Tank wagged his tail at a volunteer. He kissed her fingers and rolled over for a belly rub. The only thing aggressive about Tank was the way he hugged volunteers (see photo). Yet Tank is the latest casualty at a shelter that labels dogs as “aggressive” and then kills them. Ori, a senior dog, was killed the day before Tank, another dog whose life ended at a shelter that claims it is “no kill.” Yet they consistently label dogs as “aggressive” before they kill them. Why, one might wonder, do they label gentle, friendly dogs as aggressive?
There is a method to the madness. According to “no kill” protocol, shelters are allowed to kill as many “aggressive” or “medical” animals as needed without it affecting their precious “save” rate. So often, shelters will label dogs as aggressive or sick so that they can be killed with the deaths not affecting their numbers.
Several articles have been written about Miami Dade Animal Services doing just this. In January, this article, “Miami Dade Animal Services labels dogs “aggressive” and then kills them” was published about this very issue.
Poor Tank was only three years old. He arrived at the shelter with taser barbs on his body. Had someone cruel tased the dog for “fun”? Was he tased by animal control officers? Why was this gentle dog treated so cruelly? Tank was at the shelter for over two months. He was available for adoption, but heartbreakingly, just when rescuers found him an adopter, the shelter killed him.
What happened? After two months — two long months — of having Tank available for adoption, one day someone arrived at the shelter and found that overnight Tank had turned aggressive? The rescuers who try to save the dogs from this shelter would scoff at that idea. Tank had taken up space for too long, and this shelter routinely labels dogs as aggressive so they can be killed without messing up their pretty statistics.
One person posted on Facebook:
“Friendly and loving, this cutie is ready to go home with you!”
Tank’s intake photo doesn’t show his gentle nature and affectionate personality, but his video does! Want your heart broken? Watch this video of Tank kissing the fingers of a visitor. His tail never stops wagging and he rolls over for a tummy rub. A more adorable, lovable dog would be hard to find.
Many tried to get Tank to safety. Life Is Good with Dogs posted Tank on their Facebook page. But the shelter didn’t send out a notice about Tank’s scheduled killing. They didn’t ask volunteers or rescue groups if they were actively networking Tank. They just killed him, along with 33 other dogs and cats. One might wonder how long it takes to kill that many animals. Do they rush through to get it done quickly? Do they have animals waiting in the same room where other animals are being killed to save time? Other shelters have done that.
This shelter, Miami Dade Animal Services, in one 24-hour period this week killed 21 cats and 13 dogs. Among the dogs were Tank and Ori. Ori’s story is told in “Dog adopted at shelter dumped 9 years later; shelter killed him in 4 days.” Unlike Tank, Ori was only given four days at the shelter to find a home. Tank had an adopter who wanted him. Both dogs could have lived, but they were killed by Miami Dade Animal Services, Tank after being (mis)labeled “aggressive” and Ori, whose death was probably labeled as “medically indicated.”
Please share this story. The mayor of Miami is running for reelection. One of his opponents has promised to help the animals of Miami Dade County. They need it!