A concerned citizen saw this dog and, fearing she was being neglected, snapped a photo, posted it online and called animal control.
But the attempt to do good ended badly.
As it turned out, the family that owned her knew she had terminal kidney failure, and was letting live out her final days quietly at home.
All those who saw the picture, and went on to post nasty comments and threaten the dog’s owners, didn’t know that.
To make matters worse, the animal control department in Sparta, N.J., after picking up the dog, euthanized her.
This week, authorities in Sparta, in an attempt to stop the threatening and mean-spirited comments that continue to be directed at the family, issued an official statement to set the record straight.
The press release noted that the dog, Zoey, a Neapolitan mastiff, had been diagnosed with terminal kidney failure in April, and there were no veterinary options to save her life. Her owners, Roni and Elysia Amiel, chose to keep her home to live out her days among those who loved her.
On June 6, a neighbor who saw Zoey lying on the grass near the Amiel home took a photo of her and contacted animal control, believing that the dog had been abused or neglected.
“The investigation concluded that there was NO abuse whatsoever by the Amiel Family and they were only trying to make Zoey as comfortable as possible in her final days at their home,” the police press release said.
Because the dog wasn’t wearing tags, and the neighbor didn’t know who she belonged to, she was assessed at a local animal hospital and euthanized because of her poor health.
“The Sparta Police Department issues this news release not only to set the record straight on behalf of the Amiel Family but to also serve as an absolute warning that this department will not tolerate harassment to any of our residents and these matters will be aggressively investigated and brought to their logical conclusion.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal control, animal welfare, animals, bad, civility, comments, do gooder, do gooding, dog, dogs, dying, euthanized, internet, investigation, kidney failure, nasty, neglect, new jersey, online, owners, pets, police, posting, rescue, sparta, threats, tumblr, zoey
Humans, as Steve Markwell sees it, create bad dogs. So humans have the responsibility to rehabilitate them.
“When people create these monsters, I think it’s people’s responsibility to take care of them. Not to just kill everything because it’s inconvenient,” Markwell says in the Times article. “The fact that they have their quirks, the extra things you have to be cautious of, in some ways it’s almost endearing. It’s kind of like, the world hates you, but I don’t.”
The Olympic Animal Sanctuary, located in the Olympic Peninsula rain forest, caters to dogs who would be euthanized or turned away at other shelters.
Among the more than 50 dogs now there are guard dogs who once belonged to drug dealers, wolf hybrids with violent pasts, and Snaps, the pit bull mix who made headlines south of Seattle in June when he attacked two women on the command of his owner, a 15-year-old girl.
“This vicious monster of a dog, he’s the sweetest thing in the world,” he said. Snaps is now one of the few dogs allowed to roam uncaged inside the sanctuary’s main building.
Markwell said the secret of rehabilitating the dogs is giving them space, exuding quiet kindness and corralling like-minded dogs together, allowing for socialization and management of bad behavior rather than trying to immediately eliminate it.
He scoffs at “dog whisperers” and rejects potential volunteers who say they have a “spiritual kinship” with animals, the article says.
“I have absolutely no place for people like that because they’re dangerous,” he said. “What it takes is common sense and experience. That whole ‘animals like me’ — well, animals like me too. But I take a really bad bite about once a month. Let’s not rely on that as our safety mechanism.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bad, bad dogs, behavior, dog, dogs, mean, nasty, olympic animal sanctuary, peninsula, rehabilitate, rehabilitation, rescue, sanctuary, sea-tac, seattle, snaps, steve markwell, training, vicious, violent