As promised, “because the animal rights article is next.”
There are a lot of people who have family pets, and like I said they are just that. They are family to us, and we will do anything to protect them.
Our dog had just turned eleven. He was happy, funny, sweet, and overall healthy, other than his allergies which many animals suffer from. You certainly do not euthanize someone’s family member because they have allergies. You absolutely do not euthanize an animal because an abuser tells you to. You call the police. You especially call the police when a veterinarian is telling you that he might have to remove his tail in order to help him. I do not care what a state tells you to do. The state is wrong to allow anyone other than an owner to tell a veterinarian what to do, especially when we are talking about euthanizing animals.
Most people do not know this, but In Texas veterinarians must euthanize a pet even if a caregiver tells them to. Think about this. That means that if you go away on a vacation, and you board your pet that they could potentially tell a veterinarian to euthanize your pet. In our case our dog was abused, and then he told the veterinarian to euthanize him. When anyone else who saw the bloody backside of our dog would have automatically questioned if he was being abused. Then they would have called the police.
If you have a pet it is important that you tell your veterinarian to write right at the top of their chart in big bold letters;
DO NOT EUTHANIZE UNTIL YOU HAVE TALKED TO (insert name here).
Then provide them with as many contact numbers as you can possibly give them. By doing that it should ensure the safety of your pet. Also do not forget to have a conversation about this with your veterinarian. Nobody should ever have to endure what we have.
I remember the day we were leaving. Our dog was following me back, and forth through the dining room to where we were packing up to leave. We were all set to go, and he sat down on the floor looking up at me. My daughter sat down next to him to say goodbye. As I continued to look at him he was looking up at me. Anytime we ever went anywhere I never said goodbye, because I knew that I would see him again. What I didn’t know was on that day this would be the very last time we would ever see him. As we pulled out of the driveway we could see him in the front window. He loved to sit there with his chin resting on the window sill. I think about how he must have gone to that window day after day looking for us to come back, to save him from the abuse. Then on the very day he was driven to the veterinarian he must have thought finally someone is going to help me, but that would not be what happened. Instead he was betrayed by two people, and the worst of all is that this person is a veterinarian.
I have so many regrets, but mostly I regret not being able to say a proper goodbye to him. That opportunity was ripped away from us not only by our domestic violence abuser, but by that veterinarian who very easily could have saved his life. I strongly believe that if you have chosen to be a veterinarian you had better put your patients first. This veterinarian’s obligation was only to our dog. He failed him in the worse way possible.
Texas is not a state that is known to care about animals, and until recently they just passed a law that it supposed to protect animals. Yes it is absolutely necessary for them to be out of the heat, and out of the cold weather too, but this law is not good enough.
“Unfortunately, the Safe Outdoors Dog Act does not prevent owners from tethering dogs or from keeping them outdoors. But it does define base-level requirements to ensure the dog gets adequate shelter and water, and limits the types of restraints allowed to be used.”
Even when you call to report they do not have proper shelter, or water, let alone food to eat they still do nothing. Texas must do much better than what they are currently doing to help abused animals. Many countries other than ours takes animal abuse very seriously. We need a national animal abuse registry, so that abusers can no longer get another animal. A registry that works together with law enforcement, animal shelters, and animal rescue facilities. We also need longer sentences if you abuse animals as a deterrent for these abusers.
The State of Texas certainly does not stop the euthanizing of your pet if a caregiver tells them to, so you must be the voice for your pets. If I can even prevent the agony we feel from this happening to anyone else then I will share this with as many people as I possibly can. I hope that if you are reading this article that you do the same. I also hope that you will contact your representatives, and and tell them to permanently remove this from the State of Texas. Use this article as an example of what you never want to have happen to another animal. You can find your representative here.
If you don’t live in Texas, and are reading this then I hope that you find out if your state does this, and put a stop to it. The only person who should be making the decision on whether your pet lives or dies should be you. If you are someone who has experienced something similar to what we have know that I more than empathize with you. If you can relate, and love your pets, believe that they are family then you understand.
We had two dogs. I do not forget our other dog who passed away from old age. He lived a long happy life, and in the end it was his poor little body that couldn’t keep up with his big heart. When we think about our dogs today one is with happy memories. The other one is filled with sadness, anger, disdain, and this horrible longing for just wanting him back if even for a minute just so we can get in one last hug, and kiss, and say, “We love you with all our hearts. Goodbye for now.”
Lilli is a Mom, a Photographer, and an Advocate for victims of domestic abuse, and animal rights. She, and her child are victims of domestic abuse. They resides in different locations throughout Dallas due to homelessness, because of the forced ongoing battle with their abuser.