I have a friend who is disabled and has PTSD. The doctors believe she needs a companion dog and wrote her a prescription for one. She lives in a local apartment complex by the firehouse. Previously she had a Sheltie as a companion animal. She had her very well trained, the dog would bring her the car keys, etc. The only problem was that the Sheltie was one of the timid ones and highly sensitive to noise. The apartment complex parking lot is noisy, but even worse was the siren from the firehouse. She loved the dog dearly, but the dog was experiencing too much stress. We worked hard too find a home for the dog. We found a home for her with a woman who owns other Shelties, has a farm, works them with sheep and does agility also. This little dog now has a happy home without the stress that was ruining her enjoyment of life. My friend grieved over giving the dog up, but knew that she had to for the dog's sake.
Months later when her heart was ready for a new dog she went to the Delaware County SPCA. She found a little puppy that was perfect for her who wasn't the least bit worried about all the noise there in the parking lot. She took me to see the dog and I agreed it was perfect, small, submissive and full of love. She filled out her application and put down what had happened with the Sheltie because she is an honest person. She also put down the details of the other four dogs she previously owned for all of their long lives. She showed the worker there her prescription and her lease. They insisted that she must get a new copy of her lease saying the dog would be allowed. She tried to explain the ADA to them, that the landlord could not legally deny her a dog (the landlord was happy for her to have a dog and missed the Sheltie). It was Sunday, but they insisted she must have a written statement from her leasing company. We left to come back the next day when things were sorted out. She spent all the next day on the phone between the SPCA and her very busy landlord. They wouldn't accept a call from the landlord. Finally the landlord wrote a letter even though she didn't have time to waste on this foolishness. The SPCA told us to come get the dog. When we arrived they took us off into a small room and said, "Oh we tried to call you back before you left. We found an old record showing that you gave up two kittens here saying they were too much for you to handle. You have a history of abandoning animals with that and the dog." My friend hadn't remembered about the kittens because her sister had found them and she had brought them in believing that was the correct thing to do rather than leaving them in the street to die. The dog, as I said before, was not given to them but was rehomed in a very good situation. My friend started to explain and the girl began badgering her like she was a criminal under investigation. The girl said, "Cats are easier than dogs because they can fend for themselves and you said these cats were too much for you to handle." My friend said that they were tiny kittens and she was sure they would get a home, that she couldn't have them with the sheltie and they weren't her's to begin with. This girl just kept on and on at her, she never even said that my friend couldn't have the dog, she did say, "Oh it says here on the contact that we have the right to deny anyone..." By this point my friend was physically shaking. She is disabled, has PTSD and was under attack by this arrogant girl. She had spent two days and countless hours of time to satisfy their requirements. Finally she just said, "Fine, I'm not interested anymore." We left. To me it was abusive in their part, both to my friend and to the poor dog who needed a home. Also they were charging over $300 for the puppy which I think is just ludicrous for a mixed breed pup in a shelter.
~ Lynn Porter
SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) (Read these stories)
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