Why am I here? What did I do?

By Joanna D. Samson, FOTAS Vice President

Yesterday, I had a home. I had you. Today I am in a kennel in a place where there are so many other dogs. I can see dogs in the kennels across from me, but I can hear so many more. I can smell their fear and anxiety. I am afraid, too.

Why did you leave me here?

I thought we were going for a ride in the car—one of my very favorite things to do. Then we pulled in to this place, and I thought, “Oh, oh, the vet,” but I’m a brave boy, so I figured we’d see the man in the white coat, get a shot, and we’d get back in the car and go home.

But then you left me here, and you didn’t even look at me when the nice lady took me away.

Have I been bad? Is it because I barked too much when you left me outside chained to the tree? I was lonely and wanted to be with you. I just needed a little attention, that’s all.

Is it because I knocked over the garbage can? I was hungry, and there were some good smells in the can. I couldn’t help myself.

Is it because I chewed up your boot? I was bored and it smelled like you. If you had taken me for a walk or given me a chew toy, I don’t think the arm of your chair would have been so appealing.

Is it because my fur is matted and I have these ugly itchy sores on my body from fleabites? All I just needed was a bath and a flea collar.

Is it because I had that accident on the floor? I didn’t know what I did wrong because you never took the time to teach me where to go. I was terrified when you forced my face into my own mess.

Is it because I jumped on you? I was excited to see you, and I was afraid you’d go away before I got a chance to show you how much I like you.

Is it because I’m not affectionate enough? I want to be, but I’m scared when you yell at me or hit me and I don’t know why.

I wanted to be a good family member. I want to please you, but I didn’t know how. Maybe I could have learned if you had taken me to an obedience class or to one of those free lessons at the shelter.

Please don’t leave me here. I want to come home.

About 2500 animals a year are surrendered to the Aiken County Animal Shelter by their owners for problems that, in most cases, could have been resolved with a little time, attention and some outside assistance.

If you are considering surrendering your pet, call the FOTAS hotline first. We may be able to help you and your pet avoid the trauma of separation.

And wouldn’t that be better for everyone?

Their lives are in our hands.