A good deed for Xmas...give an abandoned dog a home!

12/17/2009 - 11:44

A fellow local expat and good friend is distraught....her hairdresser has just told her about a one-year old male Rottweiler she is temporarily taking care of that will be "killed" if she can't find a home for him ASAP. Apparently this dog belonged to a friend of hers who has just decided that the family no longer want a dog...its too much bother and expense.... Having spent the first year of his life in an apartment, with a family, and is apparently well trained and good with children, he is now out in a field somewhere -probably totally confused and stressed out, not to mention scared and wondering what on earth he has done to deserve this change of circumstances. As any of you living in Italy know, a vet is not legally allowed to put a healthy dog down simply because he is not wanted, so the thought of how he might end his days is too appalling for words and neither the hairdresser or her friend want to take the dog to the local pound - unwilling to be seen "publicly" as uncaring! Both also state that they have neither the time or inclination to do anything more pro-active about finding this poor dog a home than mention his plight to people they know are dog-lovers! My friend has already adopted 4 abandoned dogs, and simply doesn't have room for any more...not to mention the cost...and I already have two (also abandoned) in a one-bed flat with a little garden totally unsuitable for a dog that size - and I would not be able to walk him for  long enough on a regular basis. If we can't find anyone to take this dog on...then we will either, and very reluctantly, take him to the "canile" in Rieti...that sadly does not have the greatest of reputations...or, equally reluctantly, find a local farmer who will probably be happy to take him on as a "guard dog"...and he will undoubtedly live out the rest of his life chained up and living on scraps... My friend and I will be posting notices at local vets etc - and also on any Italian websites we think might produce results...but ... if there are any dog lovers out there who have the room and can afford to take on a large dog, please, please contact me....  


Christmas Gift?  If there is someone that you haven't bought a gift for yet you can make a donation using paypal to www.canidinessuno.it My family alays get a donation to a charity as a gift and we choose a different one every year. Much better than chocolates or bubblebath !! The situation with vets in Italy puzzles me.Why is it that they feel it is better to let a confused and unhappy animal fend for themeslves in the wild than put them painlesly to sleep? Many of these abandoned dogs and puppies will die an agonising death from poison or will simply starve. There seems to be an 'out of sight out of mind' mentality operating throughout Italy when it comes to unwanted animals and its really not good.There are a few individuals like our post lady who are having to deal with the results of this crazy way of thinking and its really not fair on them.She has to buy animal food for all of the strays in our village from her wages.

Although there are now laws aimed at protecting animals from cruelty etc - and that (in theory) will punish those that are responsible - or that abandon them -  in practice they are very rarely applied! (Nothing new there then.....) It is the law that says animals can't be put down for as long as they are healthy or treatable...so it is not so much that vets are being awkward, they are obeying the law.  I am sure that some do what they can on the quiet but.... yes the roving wild packs of dogs that are certainly a danger, for which there is a  strong arguement for putting them down humanely before they attack and injure a person - and in many instances, it would also save them from the poor quality of life that many endure until they are either shot by a local farmer, or run over by a car!  That said, many of the "canile communale" are awful places...terribly overcrowded (some have 3 or 4 times as many animals as they were designed for) and often with insufficient funds to properly feed and care for the animals.  My vets (there are 6 of them in the practice) volunteer at the local canile twice a week to do what they can - for free- (they also help out clients who have little money to spend on vet bills, but lots of love for their pets!),  There are rescue centres run by volunteers, but donating money to spend on animals is not high up the list of worthy causes for most Italians.  My vet told me that there is a law that says that for every x thousand people (I don't know the details) a commune is supposed to have a canile - (and that state or perhaps European funding is available) and that where a commune has less than that number of residents, they can link up with neighbouring comune...but few bother, and nobody says anything!  There is also a problem with funds being waylaid by the malavita apparently.  The funding provided is, let's say 3 Euro per dog per day (it may be more or less, I've forgotten).  Once the canile is up and running, "someone" comes along and says unless you give me 2 Euro of that money we will do x, y, z......  Striscia la notizia - has also done several exposès about the whole problem.  For those that don't know, it is a popular programme, humourous and full of satire and irony, but which  also goes "undercover"  to expose all sorts of things - from lousy / corrupt kennels, to the "maghi" (clairvoyants) that appear on TV, lawyers "arranging" papers for non EU citizens wanting to stay in Italy, the state of roads, new roads that received EU funding but have never been finished, etc etc etc. Actually - the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs is usually available free or in some regions, at a much reduced cost, but the ASL vets(ASL is equivalent of NHS) - although my own vet says that they are often more like butchers than surgeons.   That, however is not why most Italians don't have their animals "done".... I can't tell you how many times I have been told that it is "against God / nature" (but apparently killing or abandoning the puppies / kittens is OK....) There is much to love about Italy...but sometimes I wonder why on earth they ever chose St Francis as the country's patron saint, when love of animals seems so low down on the list...   Oh well... The Rottweiler has apparently "gone" but we don't know how / where / when....    

