ScaryBaldGuy posted this news story about a neglected dog that was dumped off and left to die. While horrible, this sort of thing is sadly quite common.
It made me think of an afternoon drive I took with my youngest, when he was still a wee toddler. We were bored and exploring some roads we’d never been down, and discovered an animal shelter tucked back among some farms.
Further along the road, we saw a smallish white dog by the side of the road. He was watching all the cars as they approached, following them a little way, then turning hopefully to the next one. A couple of vehicles had to slow down and swerve into the other lane to avoid hitting him.
I pulled my car off the road, got out, and tried to coax the dog to come to me. I couldn’t keep him, but I could at least take him down to the shelter where he would be safe and cared for. But he wanted nothing to do with me. I wasn’t his people. He checked me out from a distance and then returned to his inspection of the passing cars. One of them had to be his people coming back for him.
Shortly after I pulled off, an animal control truck pulled in behind me. The man got out, carrying a catch pole. “Somebody drop him off?” He sounded mildly disgusted. I nodded. He approached the dog calmly, deftly snared him before he could sidle out of reach, and put him into a cage in the back of the truck. He drove off without another word.
At the time I worried that he must think I had tried to dump the dog. Later I realized that his disgust was not aimed at me. He’d probably seen this scene a hundred times, and already knew what eventually occurred to me—if I’d dumped the dog off, I wouldn’t have been there trying to get him out of the road. He was disgusted at the person who had gotten the dog all the way down to the shelter, and then just dropped him off in the vicinity rather than take him in safely.
I guess that dog was lucky. At least he was left near the shelter, in reasonably good shape. Other dogs, like the one in the article, get used up and dumped for dead like garbage.