August 29, 2009

Carol Reiter: Your Moss could be at the shelter

I wrote a couple of dog stories this week. One was about a little stray dog that was adopted by Our Lady of Mercy School six years ago, and became their mascot.

The other story was about a little old dog that was tied into a garbage bag and thrown away in a Dumpster.

Although the first story, the story of Lancey, the dog at the school, had a happy ending, she started out as a mangy, skinny stray with no home.

And we're not sure how the second story will end up, it's still playing out. But the dog, a little Chihuahua, is healthy and happy, other than being a bit beat up and scared to death from being stuck in a Dumpster overnight.

As the animal control officer said who found the Dumpster dog said, "What is wrong with people? Don't we claim to be the most intelligent species on the planet? I suppose we can claim to be the cruelest species as well."

Sometimes I totally have to agree with her. I can't even imagine picking up a little, old, white-faced dog and putting him in a garbage bag, tying it shut, driving to a Dumpster and throwing that dog away like it's trash. I cry when I have to bury something that's already dead. I have even cried over a dead chicken.

As the officer said, if a person can't keep a dog, why not take it to a shelter? Our animal shelter works closely with rescue groups, and many of the animals get out to rescue. Especially a gray-faced little Chihuahua. I guarantee that the dog would not have been put to sleep at our shelter.

I remember my last little white-faced dog that had to be put down. My friend took Kate to the vet after the little dog had seizure after seizure, and then went blind. I was devastated. I still miss her sweet little body next to mine in bed at night, and it's been months since she's been gone. I can't even imagine throwing her away because she was old and wearing out.

So why do these people do it? I certainly don't know. But it's not much of a jump from throwing away a live dog to throwing away a newborn baby. And Lord knows, that happens way too many times. And there are a lot more people who would love to have a newborn baby than there are people who want a dog.

The other story that I wrote this week was about how people are dumping their unwanted animals at the new animal shelter at Castle Commerce Center. Sometimes those animals end up on the runway, and if they can't be caught, they may end up getting shot because they are a danger to the airplanes.

The little white dog that was in the paper that day brought in tons of calls to me and to the shelter, wanting to know if it had been adopted.

It's too bad that it takes putting a picture of a cute dog in the paper before people decide to try and adopt it. That dog was at the shelter for a while, and no one was interested until she was suddenly in the paper.

Come on, folks. There are a lot of nice dogs, and cats, at our new animal shelter. Unlike the old shelter, the new one is clean and has a lot of space. There are a lot of puppies, little dogs, big dogs, and the ones I especially like, the older dogs. And there are more cats than anyone can shake a stick at, from tiny playful kittens to older, sedate cats.

A good friend of mine finally took the plunge and got a dog for his family. He made it clear that he wanted one from a shelter, and that's what he ended up with.

And what did he get? He got a sweet, goofy, extremely smart dog that was just looking for a good home. She has become part of his family, and she's cute as a bug.

My nextdoor neighbor has five dogs. Five good dogs, I might add, even though one of them hates me. But she only hates me, so she probably has good taste. And all five of those dogs came from our shelter. And three of them are purebred.

So if you are at all in the market for a dog or a cat, please, please, please take a look at our new shelter. You'll be amazed at how nice it is, and you might even find a new friend.

Believe me, I speak from experience. One of the best dogs I've ever had, my first Moss, came from the shelter. I would give anything to have that old dog back. I also got Danny the whippet, Cord the border collie, Jill the border collie, Dale the border collie, Matt the golden retriever, Benj the Queensland and many more, from our shelter. And every single one of those dogs was a good dog. No, I'm wrong. They were great dogs. Especially Moss.

So take a look at the shelter. You might find your own Moss.

Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or

Related content