profile

    • I do what I can, Pren. I have no compunction about calling when there is an animal in distress. Makes me wish I had done something about him earlier. He came to play with Cash, and she convinced him to stay in our yard (rather than her run off to play with him). Until last week, he was going somewhere else at nights. I really despise people who do this sort of thing. {HUGZ}

  8. I fall into the second category of non-owner because of circumstance and financial reasons. A couple of months ago we had a couple of stray dogs in our neighborhood. A neighbor and I managed to get the two dogs in his driveway. They weren’t mean or vicious, but extraordinarily emaciated luckily my neighbor gave them dog food from his dogs and called animal control. Unfortunately, the common thing people are doing when they lose their houses is to abandon their pets along with their homes.

    Recently some dickhead, teenage boys killed a bunch kittens in a box by throwing rocks at them at nearby hospital. The police are still looking for the boys.

    • The whole abandonment thing has really made a massive impact on the number of stray animals. The sicker people leave them locked in the homes, for some idiotic reason believing them safer. They do not realize the bank is not sending anyone ’round to look at the place and rescue them in a day or so. Too many of them die in the houses if the neighbors do not report them. I stick to my original statement: People suck.

      As to the boys, I think stoning would not be a bad punishment for them. *mumbles something obscene*

  9. My parents had a husky on a leash in the back yard. Some kids decided it would be fun to let her off the leash and then when she started chasing them shoot her with a bb gun. Never did catch the fuckers.
    Bearman recently posted..Disney buys Lucasfilm CartoonMy Profile

    • Ugh. I stand by my original statement: People suck. I do need to add one sentiment: And then they breed.

  10. Nice post, I love when people care and take the time to help animals, it reminds me of an ability of humanity that is too often forgotten.
    Sage Doyle recently posted..“The Journal of Wall Grimm” 26 Matilda, Uses of a Tongue Ring, & Missing WorkMy Profile

    • I know we still have it. I wish it were far more prevalent. Glad to see you today, Sage.


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