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Old 07-23-2014, 01:26 PM
Saddog Saddog is offline
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Unhappy Feral dog--put to sleep?

Hey everyone! Hoping to get some opinions or feedback here.

I'll give you a little backstory. Two years ago, a stray dog showed up at my house. She was very scared of humans. I called animal control and they came out twice to try to catch her. That didn't work, and she ended up staying. I had another dog at the time. The stray dog started actually guarding my house and chasing people down the street until they turned around. She would then scamper away. I tried catching her unsuccessfully many times. Tried coaxing with treats, etc. nothing worked. Little did I know, she was pregnant. She had puppies in my dog's doghouse! This finally gave me a chance to catch her as she had never been aggressive toward me. I was worried that she would continue chasing people away from my home, so I decided it was better to try to keep her than to take her to the pound.

I tried an electric collar. Tying her up. Harnesses and collars were a joke. She chewed through every single one that I put on her and continued to chAse people away. I called animal control... Again, no luck. Passersby victims also called animal control ON ME! Haha.

The time had come when the puppies were weaned to get her spayed. Here we go again-- chased her. Tried Benadryl. Tried the medication the vet have me. Tried double the recommended dose for her weight. Nothing worked! No vets would do a house call . I finally chased her until she grew weary and fought her into a crate and got her to the vet, yelping and trying to break out of the kennel the whole way. She never has tried to bite me once. She got spayed and got her shots. I had a fence built just to keep her in. She climbed over. I had to get an electric wire across the top and that finally worked.

Fast forward a year. I have kept her with no problems in the fence, but she has never been friendly. She is always afraid and scampers away, hides in the corner or the doghouse, etc. I've tried everything to rehab her, but it just hasn't worked.

Two days ago we noticed she was losing weight. She would not eat or drink. Here we go again... Chase her around in the fence until she tires down and we get her and being her inside. She is obviously terrified and did not move an inch all night. Refused to eat or drink.

I call the vets in my town-- none will treat a wild dog unless it's to spay. I finally find an office in another town. We wrangle her in the crate again, her kicking and fighting and flailing. The vet suggests we put her down-- he says she's never had human contact until us. He equates it to us keeping a wild fox. He says it's impossible for her to get the follow up care she needs, and he suspects her problem is heart failure.

How do you all feel about this situation? Is euthanizing her the best option? I have called around to the local rescues. No one will accept a feral dog. I'm beyond sad about this.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:44 PM
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straw straw is offline
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If she has a health condition that is going to require daily handling, medicating, regular follow-up vet visits.... how do you feel about taking that on?

Consider the dog too - she lives in a fenced yard, doesn't have any close friends, and now you're going to need to stress her out more often to medicate her, monitor her, whatever. How much of a life is that?

It's a sad situation and I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong answer. Good luck and let us know what happens.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:02 PM
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sassafras sassafras is offline
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You know her better than we do. If you don't think you can reasonably do things that might need to be done to manage her health - medication, follow up vet visits - without unduly stressing her out then I don't think euthanasia would be the worst thing in the world.

Having said that, I don't think it would be cruel to at least give it a shot if you think there's a reasonable chance it could work. If not, the two of you aren't really any worse off than you were before.


One of my cats is the epitome of the extreme "hands off unless I say or you get a razorblade tornado and I hide for a week" type cat. My husband and I have already had discussions about whether we could reasonably manage any chronic health problems that come up as she ages. I have a pretty strong feeling that we won't, so when something happens I think we will euthanize rather than do aggressive diagnostics or treatments with her. It sucks, but they are what they are and you have to work with them.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:04 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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I agree that you need to consider what may be too much stress on her regarding something that needs regular treatment. I think it is wonderful what you've done for her so far, and you have probably allowed her to live a longer, safer life than she would have had otherwise by keeping her secure.

Is she eating or drinking on her own now?
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:04 PM
Saddog Saddog is offline
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Thanks guys! She was put to sleep today. I still feel terribly guilty, but I realized that putting her through so much stress would have been cruel.

Rip Corn Dog
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:56 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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I'm very sorry for your loss FWIW, I think you did the right thing
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Old Yesterday, 06:46 AM
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I'm very sorry. She was lucky to find someone who cared about her, you did right by her.
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Old Yesterday, 07:04 AM
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Barb04 Barb04 is offline
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My heart goes out to you. Try to remember all that you did for her to make her life a better one. You tried where others wouldn't have. Thank you for all you did. She is in peace now.
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Old Yesterday, 10:45 AM
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Its sad but think of all you could have Lost had she bitten someone. I know court cases here make a animal yours if you feed it. You couldn't claim she is a stray if you give her food and shelter and then she bites someone severely.

You didn't fail her. Whoever dumped her parents failed her. You tried.
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