- "... about four million dogs enter shelters nationwide each year. Some two million of them end up being euthanized, about 5,000 dogs each day, one every 16 seconds. They are not, as is often assumed, merely the misbegotten mutts, castoffs of some imaginary canine lower caste. They hail from every stratum of the human society that shaped them, from all the varied quadrants of our keeping. According to nationwide surveys, as many as 25 percent of the dogs who end up in shelters are purebreds: Boston terriers, border collies, Pomeranians, standard poodles and so on, the sorts of dogs that people pay thousands of dollars to obtain. And yet they are discarded for the same dizzying array of reasons the mongrels are, ranging from the truly fraught to the downright frivolous.
- "A man was standing in a dimly lighted room before a partly visible mound, the startling dimensions of which would soon become apparent as, one by one, shiny black tied-off garbage bags were being tossed out into the area before me. Big, small and middle-size lumps, well over 50 of them, some rigid with rigor mortis and some — like the large, handsome, two-toned boxer mix that I watched spill out of the tear in his bag and slide down the mound — loose-limbed and floppy-eared, like deeply asleep dogs.
It was, I learned later, merely a day and a half’s grim output; the majority of the animals, according to Mollaghan, could have, with very little time and effort, made some people perfectly fine companions."
- ". . . . surveyed nearly 4,000 dog owners at 12 shelters across the United States about their reasons for relinquishing their dogs. They repeatedly cited things like biting, overaggression, chewed-up furniture, repeated soiling: dogs literally and figuratively bouncing off our walls.
"And who can blame them, our walls now being just about all they have? With our full-scale shift from an agrarian to a service-based economy and society, the very nature of dog work and the tasks we ask of dogs have shifted as well. The hunters and sheepherders and the high-strung, ground-tearing terriers of yore — born ferreters of rats and badgers — are being increasingly disappointed from their intended earthly rounds, pulled skyward into high-rises, where there are only our ever-shifting moods, anthropomorphic projections and stuffed toys and couch pillows to alternately grasp, negotiate or tear through."
- A related post and a self-test for dog owners and occassional breeders: "Thank You For Not Breeding"