So about six months ago my grandmother adopted a spaniel mix from a very large popular animal shelter about two hours from my house, out of one of their adoption vans. When I visited a couple weeks later the dog attempted to attack me when I sat down on their couch, and bit my mother in the process of trying to get towards me.
We called the shelter quite a few times and finally got a response about two months ago. We explained the situation and they told us to drive there for them to take the dog back, and so my mother and my grandmother went yesterday, I had work.
When I get back from work my mother tells me they refused to take the dog. Here’s the story:
The dog was fine with the woman who met them at the door, and was fine with the two dog behaviorists re-evaluating him until they tried to restrain him on a walk, where he got snarly. Then a kid went by on a skateboard and he flipped out. I had -warned- them that he was aggressive towards minors. He’s also territorial and possessive-aggressive.
One of the staff there told my mother “Your daughter will just have to get used to the fact that he doesn’t like her and visit her grandmother anyway.” It’s not a matter of me GETTING OVER IT. The dog is almost impossible to restrain when I, my brother, or any younger child comes around. It tried attacking her neighbors child, luckily it was leashed and the kid was far enough away that all it did was scare him.
They said our options were to privately place him or employ a behaviorist. We don’t have the money for a behaviorist, we spent all our money driving back to the shelter to get rid of him.
They refused to take him back, saying he was dangerous. I just called and left a long and angry message on their answering machine, telling them we don’t have the money for a behaviorist, it’s irresponsible to privately place a dog that has extreme aggression issues, not to mention anyone willing to take him most likely wouldn’t have the experience to handle such a dog. I also ranted to them about how irresponsible they were to not thoroughly evaluate the dog before adopting it out, and how now my grandmother’s liable for an aggressive dog and could lose everything if it were to bite someone besides family.
My mother’s called a few shelters, but none have been willing to take him because of the aggression. My next step if they still refuse to take him back is to talk to the police in charge of animal control here, and while legally they can’t take in dogs unless they’re strays he can tell me if I’m legally within my rights to have my grandmother demand they take the dog back.
I went to the local dog warden today to ask if the shelter was under any legal compulsions to take an aggressive dog back.
What I got was a 7 ft tall dog warden telling me it was all my fault that my grandmother was still in possession of an aggressive dog, and if I wanted to fix it all I need do was hold the dog in the air by it’s collar until it gets close to passing out while yelling at it, and then it won’t try to bite me anymore!
I told him that some people, including myself, would argue that such a thing is unethical and cruel. He told me that when I go to college that I should have a bonfire and burn all my dog behaviorism books.
He back up his experience by telling me about how his Doberman growled at him when he told it to get off the couch one day. He brought it outside and told it to sit in the snow, and it didn’t. So he told it to again and it lunged for his throat. So he picked it up using the leash and hung it by it’s collar until it almost passed out and was gasping and choking, and then told it to sit again. It sat! Dog friendly again!
I wanted to argue that if his punishment-based training worked as well as he was claiming then his dog would never have tried to kill him in the first place. But I didn’t feel like being arrested for talking back to someone who is legally also a cop, so I nodded until he stopped talking, and thanked him for his time before walking out.
Of course his Doberman didn’t attack him after he hung it in the air by it’s collar, it’s called oxygen asphyxiation.
I was basically shaking by how intimidating this guy was, which is why I only argued against him a few times. He told me to bring the dog down to the shelter and he’d choke it for me, if I wasn’t strong enough to hold it in the air by it’s leash. I told him I’d rather bring it to one of the training centers that he “swore by,” as my grandmother needs to learn to control it herself. He argued that I’m here now, and I can do it for her. Completely missed my point.
I just feel completely.. angered. I came in asking for legal information and was taught how to strangle a dog.