He was just a young puppy when he was bought by a young couple at a pet store. They hadn’t really thought much about buying a puppy but he looked so cute and playful that they couldn’t resist. He was just a dog. How much effort would it take to keep him?
At first he was the center of everyone’s attention, the couple’s friends thought he was adorable. He was held, cuddled and given special treats.
But like most new things, the shine began to wear off . The working couple would sometimes come home to find ruined shoes, books and other objects chewed and destroyed. The fact that they really didn’t spend that much time on housebreaking didn’t help. They got tired of cleaning up puddles and poop.
So they decided to keep him in a crate for the 9 hours a day that they were gone. It wasn’t a large crate and there wasn’t much room to move around, but he was just a dog. He’d get used to it.
Then the day came when the couple brought home a new addition to the family. A baby. The dog wanted to sniff this small human, maybe lick it’s tiny hand but he “had germs” and might hurt the child.
So it was decided that it was time to slap together a doghouse and put the dog outside on a chain. It wasn’t so bad, he could move around and would get fresh air. So what if he was alone? He was just a dog.
As the months went by, the dog became fearful, bored and lonely. Sometimes the couple would forget to bring him water ,even in the hottest days of summer. He began to dig holes and bark for hours. The couple began to resent the dog for digging up their lawn and making the neighbors angry with his barking.
So it was decided that he should go to a shelter, where surely someone would adopt him and take him home. When they came for him with a leash in hand, the dog was happy for the first time in a long time. He was going to be with his people! He was going for a car ride!
The dog’s joy began to fade when he was dragged into a new building and put in a cage.
There were other dogs around him, but even though he was given food, water and a blanket he was still lonely in a strange place.
Days went by and people came and went, sometimes taking another dog with them, but he was never chosen.
More and more dogs came into the shelter and eventually they had to make room for the new arrivals.
One day a worker came to his cage and placed a loop over his head. Again, the dog was at first filled with hope that he would be going to a new home. That changed as he was dragged down the hall into a room where a large steel box sat, taking up most of the space.
The dog could hear whimpering and sounds of distress coming from the box and knew that something bad was happening. But what? He was just a dog and had no way of knowing .
The door to the steel box was opened and the dog was roughly shoved in and and the door was slammed. There were many other dogs in there already.
They were trembling and barking in fear. he had no idea what was happening.
Almost immediately the dog noticed a slight hissing sound and his eyes began to tear. It was carbon monoxide but of course he didn’t know that . He was just a dog.
He started gasping but he couldn’t get his breath. the other dogs were going through the same thing and some of them began to fight and tear at each other in desperation.
They scratched at the wall of the steel box even as they started to bleed internally. Unbearable pain filled the dog’s body. There there was no relief; it only got worse. Soon the dog’s bowels and bladder let go and added to the unbearable stench.
The next twenty minutes were an eternity. An eternity filled with unbearable agony that no other living being should ever have to experience.
But it is still happening today, all over the USA and yes, Canada. Although there aren’t as many shelters that use gas chambers as there are in the States, they are still in use in some cities.
I forced myself to watch a video of dogs being gassed and it tore my heart out. After the “box” was full and the dogs dead, they opened the box and threw in puppy after puppy, on top of the already dead dogs then started up the gas again.
But they are just dogs .
Thousands of dogs and thousands of cats are euthanized every year because there are too many of them and not enough owners.
Those that are killed by a needle are the lucky ones. The ones who die in gas chambers are tortured.
A lot of these dogs (and cats) come from situations like the one described above but there is plenty of blame to go around.
Blame puppy mills and backyard breeders (like those in the Sault and Echo Bay) whose only concern is money. Blame the pet stores that sell these puppies for huge profits, and blame those who think they should breed their dog because their female “loves being a mother”.
Blame the sellers online who advertise for a mate for their dog to breed with , just to see how cute different breeds can be created.
But we must also blame ourselves. We let this happen. Every time we buy a puppy from one of these sources, there is one more dog who will be euthanized, one more dog that could have had a life.
Please adopt a dog instead of buying one.
Sign petitions to stop the use of gas chambers.
On Facebook check out Take Action 2! – Ban Animal Gas Chambers In Canada. They have very good ideas on how you can help.
Write letters, stand up against puppy mills and backyard breeders.
Instead of browsing the internet looking for that perfect puppy, browse at animals shelters! There are dogs of every size and shape and breed.
Shelter or rescued dogs have all the qualities that paid-for dogs have. There are many of purebred dogs at shelters and if you want a certain breed, you can find one through a rescue that specializes in certain breeds.
All that dogs need besides food, water and exercise, is someone to play with them and love them. Make them a part of your family. As they say, if you are going to get a dog and then just leave it tied on a chain everyday, buy a lawn ornament.
With love, understanding and companionship, any dog will gladly give you it’s heart , loyalty and love. And with those things they will become so much more than “just a dog”..