Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ozzy's Saga - Lessons From A Rescue Lab


All who have been involved with the Ozzy saga — the story of a black Lab whose family gave him up to an animal shelter — can agree on one thing: The important outcome is that Ozzy will be placed with someone who is eager and able to care for him.

But the story leading up to that conclusion isn’t so happy. And some of the lessons to take away from a very public, very unpleasant dispute, are tough ones.

Julia Hildreth, her husband and four children didn’t want to get rid of Ozzy. But the eight-year-old Lab wasn’t getting the attention he needed, and the family finally decided to surrender him to a shelter.

Shortly before dropping him at the Charleston Animal Society shelter, Mrs. Hildreth sent a message alerting Lowcountry Lab Rescue to what the family was doing in hopes they could help find him a new home.

The response she got was a stinging rebuke. Volunteer Amy Fabri contended that the Hildreths were being cavalier about their responsibilities as dog owners and their plans for Ozzy. She said, “The sad fact is that your dog will probably be euthanized and in the dumpster before you are out of the parking lot.”

Lowcountry Lab Rescue's Amy Fabri

The Post and Courier's story and interview with Amy Fabri is here.

Nobody was happy. The Hildreths were sad about giving up Ozzy and distressed by Ms. Fabri’s message.

Ms. Fabri, a fervent dog lover, couldn’t contain her anger at the idea of another Lab facing possible euthanasia when there were other options she thought were more appropriate.

San LeBoeuf, executive director of the Lowcountry Lab Rescue program, was frustrated because the public dialogue focused on Ms. Fabri’s email instead of on responsible treatment of pets.

And the animal-loving staff and volunteers at the Charleston Animal Society were hurt and stunned by Ms. Fabri’s misleading statements. The CAS finds homes for 63 percent of the thousands of animals they receive. Those that are euthanized, because there are no other choices, are treated with tender respect. And their remains would never be tossed in a dumpster.

Letter to the Charleston Post and Courier from Joe Elmore chief executive officer for the Charleston Animal Society is here.

Unlike Lowcountry Lab Rescue, which is limited in the animals it accepts, the CAS takes all that come their way.

The staff is proud of CAS’ reputation as a leading animal shelter in the state. They were dismayed that it might be unfairly and inaccurately sullied.

They were concerned that people who can no longer keep their pets might just drop them in the woods instead of at a shelter or with a rescue organization. Donors to the Charleston Animal Shelter might withhold support.

In a perfect world, every pet would have an owner for life — a loving one who provides good care.

But in reality, that doesn’t always happen, just as many marriages and friendships don’t last forever.

No one should adopt a pet without intending to keep and care for it for life.

But people in the business of saving animals also deal with humans whose circumstances change. Those people need kindness just the way the pets do that come into the care of a rescue organization.

Post and Courier's Brian Hicks take on the Ozzy Saga is here.

Note: Cedar Posts is the proud parent of two "Black Labs" affectionately known as "Thing One and Thing Two". Thing One has the part time gig as the Weather Dog. Thing Two is???? UP TO NO GOOD!


Anonymous said...

I think the woman that gave up the dog deserves a smack in the face, and the man made a bad choice in wives. Here is why.

From the Post and Courier article...

“When he married me, he became an instant stepdad to three girls terrified of dogs,” she said. “His beloved indoor pet became an outdoor pet. Here’s a Lab who is great with other dogs and cats and kids and it broke our hearts to have to go through this to have him not be stuck out there (in the backyard) all the time.”


"It took them nearly a year to come to the decision to give up the dog"

So...the husband is willing to take on three step daughters, but this woman has no consideration for his beloved pet and spends a year manipulating and working on him to get rid of it, then instead of taking the time to find a home, she takes it right to a shelter, probably afraid he will change his mind.

And seriously, if you have three daughters terrified of dogs, you made them that way. Clearly she made no effort to help the girls in being more comfortable with the dog. The dog was simply not convenient for her.

With that said, the rescue could have been a little more diplomatic, but so what. There was a lot of truth in what she said.

Even if this dog finds a home, there are only so many homes considering rehoming shelter dogs and that means for each dog taken in by a shelter and rehomed, another one loses its chance and gets put down.

Also, there are a lot of expenses involved, so if she left it at a city/county funded shelter, she just took her responsibilities and dumped it on taxpayers. Disposal alone is expensive.

Furthermore; the cremains have to go somewhere, so they probably do get dumped in a dumpster type container.

What a selfish witch.

Anonymous said...

8:04, great post. So sad on so many levels. That selfish witch should have been spayed before she was allowed to breed.