I don’t think there is any ordinary, healthy person who doesn’t want the best for our animal friends.
Animal shelters and animal rescues perform an invaluable service in taking care of the lost and discarded animals that are no longer wanted or able to be cared for by their human families.
Increasingly animals are being seen as sentient beings and treated with respect. Even someone who isn’t necessarily a pet lover will usually still object to animal cruelty or neglect on an ethical basis.
Animal shelters are such important organizations to fill in the gaps that we, as humans, let animals fall into. That is why it is so shocking that some of the very organizations that we trust to clean up the mess that we have left behind with pet overpopulation are sometimes the animal’s own worst enemies.
If there is anything to be learned from these shocking pictures it is this: that we need to be careful which charities we support and what is the true nature of the organizations that we choose to share on our Facebook pages so that we aren’t doing animals harm when we are trying to do them good.
All animals deserve to live a life free of pain and suffering. They deserve to be treated with respect and cared for by us.
The following photos may be shocking. They show just how fragile and vulnerable animals are and how little power they have once we have taken them into our ‘care’. We need to do better.
15. When Animals Live In Filth
For some animals, being ‘rescued’ by a shelter means being put in conditions that are worse than any prison for people who have done terrible things – and these places are for innocent animals who just want a forever home.
Dirty cages, overcrowding, dingy surroundings, no playtime – some small private shelters that are housed in, for example a basement, can’t be that much worse from the situation that the animal was in before they were rescued.
I would love to say that all these neglectful charities are well meaning and misguided, but unfortunately some of them are blatantly making money and not at all interested in the lives of the animals they are in charge of.
14. Animal Hoarding, When Love Goes Bad
A lot of people seem to feel a lot of anger around hoarding, and animal hoarding in particular.
The hoarders themselves, their families, and even their young children are blamed by the general public for just being ‘lazy’ or ‘dirty’ or ‘messy’ – but the problem often goes a lot deeper than simply not wanting to clean house.
Animal hoarders in particular are an example of love for animals going rotten. The hoarder wants to care for the animals but is not able to let go of them due to anxiety that they are the only one who can truly care for them, and they collect and collect more animals.
Animal shelters and animal rescues, filled as they are with animals of all types, can sometimes become hoarding situations, where animals are brought in and none ever leave.
Another reason to be vigilant when checking out where your money is going – if you can’t see where the animals are being kept it can be a red flag that the animals need you to blow the whistle for them.
13. When GoFundMe Funds A Scam
Humans give a lot of money to animal charities, because most humans are human.
However, some humans are nasty, and they like to rip other humans off and steal their money.
Some animal shelters have been accused of making a bit of money on the side by putting empathy inducing pictures on Facebook and begging for GoFundMe donations.
The worst part about this isn’t even that these crooks get away with making money off your kindness it is that it puts people off trusting and donating to genuine animal shelters.
So if you are going to donate to help with the vet’s fees of a sick kitty or puppy, maybe get a bit of information about the vet who needs the money to double check that Chester really does need heart surgery or that Felix really did get run over.
12. Animal ‘Shelters’ That Offer Wild Animal Experiences
One of the hardest things to control is who has exotic pets (everything from monkeys to lizards to lions and tigers) and how well they are looked after.
Animal ‘sanctuaries’ and shelters for big cats and other photogenic animals are often nothing more than money making tourist traps that do nothing for the animals that they have ‘rescued’ for you to pet and have photos with.
Tigers and lions, big animals guaranteed to give someone a thrill just by being near them, are great money-makers, but they need to be kept quiet and docile.
It is hard, if not impossible to actually tame a big cat (cough cough, Siegfried and Roy) and so these animals can be given tranquilizers to keep them calm and underfed to keep them weak. I’m not sure of the logic in this – would you like to go near an underfed tiger, smelling all delicious and meaty? No wonder that sometimes the animals strike back.
11. Employees Taking Their Own Lives
Jian Zicheng was a vet and the director of an animal shelter in her native Taiwan.
Jian was a 30-year-old animal lover who tried her hardest to place dogs for adoption that came to the state-run shelter where she worked. Jian was active in trying to desperately convince people to adopt dogs from her shelter rather than purchase dogs as pets from breeders.
