The killing of dogs for alleged “behavior” continues apace by agencies who claim to embrace a No Kill ethic, as underscored by the recent killing of Tucker by Austin Animal Center and the killing of Linda by the Larimer (CO) Humane Society, despite rescue groups ready, willing, and able to save them. They are not the only ones.
The New York City pound recently killed April, an eight-month old dog (the black pup in the video). April was at the ASPCA to get spayed, a $240 million dollar a year agency and one of the richest charities in the world that also boasts what it frequently refers to as a “world-class behavior rehabilitation center.” And despite paying its CEO over $800,000 per year, when April growled and peed on herself out of fear, rather than spend a little bit of money to work with her or have its “world-class” behavior staff at its “world-class” behavior center teach her to trust people, they instead deemed her “aggressive” and sent her back to the pound knowing (or, given past practices, they should have known) it was a death sentence.
This cavalier attitude to the lives of dogs is consistent with the cavalier attitude promoted by Animal Farm Foundation in their recent podcast where a former ASPCA “Director of Animal Behavior” called for the killing of all but “the best” dogs in shelters and called on rescuers not to waste their time and money trying to save those with even minor behavior issues.
Likewise, the NYC pound’s indifference was on full display when a spokesperson admitted — consistent with decades of studies that have led experts and scholars to call for a moratorium on temperament testing as inherently flawed and woefully inaccurate in a stressful “shelter” environment — “that animals at risk of being killed due to aggression could do better if they got into a home.”
Like Tucker in Austin and Linda in Larimer County, April had a place to go. A potential adopter was scrambling to adopt her, but could not find a rescue group in the middle of the night and ran out of time before she was killed. She was given only 18 hours, from 6 pm in the evening to the following morning, to find a rescue group to pull her on her behalf.
Like Tucker and Linda, April’s death didn’t just hurt the dog. It also traumatized the woman trying to save her: “It’s just inhumane… I was crying, I was very upset . . . Why would you only give a dog 18 hours to find a home?” And like Austin Animal Center and Larimer Humane Society staff, NYC pound staff were indifferent to the pain they caused.
Worse, they claimed that only giving rescuers 18 hours in the middle of the night was “no big deal.”
It was a big deal to the woman who tried to save her.
And it was a big deal to April. She’s dead.
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