Updated: Oct 23, 2022
I am finishing up a month of travel in Santander, Cantabria, Spain where I have been enjoying the worlds best olives and taking pictures of lots of dogs!
Each morning I wake up, of course the first thing I do is check my phone and because of the 9 hr delay I am confronted with a huge barrage of FaceBook posts. These posts are documenting the dogs of MCACC Maricopa County Animal Care & Control shelter dogs. There is a tremendous and tireless effort from a group of volunteers who walk and take pictures of shelter dogs, showing off huge smiling, tongue hanging, happy faces as they look up to the volunteer's camera. They all hope and beg in hopes of finding these babies forever homes before this:
🌈💔😢 EUTHANIZED THIS MORNING Poor boy did not have 1 application come in for him. His life did not matter enough to be saved. I am so sorry sweet boy.🌈💔😢
The crisis that we are facing in Maricopa County is so many untrained, under-socialized, unwanted and stray "CoVid Puppies", 2-3 years old dogs are flooding our rescues and shelters. The management of MCACC has responded with vitriol to this problem, by going on a mass extermination spree, killing puppies and adult dogs for documented behavioral issues such as: "walks well on a leash", "takes treats nicely" and the worst trait of all "Staff Favorite!". To be fair, this crisis is happening around the country, but other counties manage the crisis better by implementing programs which MCACC Management has eliminated or has refused to implement. MCACC Management is not completely at fault. Some of the fault of these horrific decisions stem from the greed of backyard breeders, so called responsible breeders, lack of reduced or free county spay/neuter programs and flat out irresponsible owners.
I need a moment to wash my tear stained face . . . where in the world don't we have this problem?
Dogs in Spain
During CoVid the people of Spain were sequestered in their apartments because the government gave only limited allowance for people to leave their homes, one of which was to walk their dogs. So the people of Spain made a plan, they got dogs! They could now leave the home during the pandemic and do what Spaniards do best - walk!
Many Spaniards who live in the city live in multi-dwelling flats and if they didn't have a dog, they borrowed their neighbors dog, yes, the dogs were walked a lot! This walking and spending time with their new family members paid off. Everywhere there is a dog there is total focus and respect, although there are strict leash laws, very few were on leash. As you scroll through the pictures in the gallery, see how many dogs are off leash, my favorite picture is the cover photo of the dog outside of the store just waiting! Many stores also have wall hooks for dogs, can you imagine a place where you can leash your dog and not worry about a thief running off with him!
There is a fun article in the link below about dogs in Spain, notice that every person who has a dog in Spain must be licensed. Did you catch that? Every PERSON who has a dog in Spain must be licensed, not the dog!
What do you think the US shelter situation would be like if everyone who had a dog had to be licensed!
* What am I thinking, the US doesn't even require gun owners to be licensed, I digress.
<Click the Link Below>
I did notice something else about dogs in Spain, they are mostly pure-bred dogs:
Poodles, Schnauzers, Grey Hounds (big time rescue breed), Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Beagles, Australian Cattle Dogs, Pomeranians, MinPins, Chihuahuas for days! The only mutt that was obvious was the Pitty! But what surprised me the most was how many
Belgian Malinois I saw every day and they all live in apartments, really! So how can such a high energy dog live comfortably in an apartment? Their owners walk, train and socialize them! There was something else that I noticed about the dogs in Spain, they skip, they hop, they prance! I have never had so much fun watching dogs have fun! I will admit, the fact that I saw so many purebred dogs it made me wonder, is there an inbreeding problem in this town? Then I focused on the skipping, kids skip when they are having fun so why can't dogs skip to! Let's go with FUN!
Let's Solve the Problem in the US!
We need to rethink our relationship with dogs in the US, just because you can have a dog doesn't mean you must have a dog. If you have a dog you have to train and socialize your dog and it really only takes a few steps to have a happy well behaved dog. First we need to train the owner to make the time to spend with their dog, learn the concept of "yes" & "no" and provide guidance and boundaries for their dog. Research and spend the money if you need help and seek the advice of a Trainer that you relate to. Ask questions, ask why, ask for alternatives to manage your dog in your home, don't make it your first option to surrender or rehome your dog.
If you don't have a dog and have a place in your life for a dog, don't support a breeder and buy a dog, RUN to your nearest shelter or rescue and adopt a dog now! Our dogs are literally dying at the hands of incompetent County Shelter Management and irresponsible, indifferent owners.