Liars and Cheats Peddling Vicious Animals

close up photo of chain link fence

For over two years, I struggled with the idea of ever having another pet. I was quite adamant in a previous post entitled “The Ghost of the Pet Not Yet Departed” that I would never let another animal into my life, especially after having to give up the sweetest cat ever in Pinky. At the time I had no choice, but now I did. And, I feel like my good intentions came back to bite me in the ass once again.

Tom has been talking about getting a dog ever since we got together. I refused, simply on the basis that I felt that another pet in my life would end with nothing but heartbreak. Finally, I relented in October of 2022, seeing that Tom really missed her childhood dog. We happened to see one online at a shelter nearby that looked so much like him. It seemed too good to be true.

It was.

Of course, I willed this whole thing to go right. Soon as we had an appointment, we went the day before to PetSmart to get everything we needed to make a dog comfortable. This was something I resolved to do for my wife’s happiness, and it’s been a rough year personally and we needed something to brighten up our life.

It was the worst thing that happened all year.

Once Tom and I had the opportunity to meet with the dog at this nearby shelter, things seemed alright. The dog was a bit shy and skittish, but we were expecting that. We were told by the staff that he was well behaved and was available for adoption. We signed the paperwork, gave the organization a cash donation of several hundred dollars and thanked everyone for their help.

But, alarms started sounding in my head. Something didn’t feel right with this dog. Honestly, most of the other dogs there didn’t look too friendly, either. Is this where they send the rejects? I thought. The worst part was, the dog we were looking to adopt seemed to be simply shy and skittish and gave no indication at all that he was aggressive. In fact, the staff went out of their way to try and prove he was fine. I knew something was up, but again, I was trying to will this to happen.

As soon as Tom opened the door to our truck and leaned down to let the dog know that he was going home, he immediately and viciously attacked her. The dog bit her in the side of her head and neck. While I immediately wanted to call the cops to have the dog dealt with, Tom decided to play it cool and instructed the staff that they should deal with the matter internally. We also said that they could keep our donation, since we like to think of ourselves as nice people.

However, the staff simply said, we’ll cut you a check. We refused that offer. We weren’t taking the money, but I made it clear it was with the condition that the dog be put down or otherwise removed from consideration for adoption. They just took off, and so did we.

We went home without the dog, obviously, and tried to resolve the situation amicably through sending an email to the coordinator who matched us up to the dog along with the organization itself. We took a heartbreaking trip back to PetSmart to return what we could; we lost the leash on the vicious dog, and we kept the backseat cover. After getting back most of our money, the people, who were very nice, suggested we try to adopt another dog in the future. I just shook my head, and every time a dog came up to greet us, both Tom and I jumped. They were all friendly and well-behaved, of course, but being viciously attacked by a dog sort of puts the fear in you.

Later that night, with no reply, it seemed the staff decided to not be cooperative and we felt as if they were intentionally trying to adopt out a dog that they knew full well was aggressive and dangerous. The dog’s listing was removed from their website once our appointment was set up. But, we checked just hours later, and sure enough, not only was the dog relisted for adoption, but extra information was added about the dog being “great with other animals and kids.” So, not only did they not take our kindness seriously, they spit in our face by simply relisting the animal and pocketing the money.

Fortunately, Tom suffered only superficial injuries that needed no medical treatment. She had bite marks on the left side of her head and neck. We did the most honorable thing possible to give the establishment the opportunity to take care of this matter on their own and promising not to say anything to anyone if they just either refunded us the money or gave us a letter allowing us to claim the donation for tax purposes. Clearly, they are not taking this situation seriously and we are both concerned for the safety of anyone who tries to adopt this animal.

This shelter has been reported for their actions, and most likely our “optional donation” was pocketed by their liars and cheats peddling a vicious animal. Plus, not only did the state not act on our report quickly, they told us that the shelter was unlicensed and that we were wasting our time. The organization they belong to is apparently legitimate, but they aren’t getting back to us, either.

(UPDATE: After a week, the organization the shelter belonged to actually forwarded our email to their founder/president, so we’ll see if this goes anywhere. It’s very possible they’ve already taken actions to deal with the bad shelter. We’ll see.)

Now, this unlicensed shelter is in a hell of a hurry to push this dangerous animal on someone unsuspecting. Tom and I are not only never adopting another animal, we aren’t even letting another animal into our house; while neither of us sustained permanent physical injuries, we are both scarred mentally and emotionally by this experience.

Tom and I have also decided that the next person that tells us, oh, you should try to adopt another dog again in time, will be axed from our life. We don’t need that crap. So, if you’re thinking about adopting an animal, I would be extremely careful who you trust. There are legitimate, good-hearted shelters left in the world, but more often it seems these days, most seem to be peddling vicious attack dogs and other crazed animals just to make them someone else’s problem. If you don’t absolutely need a pet in your life, just don’t adopt.

I hope that you have a good relationship with your own animals, because my relationship with animals at this point is, fine, stay in the wild. I now truly believe that we should just let our pets free and focus more on one another. That would probably be for the better.

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.

One thought on “Liars and Cheats Peddling Vicious Animals

  1. I’m so very sorry to hear about that terrible experience you had on what should have been a happy day, with more happiness to follow. Good you’re warning others and reported this to the authorities. I hope Tom’s injuries heal well with no physical scars, and understand the psychological scars are even worse. 😢

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