Today is Christmas Day, and I guess I should be writing a happy post with some inspirational message or something. But I’ve got something far more important to talk about than that.
A couple of days ago, Sheltie Rescue of Utah received an application for adoption from a woman in Nevada. In many ways, she sounds like a reasonable candidate for the right dog, except for one problem — she leaves her dogs outside during the day while she’s at work. You probably know people who do that, too. Now, this woman’s dogs aren’t chained to a stake in the yard. They have plenty of shade, dog houses, water, and so forth, and she genuinely thinks they’re well taken care of.
We beg to disagree, and we will probably not adopt a Sheltie to this woman if she continues to believe that this is the appropriate way to keep her dogs. The following story (from the Examiner, copied without permission) is a horrifying example of why we disapprove so strongly:
Bremen, IN – A frightening trend appears to be taking place across the nation — dogs stolen from their yards, abused and then returned.
It has happened again to one little dog in Bremen.
According to WSBT News, 14 yr-old Laddie, a mini Sheltie, was stolen from his fenced yard on Wednesday.
Several hours later, the little dog, so broken from a beating that he could not walk, was placed back into his yard.
His family said that he was covered in mud and eggs — the veterinarian decided that Laddie was too grievously injured to be saved.
What type of person is capable of such heartless brutality?
Clues from a possible witness indicate that children could be to blame.
One neighbor claims to have seen children taunting the dog through the fence.
She claims to have seen a boy in a black sweatshirt who was poking sticks at the dog — that boy had a baseball with him at the time.
Whether a bat was the weapon of choice, or another implement — the end result was the same…Laddie, an innocent victim, was brutally beaten — to the point that he had to be humanely euthanized.
The police have opened an animal cruelty investigation in conjunction with Laddie’s death.
Please keep a close eye on your dogs — do not allow them to remain unattended in the yard.
Rest in Peace Laddie.
Another story surfaced a day or two later “about an American Bulldog service dog for an autistic child in SC. Similar situation. The dog was taken & while the family was looking for it, it appeared in the drain ditch in front of their house. Warm, but dead. Jaw broken…”
The obvious message here is that there are people out there who are incredibly cruel, uncaring, thoughtless, monstrous. They don’t care about the pain and suffering of other human beings, much less defenseless animals. If they can’t get to your dogs to beat them, they might shoot them through your fencing, or throw poisoned meat into your yard.
Sadly, we here in Sheltie Rescue of Utah have had experience with this phenomenon. Several years ago, a rescued Sheltie, Joshua, who was being fostered for us by a breeder friend in Orem, UT, was stolen from her fenced yard while outside going potty. A week later, Joshua’s abused body was found lying in a ditch at an empty house just a few door away. We think we know who murdered Joshua, but couldn’t prove it.
Please, do not leave your dogs out in your yard — no matter how fully fenced it might be — without supervision. The risk might be low in your neighborhood, but the consequences are just too horrible.