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Bereavement Bereave for our lost pets

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2012, 11:43 AM
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Hard decision

I write this with a heavy heart, I have made a very difficult decision to put to sleep a healthy dog due to severe behavior problems. Some of you may think this cruel so I will lay out my situation.
I rescued Bhilis 8 years ago from a shelter, she was approximately 4 yrs old and emaciated weighing only 45 pounds. She had no training and was very scared. Over the years she has had anxiety issues and needed to be medicated on and off. The las t 2 years have been very difficult, she had begun to be very aggressive to the other female dogs in the house leading to rehoming of 1 dog and the euthanasia from age and difficulties and fighting/ being attacked of another dog. This led to a lot of stress as you can imagine. Now she was fine with the other male dogs in the house and I know that this was a response of alpha behavior that she had not previously displayed.

We then had a very tragic incident leading to the death of my U2 Which was heart breaking. I then made the decision to euthanize her last year. I had been actively working on rehoming her for 2 years with no luck. A friend offered her a home and she lived peacefully for 7 months. Later on she became engaged and her husband did not want a dog, so she asked me to "watch" her for a bit then broke it to me that she could not take her back. She has since attacked a different dog in the house without warning and has attempted to go after the birds as well (caged). The dogs have to be seperated at all times and there is a lot of stress and worry of what could happen. No one is willing to take on a very sweet 12yo dog with other animal issues. She is truly a sweet and loving dog who needs to live with only humans. I feel so guilty for making this decision but have to think about all the living beings in our home.

I hope that this thread will help to bring support for me.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:12 PM
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Re: Hard decision

It doesn't sound like you really had a choice. My heart goes out to you. WE had to make that decision many years ago with a puppy that we rescued that was being abused. He was our baby but as he got older he started turning on people that he knew and saw every week including their kids. It got to the point that the only people that could get near him was me, hubby,and daughter. yes he did bite several people. We did have to put him down and it broke our hearts, he was our baby, however their were too many young children living around us and the chance was to great that he would do some real damage. according to the vet he was schisophrenic if that is possible. I did notice that other than us he would never make eye contact with anybody. I don,t know but we did what we had to. I understand how you feel and you have my sympathies
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:18 PM
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Re: Hard decision

It is a terrible decision and it sounds like you did not take it lightly. Sometimes, we can't make it right for an animal and the best choice is not an easy one. I am sorry for your pain.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:13 PM
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Re: Hard decision

I'm sorry for your pain. It sounds like the decision is well thought out and not a knee jerk reaction to a specific situation. No one has to live your life but you. I'm sorry.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:37 PM
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Re: Hard decision

Have you tried contacting a no-kill shelter? They might not want to take her on, but they might also have contacts to find the right kind of home. Might be worth a try. It's a very tough decision and I'm sorry you are faced with it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:00 PM
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Re: Hard decision

I am so sorry you have been put in this position, its a horrible decision to have to make. My thoughts are with you.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:00 PM
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Re: Hard decision

Deb,
Unfortunately I have close ties to the local animal control and rescue leagues and we have had no luck in placing her. I have discussed her with many people and no one has stepped up to help in this situation. I am usually the one taking in high risk or less adoptable dogs, and people who do take in those dogs usually have many animals which would not be suitable for her. I wish I could say I had other options, but I think that they have been exhausted unless someone out of the blue offers her a home. I have to say that is the most frustrating thing, I know several people who could take her, but simply don't want the bother, although if thats how they feel I certainly wouldn't want them to have her anyway. My own parents are among them so there is some anger and disappointment there to be sure.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:49 PM
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Re: Hard decision

I am so sorry you have had to make this decision.

I have run dog rescue in the past and continue to rehabilitate cases such as yours. It is possible to rehabilitate her... however... it is rare for such rehabilitation to be within the scope of your average everyday person. Over the years, I have had to put down three rehabilitated dogs... simply because there was no home for them to go to because the maintenance required for their rehabilitation meant they were too much for your average person and without the required maintenance they could be a danger to others or even themselves. Two were old highly aggressive male dogs who needed a firmer hand than I could trust anyone with.
I even had to euthanise an escape artist dog, she could not be contained, she was an accomplished digger and climber who would have been certain to have died a cruel death on a road or from a fall or from getting stuck. I know this because a previous little dog had hung herself in just that manner, escaping from a fully enclosed collapsible crate.

With all the lovely dogs needing homes in this world, those who would find it difficult to find a place they could truly settle into do need to make way for those who have a really good chance of finding their place. Otherwise they take up many resources which could be used to save more dogs in their place.

