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It’s a dog-gone shame

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By The Staff

I’m probably the only person in this county that feels this way, but in my humble opinion, the Grant County Animal Shelter is taking itself a bit too seriously.  

Now, I care as much as anyone about animals. All my life I have cared for and been surrounded by a whole host of animals. But with this comes a dose of common sense. To have a pet, you have to be able to accommodate it and it fit to your needs, etc.

I have a hobby farm and on that farm I have some chickens (no, my name isn’t McDonald). I found myself in the position of needing another outside dog. My old Border Collie is fading, and I like to get a pup in so my older dog can help train it. I’ve been semi-looking most of the summer and have almost adopted from the shelter a couple of times.  However, just haven’t quite found that perfect pup. Plus, at $100, the cost of adoption is fairly steep.

The other day, a friend. who had adopted a dog from the shelter. found after the fact the young dog wasn’t going to work out. They really didn’t want to take it back to the shelter and when they saw me, well let’s just say I wound up with a really personable pup!  Though his papers said he “chased chickens” it sounded like something I could handle, and I fell in love with his huge, brown, intelligent eyes--mischief and all. So, I reimbursed her the adoption fee and took “Rex.”

Yes, he was intelligent and with that, willful. In a little less than two weeks, he managed to break his chain three times, kill three chickens, terrorize my house dogs and about drive my poor 15-year-old Border Collie to distraction. It was about all she could do to keep him out of her food and face, let alone teach him anything. I was faced with having to decide what to do. I let the original friend know in case their situation changed. It had not, and they simply couldn’t take him; so back to the pound he had to go.

Well, you would think it would be easy from there. I was hoping to take him back (papers and all) and maybe rescue another, more sedate dog like a Pyrenees or Lab-cross of some sort.

Nope.

First, I wasn’t the original adopting person. Second, I had to have in writing that my friend had turned the dog over to me. Third, my friend would have to turn him back in to get another pup. Fourth, if I wanted to turn him in that day, I had to surrender him as a stray. Fifth, there are no refunds to return an animal. Finally, it became evident, though not stated (at first), that if I wanted a pup, I would have to pay another $100 to adopt.  

Now, I know there are rules and regulations, and I know our shelter has had some problems in the past, so they need to be cognizant of requirements. However, I would think the main impetus of the shelter would be to find homes for those animals. We hear time and again how the shelter needs donations; but I have to wonder why? This particular dog was actually adopted before my friend adopted him and had been turned back in; correct my math here but so far, they’ve taken in $200 with him. Once they place him again, they will make another $100. Now, “made” is maybe the wrong word as I know they have overhead they have to pay for each animal. However, I highly doubt they pay entirely for services on their animals’ care.

To add insult to injury, and to maintain that the shelter is getting more detached from being a service entity to being a serviced entity; my friend was contacted and chastised for not personally turning in the dog.

In addition to all of this, there are the tales about how a person will call the shelter to come pick up stray animal. If they are lucky enough to get an answer, they will be told to tie up the animal and the shelter personnel will come and get it later. I guess I’m ignorant of the purpose of the animal shelter—I guess we should take the dogs there ourselves.  I guess that cool truck is best just parked in front of the building the majority of the time and used to transport animals to presentations and such.

To put it lightly, I am very disappointed in my encounter and the Grant County Animal Shelter in general. Not only did I leave without a dog, but I also left knowing that (A) they are just trying to adhere to the state requirements for adoption and have to be really, really picky about paperwork, (B) the proper paper-trail is more important than placing a dog, (C) it will cost me $100 to adopt a puppy and (D) I obviously don’t know how to properly train a dog. I guess E) is that I’ll just take out the middle man. Reckon I’ll let them take care of their important business, and I’ll simply wait until someone dumps another dog on my property to find that pup I need.