 ...many many animals die slow and painful deaths every day out of human sight.  Everything from hedgehog to wolf to wild boar. So to that extent we are all "guilty" of "out of sight out of mind".  So I don't think it is really that surprising that many people react the same to semi-domesticated animals when they suffer the same fate. I agree that we have more responsibility for these animals, since we are usually the reason for their existence in the first place.  But that's more an argument for responsible breeding strategies than it is a reason to criticise those who don't react like we may to half-wild dogs and cats. There was a thread on the old forum about the very real dangers of packs of wild dogs.  Again, a good argument for preventing them being born in the first place, but also makes it much more understandable as to why people would want to keep their distance. Abruzzo's post lady is obviously a very good person.  But I can't help thinking if the strays are well-fed then they're more likely to breed successfully creating more strays.  I would have thought her money would be better spent on a neutering programme.

   How insulting! In such a rush to slat, you seem to have forgotten you were trying to get somebody to adopt A ROTTWEILLER! not a lazy good for nothing cat. A huge Dog that demands not only a lot of space but alot of excercise and time too! As if this was something people could/should do regardless! And going by how you approached this little sorry, huge task, you have been very critical of Italians who simply put are not as stupid as some!   I also resent strongly your paragraph concerning St Francis and Italy,Sorry resent is not a strong enough term it should be "how insulting of you"but in the same token,I do wonder why people who have such deep devotions to our dumb friends bother to move to Italy from such a strong animal loving country as the UK, if that is what was once home.   The land where...actually twice this month headlines involved children being attacked in their homes by dogs, nice friendly ones it appears!, and in one instance a child being killed. Alas thses events are not rare enough and show how some stupidly put pets above children wellfare!. Thank fully  this is not the case in Italy...............   So maybe the Italians are wise to the fact! Eitherway I foud it very misinforming of you to offer such a huge Animal, under the topic of "A good deed for Xmas, as A dog is for live not just Xmas and a rottweiller is a huge task,...and not just for Xmas!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sorry if I upset you...I'm not saying that things are any better any where else...and of course there are vast numbers of Italians who love and adore their pets...but in rural areas, where the "norm" is to have working dogs rather than pets this is often not the case....and this is not only based on my observations, but also what the vets in the practice I go to (all Italian and from this area) say! And as St Francis spent a lot of time in Sabina (just next door to Umbria) it does seem somewhat ironic...that's all! Yes, a rottweiler is a big dog, and taking one on is a big responsibility...which is why I said I was looking for someone who could both afford it and have the space.  My point in this story (which just happens to be set here, but could equally well be set in the UK, USA or anywhere else in the world) is that it is hardly news that they ARE big dogs, and that the people who first took this dog home to an apartment should have thought of that before they did so...but having had it for a year, it is cruel and uncaring to simply say find it a home or it will be killed!   No country is perfect...if only!   There are lots of wonderful things about Italy, (I have lived here for many many years) and England too, where I come from, but both countries also have many things wrong with them....and I don't think that there is anything wrong in talking about something that is not ideal or perfect - I thought free speech was part of living in a democracy! Judging by your name you are Italian - so perhaps you too have seen the reports on striscia la notizie about the awful living conditions for dogs in many of the canile communale around the country?  Again, I am not saying that this ONLY happens in Italy - just that it does happen! So...auguri di buon anno...e non te lo prendere!