Her pleas fell on deaf ears, and with nowhere for the animals to go, she was forced to euthanize 700 dogs in two years.
When this number became public, Jian was bullied for her part in euthanizing the healthy animals, and after writing a note saying that she was too distressed about the death of so many dogs, she injected herself with the same chemicals she had used to euthanize the unwanted pets.
10. When Workers Decide Who Deserves To Have A Pet
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely abhor animal cruelty. As a ten-year-old child I attacked a full grown man for whipping his horse in the face and beat him savagely with his own whip, then called the police on him.
But there are ways of determining who should be allowed to have a pet and who should not, and assuming that a homeless person is not able to take care of their pet just because they are homeless is cruel and dehumanizing.
In 2015 a group called Cause Animale Nord wrestled an elderly man to the ground and took his dog, while he screamed in anguish. The dog also yipped, clearly distressed.
They then out the dog up for adoption for $130, but were forced to return the pup after a week to its grateful owner.
There are many vets and vet nurses who give their time to ensure that the pets of the homeless are looked after and well, as well as pet food banks and donations to help the homeless keep their pets, who are so very important to them.
9. When Shelters Kill The Wrong Dog By Accident
Sometimes it is not how animals are put to sleep in shelters that are the concern, sometimes it is which animals are put to sleep.
In all shelters there is meant to be a time period which must elapse before animals are adopted out or euthanized, and this period has been missed on many occasions. It is every pet owner’s nightmare when protocols aren’t followed and they turn up to pay the fee and collect their lost dog, who is dead.
‘Target’, the stray from Afghanistan wounded by the suicide bomber that she chased away from sleeping US soldiers, was a hero.
Brought to the US, Target lived with her owner Sgt Terry Young, going on Oprah and being a general and well deserving celebrity – that is until she got out of her yard, found her way to an animal shelter and was promptly euthanized in place of a similar looking dog.
8. Animals Denied Medical Attention
Some shelters are not even worthy of the name of ‘shelter’.
The vibrant tourist city of Pattaya, mostly known for its wild bars and explicit nightlife harbors a dark secret.
One of the local entrepreneurs runs, along with a gym, a disco and an entertainment complex, an establishment called Tony’s Dog Shelter.
According to PETA Asia’s inspectors, the dogs are overcrowded and prone to fighting. They are allegedly not fed enough or taken care of. PETA Asia says that the animals are left injured and sick, and that despite being given treatment for mange that many of the dogs suffer from, the dogs are still left untreated.
Pattaya is a tropical paradise for many, but according to these photos it is hell on earth for dogs who wait and wait for someone to adopt them in their over-crowded pens.
Much pressure has been put on Tony’s Dog Shelter to improve the conditions that animals are kept in, but so far nothing has been done.
Even when the animals ARE getting medical attention, often the conditions that they are forced to endure make their lives miserable no matter how much they have to eat and how healthy they are.
7. PETA Kill Rates
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are a controversial group.
Unlike many animal welfare and animal rights organizations, PETA take a hard line, promoting veganism, attacking people who wear fur and not supporting the no-kill policy of some shelters.
PETA envisages a world without domestic animals. They have controversially compared animal ownership to human slavery, angering many for comparing humans to animals. They have also alienated the Jewish community by comparing farming to the Holocaust and any Christians that were left un-offended by claiming Jesus was a vegetarian and crucifying effigies of pig headed humans in view of church worshipers.
One of the most controversial things about PETA is the high kill rates of their shelters.
PETA kills thousands of animals per year and re-homes only a small percentage of animals that arrive at their shelters. They kill up to 97% of the animals that they take in in a given year, making 33,000 that they have killed in the last 20 years.
6. Do Rescues Steal Pets?
There have been multiple allegations made against certain shelters and rescues about workers from these organizations stealing dogs. Yes. Stealing them. Because dogs are meant to be going in, not out of rescues.
One particular rescue has been present in the press for all the wrong reasons – the ‘A Better Life Dog Rescue’ in Canada has been accused of stealing multiple dogs and adopting them out to new families. The directors of the rescue have been accused of taking dogs from garages and from yards. They have been seen allegedly wearing ‘Animal Welfare’ uniforms and taking dogs.
