(This blog originally posted on 12/23/2006.)
Ms. X once wrote that the only morally mitigating circumstance for keeping a dog you know belongs to another person was abuse.
Well, the Beagle "Rescue" that is refusing to return a dog to a family (they do not deny the dog belongs to the family) has listed their reasons on their website. There are no allegations of abuse. Read it for yourself! Here.
The Beagle Rescue, "OKBR", only makes the claim that the family has to follow their rules in order to adopt the dog. They say they can't make an exception.
If the family had been willing to consider the safety and wellbeing of this dog and others currently in their possession, the adoption fee would have been waived and only reimbursement of vet expenses expected.
Well now, that's downright generous. They'll waive the adoption fee when returning your own animal to you. But all their other "criteria" and "rules" remain in effect. Nevermind that the dog lived with this family for several years, without meeting those criteria, or that the dog came into rescue's oversight (I won't say possession) against the wishes of it's owners.
What exactly are the elements of safety and wellbeing that the family are not "considering"? According to the OKBR website,
1) the dogs were kept outside, and at least one of the dogs was chained.
Ms. X says: A lot of dogs are outside dogs. Is it an ideal life for a dog? Who knows? A lifetime crated in a basement isn't ideal either, yet the "Rescue" says they require dogs to be indoor only dogs. Is chaining a dog ideal? In general, people are beginning to learn that a dog on a single chain can be more disposed to agression problems. But on the other hand, something as simple as attaching the dogs' chain to another stretched line (called a trolley) allowing an additional degree of freedom in movement significantly reduces these issues. Were these dogs on a trolley system? Would it have even mattered to the "Rescue"?
There's another question the OKBR has to answer though. If the presence of a chain is enough to refuse to return a dog to its rightful owner, does that mean they would take a dog away from somebody who had it chained in the yard? Ms. X is pretty sure what an extremist group like OKBR would say. But what about you?
2) "The dogs were not permitted inside the home nor were they provided with a dog house or any other type of adequate shelter."
Ms. X says: Again with the complaint about it being an outside dog. And again, the OKBR won't return the dog because the OKBR adoption contract requires the dog to live indoors. Does this mean the OKBR would have taken the dog away from these people solely because it lives outside?
No dog house. No adequate shelter. Almost every state animal cruelty law requires that dogs have adequate shelter. In fact, in Oklahoma depriving an animal of shelter is a felony. That's serious stuff. Has OKBR filed charges? Until they do, and a conviction is reached, we must assume the family is innocent until proven guilty.
3) The family's dogs were over 6 months old, and not neutered.
Both dogs were over 6 months old and had not been altered and had no medical explanation of why spaying/neutering would be a danger to the animals in question. OKBR will not adopt any animal to a family that has other unaltered animals due to the high volume of unwanted animals killed every year in the city/county shelters.
Ms. X says: This one's my favorite. What's that OKBR said earlier? "the safety and wellbeing of this dog and others currently in their possession" Okay family, here are plenty of medical reasons to not neuter your dog (Start Here). But don't forget to ask, what on earth does the "high volume of unwanted animals killed every year" have to do with the safety and wellbeing of YOUR dog?
4) The dogs weren't on monthly heartworm preventitive year 'round.
Ms. X says: Yes, heartworms are a devastating and expensive to treat condition. But so are many other diseases that dogs can and do acquire. There are many reasons why people DON'T do conventional heartworm preventative treatment. And many more people who only give the conventional treatment during high mosquito season, often due to the financial constraints.
And guess what? Their dogs live to ripe old ages too. So once again, OKBR, are you telling us that you would remove a dog from it's family just because they didn't give it conventional yearround heartworm prevention? And while Ms. X might risk guessing what the "Rescue's" answer would be, furry reader, what is yours?