Killer Rottweilers are up for adoption by the public shelter that took them in about a month ago, after two of them attacked and killed a five year old boy. The incident happened on May 1, Easter day in Greece. The boy and his family were visiting a friend’s house, the boy was left unattended for a while, and a few minutes later he was beaten to death by two out of the eight dogs that lived in the property. The owner was arrested, all eight dogs were removed from him, were placed in a public shelter and were given less than a month to be adopted until they are put down. The deadline is in two days, May 25.
A campaign has started to save the eight dogs. Animal welfare charities and volunteers ask for the dogs to be spared and to be handed over to responsible dog trainers and no kill shelters. “It’s not their fault” everyone shouts, and they are right. I’m not sure if anyone actually willing to take the dogs in has come forward, but the pleas for sparing the dogs’ lives hit brick wall. And personally, I don’t know where I stand.
If the dogs had been put to sleep the day after, everything would have been easier, but now we have engage to conversations about whether they deserve a chance or not, who could we possibly trust with their training and socialization and if they should be taking up shelter space and volunteers’ time while millions of emaciated strays in desperate need of help keep dying in the streets because they have nowhere to be placed. Absolutely nowhere.
Choosing to rescue a dog in Greece equals choosing to let a dozen others die helpless. It’s like playing God every single day. So should we choose to deprive eight random stray dogs that never hurt anyone from a chance in life, and save the Rottweilers on death row? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.
When it comes to pointing fingers and blaming the ones responsible, most of us with a slightest bit of common sense know what to do. It was never the dogs’ fault, and that is pretty clear. But when it comes to taking action, we’re very good at pressing the share button over and over again and hoping for someone else to do the dirty work.
And who will that someone be? Who will take in eight killer dogs, socialize and train them? I know I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk putting my dogs and family at risk by fostering one of them. And I definitely wouldn’t turn my back on the mangy, emaciated dog dying on the street, hoping for him to die slower so that I can get to him after I have fostered and rehomed one of the Rottweilers on death row.
I’m torn. And so are many of us. I wish I hadn’t seen them chained in those cages, looking at the camera not knowing what’s going on. Not knowing why their life was turn upside down, not knowing what they did wrong and why they were deprived off the love and affection of the man who loved – because he did love them, and he gave them away crying. And in case they are put to sleep in two days, I can only wish that it had been done sooner, without them having to spend a month chained in a public shelter’s cage wondering if this will be their life from now on, and what did they do wrong to deserve it.
I made the video a few days after the tragedy, and I was convinced that this story ends here – or I wanted to believe that. It never occured to me what will happen to the dogs, or maybe I was sure that they were going to be put down immediately, so I cried for them and said my goodbyes with a simple “such a shame”. But I wasn’t prepared for what came after. I wasn’t prepared to keep seeing their pictures 24/7 while scrolling down on my Facebook wall, in posts asking me to take action. Because the only action I’d like to take would be to turn back the time and change the events of May 1. That would have made things so much easier. For everyone.
So I’m not sure what this post is actually about. Maybe a farewell. Maybe I actually do want to give them one last chance. Maybe I want their pictures to stay on my blog, and as their beautiful eyes are looking at me through the camera, I will be reminded of the mistakes we all make when it comes to man’s best friend. Or maybe it’s an apology. An apology for not being able – nor willing – do anything else, than just write about them.