In their defense, the women say that they were acting in the best interests of the dogs, but the SPCA and the RCMP do not agree. Some of the owners of the ‘stolen dogs’ have managed to track their dogs down after months or years of missing them. Others have simply never seen their pets again.
5. Breeding Mutants
Nothing sells tickets like a mutant.
Some unscrupulous Big Cat ‘rescues’ and ‘shelters’ are involved in breeding animals that are not meant to be bred in the wild.
White tigers are a common mutant animal that simply should not be bred because of the risks to the animals themselves and the ethical problems of breeding unwell animals that often don’t survive.
Ligers are the product of the mating of a female tiger and a male lion. The other way around is the Tigron. Ligers are enormous, much bigger than either of their parents and draw crowds to see their huge, almost mythical giant bodies.
The sad part is that because they are hybrids who don’t occur naturally they have a high mortality rate and a lot of health problems. Breeding a big, sick, freak of an animal to ‘raise awareness’ makes no sense. Better not to breed them at all.
4. When Animal Shelters Breed Animals
The whole point of pet shelters is to take care of the excess pets, right? Because there are too many pets and not enough homes, right? So why are some of these so called ‘animal shelters’ still breeding?
I am not talking about ethical breeders who also rescue and foster dogs – these people are fantastic! I am talking about puppy farmers who masquerade as ‘animal shelters’.
It is well known that the easiest dogs to fund homes for are puppies. Everyone wants a puppy. (except me, I find them annoying and prefer adult dogs who don’t chew everything they see, but I am an old grump. Get off my lawn.)
Anyway, some unscrupulous people have figured out that they can ‘adopt’ out puppies for a high fee. Much higher than an adult dog. So why not ‘make puppies’ and then adopt them out? It doesn’t have to even be a particular breed, see what it looks like and call it a xoodle.
3. All The Infighting Kills Animals
If you are someone who enjoys a good comments section, and lives for a bit of drama, then reading anything to do with animal rescue is for you.
To begin with you have a very emotional topic – the lives and deaths of innocent creatures. Then you have the personalities of people who are involved in rescue and shelters and for different reasons they do not always get along.
Cliques are formed. Alliances are made. Fights happen over individual animals between organizations who have animals queued up to be saved, who really need a home.
If you don’t believe me, go to Facebook and look at some of the rescue pages – people doing good work and other people causing drama and slowing everyone down. There are hate groups and petitions and protests and boycotts – and I am not at all saying that these things aren’t necessary and that people aren’t giving their all for a good cause – but it is a lot of drama.
2. Adopting Dangerous Dogs With Fudged Paperwork
You would think that with all the media attention dog attacks get that most people would have learned that dogs are capable of attacking, and that dogs that have attacked people before or are aggressive should be adopted to people who know this.
Unfortunately for several people who got bitten by dogs they adopted from the Stamford Animal Care & Control shelter, former director Laurie Hollywood allegedly disagreed.
Hollywood was arrested in Connecticut and charged with several counts of reckless endangerment for allegedly falsifying paperwork to hide the fact that dogs put up for adoption had been deemed to be dangerous.
This is another example of the heart being in the right place but the head being not engaged at all – anyone who wants to adopt a dog with behavioral problems should first be aware that that this is the dog that they are committing to. In hiding the dog’s nature it is doing both the dog and the adopter a great disservice.
1. Animal Lovers Protest Cruel Shelter
The most tragic thing about ‘kill’ shelters is the killing. Perfectly good animals put to sleep in the prime of life because there was just no room for them.
However, we kind of rely on the supposition that if animals must be put to sleep, it is done as humanely as possible. And yet there are incidences where it isn’t.
In Wagga Wagga, Australia, whistle blowing volunteers found kittens who were frozen to death trying to get out of an industrial freezer, put in alive to die. Up to 80 animals were missing off the books. Kittens were found in the freezer still alive.
Thank goodness for whistle blowers.
The community and animal lovers rallied around to stand up for the animals who were so cruelly treated, in a beautiful show of solidarity.