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"Please Help Beau"- One Dog Makes People Reexamine Euthanization
The Story of Beau
Considering the thousands of shelters that euthanize animals daily, one wouldn't think that thousands of people would rally to save the life of one dog. But that is exactly what is happening.
Beau is a Golden Retriever/White German Shepherd mix residing in the city of Dyersburg, Tennessee. The story goes that Beau killed a duck that wandered near their property, and was then labeled a "vicious animal" by the city. He was recently taken from his owner Danny and placed into the city's custody to be euthanized.
Beau would have been euthanized over a week ago, had his case not gained national attention. A petition went out on www.change.org to save Beau's life, and has so far gained a whopping 593,337 signatures. A facebook page was made called "Please Help Beau," and has gotten 68,713 likes from people across the nation.
Due to national pressure, the mayor was forced to extend Beau's euthanization date in order to fight the case in court. However, it has been reported that the city of Dyersburg has spent over $20,000, hiring a whole team of lawyers in order to euthanize Beau.
Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a lot of taxpayer dollars to euthanize one dog.
Unfortunately, though many have offered to take Beau out of the city, he is not allowed to be adopted out due to his status as a vicious animal. He now sits in a kennel awaiting judgment.
Though the details of this case have been convoluted, with mixed answers from both the city and Beau's defense lawyers, one thing is for certain- people are going through a lot of trouble to have a say in this dog's fate.
So Why Beau?
You may be wondering, "Why Beau? What's all the fuss about this one dog?"
You wouldn't be the only one wondering this. The city of Dyersburg has shown shock over the escalation of these events. To anyone who examines this case, it seems that Beau is an innocent dog that was just doing what dogs do. However, the fighting going on between each side is astronomical.
It's interesting, considering that 31% of dogs who enter shelters are euthanized each year. There haven't been too many petitions to save these innocent dogs. That being said, these dogs do not usually have individuals working hard to fight for them. Danny, Beau's owner, has been fighting the city hard on the issue. Had he not driven his case, it is likely Beau would have been euthanized weeks ago.
So What Do You Think? Should Beau Be Euthanized?
The Support for Beau, and Reexamining Views on Euthanization
With thousands of people trying to spare the life of one dog, it brings up the question of the morality of euthanization. Up until now, euthanization has been frowned upon, but considered necessary for many shelters. Because the shelters are unable to turn animals away, in areas of pet overpopulation, it seems euthanization is the only solution to be able to bring in new animals.
Now, that idea is being challenged.
No one can deny that most shelters don't have the funds to take on every stray in their city. But with 31% of shelter dogs being euthanized each year, as well as 41% of cats, some people are arguing there are better solutions than killing.
For example, the shelter in Palm Beach County was known for it's high euthanasia rates. However, they recently took on a plan to control their pet populations through a different method; by promoting and funding the spaying and neutering of pets.
There has been a strong movement for the spaying and neutering of animals, as well as the boycotting of pet shops and breeders. Some veterinary clinics have even begun to offer free spaying/neutering, or have lowered their rates to the shocking price of $10 or less.
Though the numbers cannot be certain, there is an estimated 70 million homeless animals in the United States alone (that is almost a third of the United States' human population). With that shocking number, one might think spaying and neutering should be considered a necessity; yet, only 10% of dogs and cats received by shelters are spayed/neutered. The most common reason that dogs and cats are given up is that the pet owner's residence does not allow animals.
To fix this problem, people must show concern for all the homeless animals as they have for Beau. People must start adopting from shelters and spaying/neutering their pets. Landlords must be more lenient on pet policies, and people must stop viewing animals as objects, to be thrown away or used as mere decoration.
The solution seems far away. But perhaps after seeing the enormous support to save the life of one dog, we can have hope for a brighter future for animals around the globe.
Beau's Petition: https://www.change.org/p/save-beau-the-dog-s-life
Beau's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Please-Help-Beau/765019283535997
Animal Shelter Statistics: http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics
Palm Beach County: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-01-31/news/fl-ending-pet-euthanasia-palm-20140131_1_animal-shelter-county-shelter-dogs-and-cats