Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Bad, who was really The Felon, now an ex-con

The Man got Patton. On Tuesday, actually - the day he escaped. While I was searching the neighborhood for two days, he was waiting in a cage at the county pound. And they didn't call me because, well, they're idiots, and they never bothered to scan him and find his microchip, and the phone number wore off of his tag. I finally thought today to call them, and ask, just to make sure he hadn't been taken there, and they knew immediately which dog I meant.

And so Three and I had a big adventure to spring him from the joint - big adventure because we had to get proof of shots from Patton's vet (he lost his rabies tag a couple of collars back - he goes through collars quickly), and we showed up with our printout and a checkbook, but they wanted cash, exact change, $25 - which means the ATM is no good, since it only spits out $20 bills. The woman didn't bother to tell me this earlier on the phone. So the boy and I raced back into town to find a bank, go inside, wait in line very impatiently while the slowest people ever were assisted in front of us, cash a check, and scoot back out to the boonies to get Patton before the place closed. Because I couldn't bear to leave him there another night. That place was so incredibly depressing, with all of the dogs barking and calling to us, knowing that many of them - most of them - don't have long to live.

We called in backup (the grandmother) to pick up Big Girl from her class, since this debacle took far more time than anticipated, and we finally got our boy back. In retrospect, I cannot believe the confluence of stupidity that kept him there two days while we ignorantly searched our neighborhood. Some bozo in a nearby neighborhood - not ours, but close - called animal control about him, and told them that he belonged to some new neighbor in that neighborhood, so the dog catcher left a note on the door of that house, and then since they assumed that they had notified the owner, they never bothered to scan Patton for a microchip. Plus our new phone number had worn off of Patton's collar tag, leaving only our old out-of-state number, which was, of course, disconnected. They didn't try to contact anyone with the name listed on his tag, since we have a fairly common last name, I suppose - I didn't press the issue at the time, since I was so relieved to get my baby back. But I feel an irate letter, perhaps even a series of letters, developing.

And I hope I never have to see that place again. We have a great humane society here that adopts out dogs. They get some dogs from animal control, but the latter is basically a kill-shelter, a tiny place crammed full of dogs waiting to die. I don't want to think about what might have happened had my sweet boy been there another day or two. The pound did metaphorical lip service to animal adoption - a couple of posters and a sign listing contact information for the humane society - but I don't think many dogs make it out of there. I wanted to grab all I could and shove them in my van and speed away.

I couldn't - I don't have the space, the money, the time, or the energy to take care of that many dogs the way they deserve - but there were so many sweet faces. So many cute, wagging tails. I hate the pound. I hate what happens there, I hate that there are unwanted dogs, unplanned litters, unfit owners who make it "necessary" to have the pound. I started crying and seething with frustration and outrage as soon as I saw the place (that van was full of rage as I raced to the bank and back to get exact change, in cash, no checks, credit cards, or debit cards). Both of our male dogs are eunuchs, and Katy will be spayed next month, as soon as she's healthy enough for the surgery and finished with her second round of shots. I look around me in this community and often see people doing stupid things - taking foolish risks, engaging in absurd behavior, getting themselves into ridiculous situations - but those whose actions, or inactions, lead to the suffering and deaths of animals seem willfully ignorant, deliberate in their decision not to spay or neuter a cat or dog when taking that action, at relatively little cost, would improve the health of the individual animal and prevent the births of future generations that may not be wanted or supported properly. Ugh.

Nighttime now, and all three puppies are sleeping, at home, where they belong.

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