I know nothing anyone says will make the burden any less (and its the reason I no longer run rescue) but moving her on to be at peace leaves you open to possibly do good for another animal who needs rescue who may find its place easily in this world.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:55 PM
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Re: Hard decision

The best decision usually isn't the easiest. I have had horses my whole life, and I have trained and retrained all manner of behaviors. I rode for the race track, started babies, rehomed a number of horses with behavior issues, and I never met a horse I didnt like or couldnt work with until my mom bought my sisters a draft cross while I was in University. He seemed like a perfect fit, he had show experience, he was quiet, well trained, and had fantastic conformation. That summer we took him to a show and he started bucking. This isn't uncommon and we felt we could deal with it, but the behaviors started getting worse. One of my sisters gave up and decided she couldnt ride him. My other sister the following year got launched about 6 feet into the air the next horse show. We tried multiple coaches, we tried multiple vets, we tried join-up, I tried punishing him, he got worse and worse, meaner and meaner. This went on for two years, my sister started getting sick at the thought of riding and so we free leased her another horse. He was intimidating in every aspect, in his stall, in the field, it didnt matter what you did, he wanted to hurt you. I got a group of experienced trainers together and we worked him regularly but he got scarier the more we worked with him no matter how gentle we were. He started attacking one of our other horses in the field, and was threatening other horses and people regularly. One day after working him I went to turn him out to his field feeling good about our ride and then he came at me teeth barred and hooves flying. I couldnt believe it. We had all thought we were making progress, but here he was trying to kill me. had to make the decision to get rid of him. I posted him for sale with a heavy heart. Turns out this horse had a reputation for being dangerous, and I was honest about the behaviors, and so no one wanted him. We pay to board our horses and I was terrified he was going to attack someone. I decided to sell him to a horse trader and people were so angry with me. I talked to the vet but he wasnt interested in euthanasia and assured me someone would want him. I was sick to my stomach and cried and cried. People were not supportive or understanding. I felt like a failure. Ive never given up before, and our pets are ALWAYS forever. I had to protect my sisters though, and my other horses. Luckily I found someone willing to take him despite his behaviors. She has indicated to me that he bucks her off and threatens her on a regular basis, but she loves him anyways. No matter what I would have sent him on his way though, because he was a danger to our other horses, and every person who came in contact with him. As humans we have to make the difficult decisions. You have other animals and people that you are responsible for, and you made the decision to protect them even though it was hard. Nothing anyone says will make you feel better, its a horrible thing to do. Im sorry you had to do it, but you did the right thing. It feels terrible now, but once you come to grips with it you will realize it was the best for everyone. It sounds like your dog was very anxious and aggressive. This can set a terrible mood for the whole house for so long you forget how to relax. You gave it a real honest try, you did what you could, and then you did what you had to.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:07 AM
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Re: Hard decision

I would just put her up to a new home. We had the same problem. We took in a stray pit american bulldog, Roxie, the most amazing dog I ever owned. She was such a sweetie pie, but a year into having her, we had to move and of course, no one wanted a pit. Took a week to rehome her, because she was such a good rounded dog- loved all people, loved, kids, loved all pets, loved dressing up, loved traveling, going to the dog park, etc. Well, 2 months later, I go a call saying I had three days to pick up Roxie from the shelter or they'd put her down. I called up the owner and they wouldn't say what happened, but they had to get rid of her and they were so sorry and I was so mad they dropped her off at a kill shelter rather than give her back to me and I told them out of anger they were not fit to raise anything, including their 3 month old daughter (I was steaming), and surprisingly, they got quiet and said they know that, and apologized again, and I hung up. I had to take off work early, borrow money from my boss to pay to ge her ou of the shelter, and she was in bad physical shape- her nails were disgustingly long, some snapped in half and just hanging on, she had very red skin, and her hair was falling out! But she came to me with kisses and trying to jump into my arms (she is a 60 pound lap dog). We took her home, and our new landlord said that becasue of the circumstnaces we could keep her ! Well, a week later he went in our room where Roxie was crated and she was snapping her jaws and snarling, so I got a very frantic call from him saying she had to go. I thought, on no, not my Roxie. I got home and he went in the room first and I heard this terrible snarl and knashing and was in shock, my Roxie, loved strangers and would bark and charge and then lick them to death, not snarl. In fact, I've never heard a snarl form her ever. It was scary. Then we took her to the dog park, and she attacked 3 dogs and growled and barred her teeth at any man who came near! Needless to say, but because she was a pit, male agressive,and dog agressive, it took for ever to rehome her and we called up every shelter and rescue and no one wanted to take a pit because they had 'too many', but after 3 weeks of posting her online we found a home. It took forever and we went through 5 or 6 people who either had a dog or hubby, and finally we found someone. The easy way was to take her to places and people would say how beautiful she was and I'd offer her right to them, and it worked one time.
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