Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Cruelty Case

I was rung with a report of cruelty to a dog. It was tied up and starving. The problem was that the people did not know exactly where as they were on an island tour. They gave me the details of the company and l got permission to join the trip for the day. My idea of hell was about to begin, a day trip with a bunch of ohhing and ahhing tourists.

We had a long pre talk as the trip was designed to do selling of fancy blankets and linen. The prize of sitting through this was a trip round the island. I had to join the talk as the company did not know how long the whole thing would take, it varied. Oh Great. I tried to stay awake in the corner where l had wedged myself in.
Finally we set off. I had tried to arrange with my other half that he would collect me when we found the dog so that l did not have to do the whole tour. He refused as he was to busy.

I sat at the front of the bus by a window trying to ignore the prattle from the tour guide, who every so often would give me a wink at another outrageous lie. At every stop l was off the coach and rushing round looking at the directions l had been given to find the dog to see if l could recognise anything.
At lunch someone asked me if l was with the tour company and l explained what l was up to. Apparently the group had formulated some weird story for my behaviour to do with checking up on the tour guide and seeing if everything in the areas they stopped at was set up correctly.

On hearing what l doing they immediately became like a pack of truffle hounds it was much more fun to them than just being on a tour. So l would wait at the bus chatting while “The Pack” shot off on a hunt and reported back. At the last stop they found it and were in uproar over the dogs condition. I explained l was not prepared to do anything that day, this was just a find the dog expedition and see what was there, if anything. I would come back later and talk to the owner and try to improve conditions or if need be get permission to put it to sleep. There was grumbling but they could see l wasn’t going to budge my position. I also gave them a long talk on animal care and how things worked on the island.

The next day when l went back to speak to the owner he was an elderly man. The dog was a guard dog. He was not exactly a prime example of it not caring what walked past him.

The owner agreed that l could supply wormers for the dog he would give them and to improve feeding. Bedding was a no as that would make a mess. I suggested an area of soft sand to lie in if l arranged it, the answer was still no. He would make a sheltered area so the dog could have shade other than the sparse branches nearby. I went back a couple of times to drop wormers off. Food was improved but he never got any weight back on and did not eat an awful lot. I think he was just too old to care and quite likely had heart worm which l could not treat without confirming he had it, and in the state he was in the treatment would kill him. He died a few months after l found him. The owner did not bother to replace him thank goodness.

Had the owner refused to do anything to help the dog, then no one could have done anything, but throw food as tourists had done in the past. Most of the Tenerifians were happy enough to do as suggested if it cost them nothing and did not mean they had to vary their routine.

I am able to understand cruelty in places like Tenerife, this doe’s not mean l condone it there is a big difference.
It is a struggle for the people, let alone the animals they have. There is not much education about human health. As to animal advice that is non existent. Vets are a last resort and generally the vets only treat town peoples and foreigners animals, the villagers are to poor for their own medical needs, let alone their animals.

I can not understand about cruelty in the UK and USA and other “modern” countries where there is education and back up for animal welfare and it is here l reserve my anger for over cruelty. Other places it is more frustration, the odd burst of anger and a spot to bash my head against the wall.

**The 3 photos were taken on the day l found him.


Maeve said...

Jesus,Mary and Joesph...........
How ANY one can do this....I just can't wrap my brain around it.
This is why I could never be a vet or a pediatric nurse.
I'd kill the idoits that do this kind of damage on purpose.
Common sense people.......it all boils down to common sense and compassion.

Annette said...

Oh my god, that poor dog. I could weep for him.
How can anyone do it?
If anyone finds it too hard to cope why don't they give them away? I mean to a kennel or rspca.
They will know then that the dog will be looked after properly.
Well done you for helping him in his last hours.

Vetnurse said...

The owner could not see a problem, not through unkindness just through ignorance. After all it is just a dog.

Compassion, well l was once told "The bible says that god gave man dominion over animals so what's the problem". I was impressed at how calm l stayed over that one.

There is often no kennels to take animals in third world countries. On Tenerife there is a couple of rescue places but that is all. They are overflowing. Although had he been taken in l would have taken him and put him down.

I did not offer to put him down at the time as the owner would have refused and even if he agreed would likely have replaced him with a younger version. Hence just trying to educate and improve the dogs life... food, worm, shade. (as l say bedding was refused)

There is no point in getting upset in the face of ignorance. You can not win if you are abusing someone. Better to try and educate so that something is not continued but stopped and redirected into the positive.
The anger can be taken out on the wall when you are in private.

I got into places, and l had people contact me over animals that needed help, which if l got angry all the time (in public) l would not have done.

Anger can be used, and l have used it but only if it is directed correctly in certain situations.

It is not like USA, UK, Aus etc that have animal cruelty laws that are enforced, and l had no legal status.