Unless you’ve been living under a rock, undoubtedly you’ve heard the story of Patrick, the dog who was starved, then thrown down a garbage chute. I’ve written about him previously, and I find his story miraculous and inspiring, given the level of support that’s been demonstrated for his plight.
Well, Patrick has been nursed back to health by the caring staff of GSVS Animal Hospital. Through Facebook photos & videos, the world has been able to watch Patrick’s recovery. It’s obvious how the staff has cared for Patrick, and recently, one staff member in particular has expressed an interest in adopting him. It seems only fair that they’d at least have the first chance (upon proper investigation and application of course), given that he’s already bonded with GSVS team members.
However, amidst this sweet story, the Associated Humane Societies have stepped in. This organization is the rightful “owner” of Patrick, so they have final determination over his current whereabouts and eventually, adoption. They conducted a behavioral assessment on Patrick recently, and determined that he has “issues”, including some sort of food/resource guarding and potentially others (given that he was starved basically to death, it would be no wonder if he had some food aggression). However, we have not seen any proof of the alleged issues thus far, only a blog post from the evaluator.
To me, this story is eerily reminiscent of the story of Oreo. Oreo was a horribly abused pit bull who was thrown from a building in New York City. She was “saved” by the ASPCA, and after being nursed back to health, they began to claim she showed signs of aggression. Despite the pleas of rescuers, and the offer of several groups to take her, including the Pets Alive sanctuary, the ASPCA killed Oreo anyway, based on their “assessment.” No proof of her issues was ever given, and in fact there are pictures of her showing affection to staff members immediately preceding her death.
The bottom line is – I don’t trust kill organizations. While I was unable to find any recent statistics or information on the recent operations of the AHS, there was a report released in 2003 about waste and abuse within the organization. Granted, things may have changed completely since then, but I can’t find any data – and if they remain a kill organization, can they really be trusted with Patrick? And if they were no longer a kill organization, wouldn’t their statistics be accessible on their website?
In my opinion, Patrick should stay where he’s safe – with people who love him, and who have had his best interest at heart from the beginning. Claims of aggressive behavior and threats to take him to an anonymous foster home are too cloaked and worrisome – Patrick needs to stay safe, in the public eye. Hopefully, public sentiment will prevail and he will remain where he is. After the major outcry this weekend about Patrick possibly being moved, there have been rumblings about negotiations, and GSVS and the AHS potentially working together on a solution. I hope this is the case. After all, if he does have any behavioral issues, there’s no reason why his prospective adopter at GSVS can’t take him to training or hire a behaviorist to assist.
As we all know, many kill organizations believe that animals are better off dead than in the hands of humans, hence stories like that of Oreo – who had a place to go, and was killed anyway. So we, as the public, need to keep an ever-watchful eye on these groups to insure they’re protecting the animals they claim to care about. Patrick’s case is no different.