A reader posted a link to a column that can best be described as misguided. I was stunned that anyone might come to the conclusions that writer Erin Auerbach reached after her experiences in adopting homeless dogs.
She leads off her Washington Post opinion piece from July of 2014 with a quote that goes to the heart of why we adopt homeless pets -“Why buy while those in shelters die?” And then she abandoned the statement of compassion completely.
Auerbach notes she adopted homeless dogs before writing the column. But somehow she came to a point where she switched her mentality.
She faced the pain of loss after a couple of her rescues faces illnesses and now it means her love will go to dogs purchased from breeders only – not the very animals in need she previously helped.
She states – “Rescue and shelter dogs are a crapshoot.”
Unbelievable. The crapshoot for dogs comes as the result of horrible breeding practices that result in health and mental disorders. The crapshoot comes as a result of abuse or neglect. It is a subset of humans who created these problems.
But rather than speak out against those people, she calls the dogs a “crapshoot.”
I could better understand if someone was stung by the loss of a pet and stated they just cannot go through that pain anymore. But to go there and jump off track to say you have the love to give, just not to the rescue pets, is unimaginable to me.
She might not have wanted to come across this way, but her writing feels like she is blaming the dogs. The reality is the fault all lies with poor breeding practices or abuse or neglect or being taken from a mother too soon – all the fault of some humans.
She also misses an extraordinarily import principle. We don’t rescue dogs just to give something to ourselves. We rescue to save lives and offer compassion and love to animals in need.
To put it bluntly, Auerbach’s piece was irresponsible and she should produce an apology.
Thankfully, Lisa LaFontaine, the President and CEO of the Washington Humane Society wrote a column for Huffington Post to counter Auerbach’s claims.
LaFontaine is on the front lines of the problem and the effort to educate the public, while Auerbach has produced something that could steer people away from saving lives through adoption.
If everyone or even a substantial number of people took Auerbach’s advice it would lead to millions more homeless pets dying every year. It is bluntly irresponsible.
PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic