Convert Fairfax VA into a NO-KILL County - The Petition Site

Thursday, 10 June 2010
Convert Fairfax VA into a NO-KILL County - The Petition Site

In just 22 Shelter days, an innocent dog was senselessly destroyed. He is one of over 20,000 that will be heartlessly euthanized this year in Fairfax County.

On the sunny evening of May 2nd, a dog jumped out of the bushes on
Americana Drive and started chasing my car. I swerved to avoid him. I
turned my car around. He chased other cars as if looking for his ride.
I distracted him so I could get him out of traffic. He came up to my
door and whined as if he knew me. He drank water out of my water
bottle and rested in the air-conditioned back seat of my car.

I turned him over to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter with the trust
he would be reunited with his owner. Instead, they killed him, just 22
days later.

I posted his picture on FaceBook and Craig's List, trying to find a
foster home for him. I named him Rin Tin Tin, after a famous TV canine hero.

I am writing to ask you to
save the lives of animals in Fairfax County. I was betrayed when I acted as a responsible citizen by the
Fairfax County Animal Shelter who destroyed this dog I turned over to
them for safekeeping. Instead, they destroyed him and found him to be
unfit as a pet. This dog never harmed anyone. He was lost in my
neighborhood, chasing cars. He drank water out of my hand and
willingly jumped into the back seat of my air-conditioned car where we
shared close quarters without any aggression on his part. I asked the
Shelter to give me first chance at adoption or another shelter, but
instead, Karen Diverney, Shelter Director, informed me that he failed
a so called "temperament test" and therefore she decided he was unfit.
She refused to adopt him to me or anyone else.

In fact, a common test advocated by the test inventor, Sternberg is to
give a dog a highly regarded treat such as cat food or hot dogs, and
then use a fake rubber hand to take the food away. If a dog growls at
the hand, he is deemed aggressive and killed. In reality, many dogs
who are not aggressive fear the fake rubber hands. Moreover, stray
dogs may enter shelters underweight because they have not been eating
regularly. Giving these dogs food and then taking it immediately away
is setting such dogs up for failure. Hunger is not aggression, but
shelters use it as an excuse to kill otherwise friendly dogs. In any
case, Rin Tin Tin passed my temperament test and I was willing to find
him a suitable home. 80% of dogs fail this test.

I protested and she told me that the dog was the county property and
that they are part of the police department. I said I wanted to adopt
the dog or find a worthy shelter. She refused. When I submitted Rin Tin Tin, I said I wanted first rights of decision and to find an alternate home, even my own, should his owners not reveal themselves. I had written to her
and had called repeatedly to voice my concern for the dog and desire
to provide an alternative shelter or foster care, or to foster him
myself. How is it that my tax dollars support this shelter and yet
they refused my help at my own expense?

Now hearts are breaking everywhere. Mine, as I will be forever haunted
by this dear dog's uncalled-for demise. His owners too, wherever they
are, will never know his fate and are mourning as any of us who love
dogs would mourn. Perhaps a soldier was suddenly deployed to
Afghanistan. An immigrant family traveled through and didn't know the
language or American customs like shelters or the websites they use.
Perhaps he jumped out of a car and ran a long way, far from his home.
His owner could be a senior citizen, or someone who died suddenly.

Please help. The Fairfax County Animals Shelter is run by the police
department and using temperament testing, which was once banned from
the shelter but has now been reintroduced. This assures that 80% of
all animals will fail. The shelter should not be run like death row.
It should be a place of refuge, not annihilation. Citizens and dog
lovers must raise their voices as I am in protest of Temperament
Testing. The Shelter should not be run by police. Please help the lost
and stray animals of Fairfax county live long and happy lives. Make Fairfax County a No-Kill County. With the multiple shelters and rescuers using their private funds to assure good lives for animals who would be pets, there is no reason to squander our tax dollars on killing drugs and death.

We are all the creation of Great Spirit, God, or whomever you call the higher power. As a created beings we are all equal. It is our charter as humankind to be stewards just as Adam and Eve were in the original garden. Let the legacy of this decade in Fairfax County be one of life-sustaining, not life taking.


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