I’ve heard people say animal advocates are “judgmental.” So, I look at myself and I think…am I? Let me tell you a few stories.
Years ago I worked at an animal hospital. It was a weekend job caring for the animals that were boarded there. I was so excited! I was still trying to figure out where I wanted to put my passion for animals to use. I was so excited to learn and see if this might be the type of business I would want to be in. But I didn’t like the veterinarian and in the end, he said I was always asking questions and “suspicious.” Well…you be the judge.
These pets are there because their family is out of town. They are in a basement in a cage, I’m sure scared & confused, only to have this veterinarian open the cage door and smack them on the head because they were tearing up the newspapers they were laying on.
When us weekend workers were nervous to give an animal medication because they were growling or hissing at us, he would say “just ****** grab them” while he himself was grabbing them and shoving the medication down.
I worked alongside another person, the same person every weekend. We were both responsible for cleaning the cages, feeding, walking them, etc. This was not only for boarded animals, but also animals that were recovering from an illness or surgery. I walked in one morning and the other person had a dog that just had surgery on the floor while she was cleaning the cage. This was a black lab, not a small dog. I was shocked that she had taken him out on her own or at all. We were told not to worry about his cage if he we didn’t think we could handle moving him because he was recovering. If we were to move him, it would be a two-person job as he was unable to move at all himself. Well here was this dog out of the cage and it was EXTREMELY hard to get him back in. He was not looking good and I was so worried about him. I later found out he died. I still feel it was the carelessness of the other employee.
There was another occasion when someone did something, I can’t remember all of the details, but I remember it was something with a leash, a dog and it choking him. Not that they were intentionally choking him, it was carelessness.
Well, I wound up quitting this job as it was too far to drive twice a day and I already had two other part time jobs. I decided to report this animal hospital to the BBB. I explained the things I had witnessed and that I didn’t feel the veterinarian was very caring towards these animals. He came back with that I was uneducated about veterinary care so I didn’t know what I was talking about and this is when he said I was always “suspicious.” I said that it didn’t take someone with a veterinarian degree to see that animals aren’t being treated well. We went back & forth through the BBB and ultimately nothing happened to him. They felt none of my claims were strong enough or could be proved.
Then there was a time when I was dating a guy who lived with his brother and his family in the upstairs of a duplex along with a dog and a cat. They later came to the decision that they needed to give up one of the pets because they felt there wasn’t enough room for all of them and the two pets. Since it was his brother’s place he & his family decided to keep the cat and give up the dog. My boyfriend went ballistic and was yelling at the cat and chasing it around trying to catch him. He was blaming the cat for having to give up the dog, as if the cat had a vote. I was terrified of his behavior and wasn’t sure what to do. I just followed him and was trying to stop him and protect the cat. The cat was running and hiding and eventually ran down the stairs and out the door scared to death. I was crying and so upset. The cat was never seen again. I still feel so sad thinking about this poor cat out there on its own all of a sudden and how long it survived.
Years later, I dated another guy who moved into his first house. He always wanted a dog, so he wasted no time in getting one. He later admitted that he was hasty in getting the dog because he was overwhelmed with the new house responsibilities and the responsibilities of caring for this dog. This was a big dog in a small house, left alone for hours. He didn’t get walks or much exercise. He was let out in the backyard a lot and out of boredom and anxiety, he would dig holes in the ground. This guy was not happy about this and one day showed it by punching the dog in the mouth and making him bleed.
At this point, you’re probably thinking about the choices I was making in the guys I dated. Well, you’re right, they were not the best choices! But the focus is the animals.
Another time I was out & about with my mom and we saw a little dog wandering around by a very busy main street in town. We pulled over and checked his tags. His house was very close, so I brought him to the house and gave the dog to an older woman that answered the door. She thanked me, shut the door and as I was walking away, I heard her yell at the top of her lungs, “Bad dog! What do you think you’re doing! Bad dog! Bad dog!” I can’t explain how loud and how angry she was. I thought, “Oh no, did I just return this dog to an abusive situation?!”
These are just a few of my stories. Then there are stories about teenage boys adopting from the Humane Society and then torturing the puppy they adopted, and parents adopting a kitten and giving it to the kids and the kids tortured the kitten where in the end the kitten fell off of the third story deck. Again, these are just to name a few.
So…is it being judgmental or is it looking out for those who have no voice?