January 6, 2009

Save Moby: Turned Away from an Open Admission Shelter, Sweet, Contemplative Dog Needs a Home. [Humane Society of Boulder Valley]

Moby. In his six years, he’s perfected the leg snuzzle to show his appreciation well. And now he’s looking for a new care-giver to receive his gratitude.  My friend Alyssa has been quite a foster Mom to him for the past five months but now he needs a long-term home. She describes a typical day of living with Moby: “One of my favorite things about him is that I often catch him through the window simply sitting on his hind legs in the yard looking out at the world for long periods of time. It seems so unusual and calm for a dog to do that and I wonder what he is contemplating. Perhaps the wisdom that he has learned from a life less than ideal. Then again, maybe he is just peacefully looking for squirrels.”

Before Christmas she made the right and thoughtful decision to take him to the Boulder Humane Society. He’s such a great dog; we had thought he’d make a welcomed holiday addition to the right individual, couple or family. Alyssa was shocked when she received a call, only a mere eight hours after dropping Moby off, that he was deemed unadoptable and was to be euthanized in two days if not picked up. She rushed over and received little explanation, other than that he was deemed “unfriendly” and that they feared he could show signs of aggression. Seeing as she had never seen an act of aggression out of Moby ever (and quite the opposite, she calls him “the sweetest dog ever”), we feel he was given little time to settle in at the shelter, and was just scared and not ready to socialize. Whenever I visited Alyssa and Moby, he was always friendly with me and all others in the house.

I had thought that the Boulder Humane Society was a “no-kill” shelter and did indeed find it Save Our Strays website listed as such. However, the shelter does euthanize animals that are considered either too ill or unadoptable. What I think is most important is transparency.  Indeed a recent lawsuit was filed against the Colorado Humane Society for “falsely claiming a low euthanasia rate.” However at the Boulder Humane Society, they do publicly list all statistic record keeping of intakes and adoptions right on their website. This is in line with something called the “Asilomar Accords” which attempts to “cut through the rhetoric of ‘no kill’ vs. ‘open admission’ shelters and to dispel the murkiness of what defines adoptable animals.” But I do see an obvious disconnect in this particular case. Perhaps the shelter was overwhelmed with holiday admissions. In any case, I believe she should have been given more information on what exactly happened when she picked Moby up.

Moby is six, neutered and we believe he now is up to date on his shots after his brief stay at the Humane Society. He mostly ignores other dogs and has actually lived peacefully with a ferret for some time. He amazingly has no problem with squeezing himself through a small doggy door if that makes his human companion’s life easier.  Please contact Brad Monton ([email protected], 303.956.2742) for more information if you or someone you know has a warm home and would like to add Moby to your family.

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