February 24th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment
It’s hard to know which part of the day I should be writing about, or which subjects need highlighting. I can honestly say that life is never boring, though frustrating would be a frequent and apt description, interspersed with moments of happiness and times of despair.
The good bit first: after writing about the poodles and their need for re-hab foster homes yesterday, I got two very nice offers of help which resulted in both Flower and Chimney leaving our Ap Lei Chau Centre by closing time. Thank you to Tiki and Carmen for coming to the rescue of these two victims of ignorance.
As if to highlight exactly what I mean by that, I saw a photo of a muzzled poodle posted on Facebook and asked why? The answer was that the poodle had peed on the owner’s bed and then bitten when it had been “scolded” (and can we all guess what that meant?) so as punishment the poor dog had to spend the night shut in the toilet wearing a muzzle. I’m quite sure that the owner of the poodle loves her dog and has no idea that what she has achieved by her “training” methods is a dog that bites out of fear and is being totally screwed up by being punished for something he doesn’t understand is wrong in a way that he can’t connect with the act anyway. I’m pretty sure that the reason the dog peed on the bed is because he’s been previously punished for peeing in the wrong place, and in his desire to please (again not understanding why peeing is bad) as well as fear of being in trouble, he’s using the bed as an alternative to the place that he tried before. The way this dog is being treated is cruelty through ignorance, and I can only hope that my comment to the owner about learning to understand her dog will be taken on board. As much as I say that dogs aren’t human babies and shouldn’t be treated as such, using the comparison is often helpful in trying to get a message across. In this case I would ask if a human baby who had a toilet accident would be shut away in a small cupboard for the night, and if the parent would assume that the baby would make the connection between that punishment and the fact that it had accidentally wet itself?
I was at AFCD again today, and there were two specific things I’d been asked to do. One was to check on a large intake of dogs and puppies that had been offered up to AFCD by a man living on Lantau who is well known for keeping a lot of dogs who are not desexed and who continually produce litters of pups. Not only are the dogs breeding non-stop, but they aren’t microchipped or licensed either, and that is against the law. The animal rescue group on Lantau who have been monitoring this man and his “breeding farm” have been pressing for something to be done, but so far the only action has been to relieve the idiot of a couple of mother dogs and a lot of babies. Why isn’t he being prosecuted for having unlicensed dogs? We know that there is no law (unfortunately) about allowing dogs to breed and add to the thousands of unwanted births every year, but there is an apparent $10,000 fine for having a dog without a microchip and rabies vaccination, which is what getting a license entails. On top of everything else it falls, once again, to groups like HKDR to take on the burden created by this one individual who is allowed to carry on regardless. Admittedly nobody is twisting my arm up my back to take on the puppies, but they are the small and innocent victims of this madness. So now I have six more very cute and young babies, even having left behind a lot more.
The second request I’d had was to take two semi-wild older puppies out of AFCD which someone had offered a home to. A litter had been trapped by the dog catchers in a residential area, and although I had said I wouldn’t take the puppies out myself for re-homing, as someone had agreed to take two on and knew that they would take time to overcome their fear of humans, I agreed to do it. As the puppies were already around four months old I had them chipped and licensed (the legal requirement is five months), and decided to have them desexed as well before handing them over. My initial contact, the person who had asked me to get the puppies out on behalf of the actual home, had told me that the pups could be picked up from our Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre after office hours, so they were dropped off there after having been desexed. However, in between the morning email assuring me that it was on for the puppies, and them arriving at Ap Lei Chau, the would-be adopter had changed her mind and said she could only take them in a few week’s time. Ah. So now there are two very scared older puppies that we have no place for, and I am left with the awful choice of deciding what to do with them. The easy decision to make was that of striking the would-be adopter off the list for any future puppies.
There was a further example of baffling human behaviour from the couple who wanted to give the dog we called Cher (they named her Cora) back. I had asked Maria, our foster coordinator, to put Cher on the top of the list of dogs to go to available foster homes, and as she’s such a sweet dog it was relatively easy to find someone to agree to taking her. However, when Maria contacted Cher’s current owners they totally denied ever having even suggested that they wanted to find another home for her, and this time the reason they gave for considering re-homing her was because their son was affected by Cher’s long hair meaning the dog had to sleep outside and no, they didn’t want HKDR’s help thank you very much. Of course I was accused of all the usual (there is really nothing that I haven’t been called) and I could only go back to the surrender form and have another look to see if I was going mad. This is a direct cut and paste and the exact words: “Cora is currently in foster care but she will no longer be able to stay at this location after mid March and we would like to be able to bring her back to you. She is quite an amazing dog and we love, love, love, her but she is just not happy and deserves a better living situation. She is great with babies, never once growled when our little guy tugged on her ears (when we weren’t looking!) She is also an elite runner as my husband took her on his marathon long runs and she never complained. She also has an amazing ability not to engage aggressive dogs, she ignores them completely. I absolutely hate having to fill in this form, she will be greatly missed! Best dog ever! ”
There’s nothing more I can say really except thank you, and goodbye.