One day you see your neighbour beating a dog. Of course you rush to intervene, calling for your neighbour to stop. “Here - you take the dog,” says your neighbour. “No one wants him anyway.” So you take the dog and spend the rest of the day having him seen by a vet and working to find him a new home.
The next day, your neighbour is there again. You are shocked to see he is beating another dog! You again demand he leave the poor animal alone. “Here - you take it,” says your neighbour. So you take this dog also and spend your day finding him a new home to go to.
The next day, you’re horrified, but not surprised, to see your neighbour beating yet another dog. You take your leash over and again take the dog. The vet is on speed dial and you place this new dog with a family too.
Now, imagine this happens every day for a year.
All your personal money goes on vet work. You have set up a small charity. You have a social media following. You and your neighbour have a pretty good working relationship. You know where and when the beating will start, so you make sure to be there to step in.
Now, of course this story makes no sense. Why would anyone want to help a dog beating neighbour continue to beat dogs at all, let alone for many months or years? Surely after the first dog, you would be reporting them to the authorities. If the authorities wouldn’t act, you’d start lobbying other neighbours to try and get assistance. You might even go to the local media.
But that’s not what happens.
In fact, when another pet-lover from the community tries to step in and draw attention to situation, you beg them to stop. You figure if the neighbour gets the shits on, he will stop giving you the dogs. Maybe he will start beating the dogs in private. You tell other pet lovers in the community not to get involved, because they will make the situation worse.
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This is not a story about dog beating, obviously.
It is about a much worse and much more extreme violence - a purposefully inflicted death.
And this story isn’t about a neighbour - but actually a vital service in your community; your local council pound.
Rescues every day prevent violence being perpetrated against pets, by stepping in and saving pets who will be killed. Pounds can threaten the safety of pets every single day, and will still be defended as one of the 'good guys' - as long as they let rescues save animals.
Why do we work so hard to make pets safer in the pound, by stepping in and intervening in the violence; rather than making the pound safe by removing killing as an acceptable outcome for pets?
We need safe pounds who work with rescue, not violent pounds being tempered by the goodwill of a few hardworking pet-lovers.