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Dumping an Older Dog at an Animal Shelter

December 27, 2011 43 comments

I recently saw this image shared on Facebook and shared it on my page as well. It struck a chord with me. I have seen many an older dog dumped at our shelter when I was a volunteer, mostly because the owner no longer wanted it or they just couldn’t face putting their beloved dog to sleep. My last dog, Aspen, was just such a dog. The excuse they gave was that she jumped the fence, but I know better. She had arthritis and moved way too slow to be able to jump a fence. She had health issues that took her life only a year later (I’m just glad she was in my arms when it was time and not at the shelter).

I know that there are sometimes reasons why a person can’t be with their dog when it’s time to say goodbye at the veterinarians office (see Dr. V’s post from a year ago here), but am I wrong to think that a person is a coward if they dump their dog at a shelter when they get too old? Or, is this just a result of our throwaway culture? After all, people buy/adopt a pet without thinking pretty often and then get rid of it when they realize the work involved. What do you think? Why do people dump their older dogs at shelters?

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