After reading the comments on this article in wapo, I had to say something.
Many of the commenters in this article are obviously clueless. One particularly irritated me. “Susie” wrote: “And to limit dogs to families with no kids (14 and over is essentially no kids) is ridiculous as well.” I’ve met many a dog that has no business being in a home with children, and many a child that has no business having a dog. There are lots of dogs that love and adore children, a friend of mine has a fat and happy golden retriever that absolutely adores children, and his other dog, a yellow lab/german shepherd mix, while an old lady these days, still manages to get some bounce in her step when she has children to frolick with.
My own dog is another story. He likes his children, but only his children. My dog and my daughter haven’t been famous friends, and my dog has been terrorized by my neighbor’s children in the past, and I only discovered it after I cleaned up cuts and knicks in his skin after a whole fist full of rocks were hucked at him. As a result, my dog doesn’t like children that are more than three feet tall and less than five feet tall. Placing this dog in a home with young children would be sheer idiocy and many dogs that end up in rescue programs end up there because they don’t get along with the children in the home. The rescuers are not doing it to “hoard” the dogs. They’re doing it to save the dogs from an inevitable death in a shelter or on a veterinary table because, for a growing number of dogs out there, dog + children = bite.
It really is down to the fact that so many people just assume that because they have children, they must have a dog. Dogs aren’t part and parcel to the whole parenting schtick, and being a good parent doesn’t mean that you’re a good dog owner. These things are mutually exclusive.
As for Ellen… honey, you should have read your contract. I agree that it is sad that the rescue organization seized the dog from what appears to be a good home, but in the process of trying to get your way you have made it harder for the organization to place other dogs in homes. This isn’t about one dog. This is about a nation of dogs who have been abandoned by their owners for whatever reason. Some of the reasons that I’ve heard for people dropping off their dog at a shelter have shocked me and vary from “Well, I’m moving and he’s too big for an apartment.” to “He didn’t match our living room furniture.” While I understand that your intentions were good, many people are too stupid to own dogs and the rescue organization is just trying to protect the dogs from stupid people. Please try to put your own feelings aside and believe that the rescue really does have the best interests of the dog at heart.