Sunday, March 13, 2016

Found Dog "Wendy" Killed at WHS-Racine

On February 20th this dog was found in Wind Point, Racine County and the finder filed a report with us.  Here is the information she submitted with the photo above:

FOUND DOG 02-20-2016! ‪#‎Racine‬ Co., #Racine (Wind Point Wisconsin), WI 53402. unknown/ Female *** Pit Bull *** Brown/ Adult/ Large (46~100 lbs)/ Hair Length is Short/. Very friendly dog with good demeanor. Sat on command and took food from my hand very gently. No chip found so she is now at the Racine County Humane Society. Has 7 days to be claimed. I have high hopes that she will be put up for adoption if not claimed because she was so friendly.

She was named Wendy at the Wisconsin Humane Society - Racine Campus and they posted the following photo of her:

When we received an update from the finder on the status of "Wendy" she said that WHS-Racine had called her and let her know that Wendy had been put down because she was considered "unadoptable" due to food aggression.

Wisconsin Humane Society participated in a 2006 study with Dr. Emily Weiss and the ASPCA Pro that concluded that dogs with food guarding issues often do not demonstrate the guarding behavior in their new homes.  Here is a quote from Dr. Emily Weiss in 2012:  It is time for all to adopt a program to save these dogs--they should be able to go home. We hope that this research will help you overcome any hurdles toward saving dogs with food guarding issues.

You can read the entire article here:  Q. Food Guarding? A. Treat and Adopt (and we have the data to prove it)

The ASPCA Pro has addressed the issue on several other occasions. Click this link to read more articles on food guarding and why it should not be a reason to put a dog down.

Unfortunately for Wendy, the WHS-Racine did not follow the guidelines set forth by the ASPCA Pro.  Guidelines that the management at WHS have proclaimed to be very proud to have been a part of.

And unfortunately for owners of lost pets, finders are going to be increasingly  reluctant to take them to shelters for their owners to find them. Especially now, since the stray hold in Wisconsin has been reduced from seven to four days.   Shelters should be our communities' safety net, not a place where good dogs go to die. Rest in peace, Wendy.  You were a good dog.

UPDATE:  Shortly after I posted this blog the WHS spin machine went to work posting the following comment in multiple places around Facebookland defending their decision to "euthanize" Wendy.  I would like to point out two things. 1. It seems as if this comment is "eluding" to a No Kill status for dogs, saying that they are saving 90%.  Of course, my readers know that No Kill is not an arbitrary percentage, nor is it "species specific".  No Kill means you are saving ALL healthy and treatable animals, dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.  Many shelters are now saving over 95% of the animals in their care.
In my opinion, WHS certainly has the resources  to do this.  They regularly import animals from southern states to their Milwaukee County shelter.   Which brings me to my next point.  2. WHS will often have online medical fundraisers for difficult cases which are very successful.  I'm not sure why Wendy didn't deserve one of these fundraisers.  She was happy and friendly.

Here is the update posted by Angela Speed, of WHS to my Facebook page:

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