To the editor:
I am writing to convey my concern and outrage after encountering a dog wandering by a busy street. Today I was at Walgreens on the corner of Springhill Ave. and Infirmary Drive when I spotted a small black dog wandering toward the parking lot. Being a pet lover, I got the dog and put her in my car. She was sweet, but unfortunately, did not have any tags on her collar.
What happened next with the dog was surreal. I called the city of Mobile Animal Shelter and said I found a loose dog I needed to bring to them. The woman said, “we don’t take dogs off the street.” I said I can’t keep this dog, what do I do? She said she would let the officer know about the dog, but that it would be a long time before anyone could come to get the dog.
I said OK, this is how long I can wait in the parking lot. She said they have hundreds of calls, and that the officer would only “patrol the area for the dog.” I cut right to the chase and said, “are you telling me to turn this dog loose right next to this busy street?” She said YES. I was stunned beyond belief that this woman who works at the “animal shelter” told me to turn a poor dog, who clearly has an owner, loose right by a four-lane road. The dog could have caused a car wreck or have been killed.
The next call was worse. The next call was to Mobile Police headquarters because the police are now in charge of the animal shelter. I asked to leave a message for the chief of police and was told I could not. I was told I had to come in and fill out a form to do that. The woman asked me what was going on, so I told her the story. She said the animal shelter does not take stray dogs, and then proceeded to tell me I could have the dog if I liked it. The police told me to steal someone’s dog. The dog clearly had an owner, so to say you can keep the dog is outrageous. I just keep thinking, what if that was my dog? What if it was your dog?
I called the SPCA, who are amazing, and they at least offered to scan the dog for a microchip — the animal shelter did not even offer that. The dog did not have a chip.
The SPCA was completely full. They couldn’t take the dog, and I have three “unpleasant” cats in a one-bedroom apartment, so I couldn’t take her either. The SPCA called around and after about an hour found room for the dog. AMEN!!
It was told to me that since the police have taken over the animal shelter, they have stopped working with other rescues. They do not let rescues pull animals from the shelter anymore.
It’s almost 2021, and this is the wrong way for the shelter to be going. This is some outdated crap.
The other thing is, I have lived in four different states — the animal shelter is where owners go to claim their animals when they get loose. This dog’s owner is not going to know that their dog is halfway across town at the SPCA instead of down the street at the animal shelter.
Here is what I see are the problems with this situation:
Telling someone to turn a dog loose by a busy road where the dog’s safety is 100% at risk, and the dog may cause a car wreck.
Having the police tell someone to keep another person’s dog “if you like it.”
The owner is not going to know where to find their dog.
The point of having a taxpayer-funded animal shelter is they are supposed to take stray/at-large animals.
How many times a day do you think the animal shelter gets these calls and they tell the people to just turn the dogs loose? This is just outrageous and sickening in 2020 to be operating like this.
Please help bring attention to the archaic laws and policies, or lack thereof, in Mobile.
What if your dog was the one I rescued today?
Editor’s note: The dog was reunited with its owners through the SPCA.
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