Being a person who is passionate about animals and their welfare I read with interest Ms. Wingard’s letter about Jake the Dalmatian and the follow-up letter from the Myrtle Beach Fire Department chief.
Although Ms. Wingard did not have all the facts regarding Jake there are lessons to be learned here. The glaringly obvious fact is Jake ended up back at the animal shelter after being adopted by the fire department. I completely understand why the dog was not a good candidate for them to keep, being too shy and somewhat fractious. Unfortunately, the more Jake is passed around the worse his behavior problems will become as he becomes more and more insecure.
When we adopt a pet it is, or should be, a life time commitment. Of course circumstances change and sometimes we are forced to give up a pet which happened to the fire department. They made the same mistake many people make in placing an animal in the wrong home, so when Jake became an inconvenience (his owner was moving), he was again thrown away.
I know our firefighters to be kind and compassionate men and women whose only fault is trusting the wrong person as many of us do. Too often pets are considered disposable, which accounts for the overwhelming numbers in animal shelters nationwide. Everyone who must give up or place a pet needs to be very careful who they hand over that animal to, remembering the pet is unable to care for his/her self and does not get to choose their own destiny.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.