Shelter intake manager shares sad photo and story of dog who just lost her family

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Two days ago, a shelter medical/intake manager posted a poignant image of a dog who had just lost her family, with some insight into what happens when a dog is surrendered to the county shelter. In a public Facebook post, P.J. Regan writes:

Some of you may already know I took a job as the medical/intake manager of a county shelter.

Here’s a glimpse into my day… and the beginning of any number of days for a dog who was just surrendered by their owner. Baby stayed at this window until her intake examination began. Confused as to what just happened.

Regan describes what happens, day after day, as people come up with a variety of reasons to get rid of their pets:

My job is to vet all surrenders and strays, however they end up here. And to weed through at least a dozen calls a day of owners looking to dump their pets at the shelter for any number of excuses, none that I can empathize with. When you tell them “no” or that we are “over capacity” and the wait can sometimes be a month out… that same animal comes in as a stray the next day or weeks later. It happened twice in the last two days.


Your move, your landlord, your allergies, your kids, your finances, your lack of diligence in training and socializing the animal (resulting in aggression toward humans/animals) or lack of researching the breed you chose and it’s needs (resulting in destructive/”bad” behaviors)… your problem. Not theirs.

Explaining that the “quick fix” results in a sad dog just like Baby, who is featured in the photo:

But the quick fix for you is this pictured. Take note. Baby might be at the shelter for a few weeks or a few months. Maybe a few years. The longer she stays here potentially the more institutionalized she will become. Like a prisoner. Potentially making her less adoptable over time.

Describing staff efforts to help these discarded pets make it through their traumatic ordeal:

Right now she’s a happy go lucky young girl. I make sure to play fetch with her at the end of my day everyday. Our staff does their best day in and day out to give our always full shelter the same treatment, something the animals can look forward to while they’re here. Whether it’s a short stay or the long haul.

But nothing beats a place to call home.

With a final request to think before surrendering a pet:

Think about your reasons for surrendering your pets. Maybe you might have the capacity to think outside of yourself. And think about your reasons for breeding/purchasing your pets while shelters/rescues across the country remain full.

Wrong answers only.

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2 replies
  1. Jan Barnes says:



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