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Old 02-23-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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has anyone seen this? i watched part of it last night while i was spending time with my neighbors' dog (she was sick and needed to be kept under observation while they were out).

it's a documentary about a "kill" shelter in upstate new york. the woman who runs the shelter believes really strongly that for a truly unadoptable dog, life in a typical shelter is worse than euthanasia. it is a shelter that makes every effort (as much as their funding and staffing allows, at least) to rehabilitate and adopt out dogs who can be adopted. there are some heartbreaking stories and some with happy endings. i'd highly recommend it, but not if you're easily upset. they do show some awful situations and they actually show some dogs being put to sleep (in a humane manner, but still). i stopped watching it because i got interrupted, but i don't know if i would have made it all the way through myself.

i think kill shelters get a bad rap. no-kill shelters like best friends where dogs live in packs with lots of inside and outside space are the exception, not the rule. most shelters of any kind have the dogs isolated in concrete kennels, constantly hearing other dogs barking around them, and that is no life for a dog. dogs literally go insane in that kind of environment. i agree with the subject of this documentary that euthanasia is more humane than life in a typical shelter. i did not agree with every decision she made about which dogs should be euthanized, but i have to admire the fact that she was strong enough to make these decisions at all.

never mind the fact that no-kill shelters just don't have enough room for all the animals out there. a friend of mine took in some strays from her neighborhood and got them on the waiting list for a local no-kill shelter and a year and a half later, they got in. as they say at the kill shelter where i used to volunteer, you can either be no-kill or you can be open door. i think no-kill shelters have their place, but i feel like they get a lot more support, in terms of donations and volunteer time, because they make people feel better. i am not convinced that they make *animals* feel better, though.

whatever your opinion on the matter, it's a very thought-provoking film.

an interview with the filmmaker:

http://www.newenglandfilm.com/news/a...3june/wade.htm

Last edited by groar; 02-23-2010 at 11:03 AM..
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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what channel was this on?? i think i would like to at least try to watch it..... i remember watching another program similar several years ago about a woman who ran a shelter.... don't remember many of the details but one that did stand out and stick with me was her description of how some dogs will go insane in a shelter environment .... the stress and noise and activity is just too much for them ..... and in fact, she had to put down a beautiful cocker spaniel girl for just this reason...... so sad so sad.......
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:02 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,881,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
i think no-kill shelters have their place, but i feel like they get a lot more support, in terms of donations and volunteer time, because they make people feel better. i am not convinced that they make *animals* feel better, though.
A sentiment I agree with whole-heartedly.

I have said and I will continue to say that there are fates worse than death.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:55 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latetotheparty View Post
.. i remember watching another program similar several years ago about a woman who ran a shelter.... don't remember many of the details but one that did stand out and stick with me was her description of how some dogs will go insane in a shelter environment .... the stress and noise and activity is just too much for them ..... and in fact, she had to put down a beautiful cocker spaniel girl for just this reason...... so sad so sad.......
LTP - I think you probably saw the same film - it features Sue Sternberg and her so-called 'professional' ability to determine in a 'fly-by' at a high kill shelter, which dogs are adoptable and which are not. She literally walks past kennels at a normal walking pace and points and says 'that one's not adoptable', 'that one is aggressive', etc.....she never lays hands on the dogs she deems unadoptable, or even attemps to enter their enclosures....to me - that's fundamentally wrong.

Suffice it to say - I personally do not care for Sue Sternberg and her tactics - I find her approach abrasive and insensitive...to both animals and humans.

Many people have no idea how many dogs get put down every day, for one small noted specific behavior - because it's often all the shelter staff have to go on - when things like space and finances are front and center.

It isn't the fault of the city shelters or their staff.....pet overpopulation has to be solved - until it is - regular human beings will make 'godly' decisions about homeless animals every day of the week....and FiveHorses - I often say the same - there are fates worse than death.

Animal Rescue is a complete circle - even when many only want to see the side of the circle that is warm and fuzzy......

I wanted to add - I am in touch with the fact that my feelings about Sue Sternberg and her approach, are likely because I am a large dog person - and particularly large strong dogs, with strong/confident personalities - and these dogs are often apt to display behavior in a strange fenced enclosure being approached by a total stranger, that is far from accurate of their true temperament.

Last edited by Rottnboys; 02-23-2010 at 02:12 PM.. Reason: one last thought
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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How can i watch this without purchasing it?
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:28 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcrazy View Post
How can i watch this without purchasing it?
I'm not sure you will find it, in entirity without purchasing it.....there is more info here:
SHELTER DOGS - A documentary film by Cynthia Wade - SUBJECT PROFILE: SUE STERNBERG
You can click on videos/dvd's and see that it is available for purchase....

This film was released in late 2003 or early 2004 - so it's been out there several years. Maybe YouTube has something on it? I googled "Sue Sternberg Shelter Dogs" If you do that - be ready to read......many like her, just as many don't.......
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Is this the one where she takes a dog to McDonalds for his last dinner and then takes him to the vet to be euthanized? It was heartbreaking.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:14 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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i think so .... i think that was the cocker girl that shelter life ruined......
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:18 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,671,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rottnboys View Post
LTP - I think you probably saw the same film - it features Sue Sternberg and her so-called 'professional' ability to determine in a 'fly-by' at a high kill shelter, which dogs are adoptable and which are not. She literally walks past kennels at a normal walking pace and points and says 'that one's not adoptable', 'that one is aggressive', etc.....she never lays hands on the dogs she deems unadoptable, or even attemps to enter their enclosures....to me - that's fundamentally wrong.
yeah, i didn't see her doing that in the film, but she did judge the cocker spaniel VERY quickly, and only gave him a chance to get over his ear infection and be temperament tested after being urged to by other shelter staff.

even with the temperament testing, i don't know if i agree with her decision to euthanize. yes, the dog bit, but only after being prodded repeatedly and after giving several warnings. i think that was a trainable dog, at the very least. but sadly, most shelters don't have the resources for serious training.

i do agree with her decision with the wheaten terrier though. that dog was SUPER aggressive right from the getgo.

i also agree with the concept that no kill is not always the kind way to go, and someone has to make these decisions. unfortunately they're not always going to use criteria that i agree with.

i actually didn't catch that it was sue sternberg until i read the interview i posted, i've heard of her before.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,413 posts, read 5,106,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcrazy View Post
How can i watch this without purchasing it?
You can rent it from Netflix. If you don't have an account probably a friend or coworker does that you can ask them to get it for you.
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