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German Shepherd Dog Rescue attacks Stubbington Ark for putting down healthy dog
A DOG rescue charity has attacked a Hampshire rescue centre for putting down a healthy dog which they claim they had a home for.
German Shepherd Dog Rescue (GSDR) has criticised the Stubbington Ark RSPCA Animal Shelter for ending 12-year-old Bailey’s life within just two hours of the owner taking him to them.
But the Ark and the dog’s owner insist they made a responsible yet heartbreaking decision that was in the best interests of Bailey, who they believe had little hope of being rehomed.
Bailey’s owner, who had cared for him since he was a puppy, went to the Stubbington Ark on Sunday asking for them to rehome the dog as they had nowhere to live and were currently sleeping in a car.
Concerned with Bailey’s temperament staff at the Ark and his owner discussed the options available for two hours.
Not wanting Bailey to be left in a kennel for the rest of his days, waiting for his owner to come back the decision was taken to put him to sleep.
But the GSDR say they were on their way for a pre-arranged meeting with Bailey’s owner and insist they had a loving home for him to go to.
However, Bailey’s owner claims the GSDR never told her they already had a home for Bailey and believed the meeting was simply an assessment before the group could start advertising for a home – which would take days that the owner did not have.
Bailey’s owner said: “Why would I have put my own dog to sleep if I had known he had somewhere to go?
“I’m absolutely devastated and heartbroken. I had nowhere to go with him and we couldn’t stay living in my car. It was one of the worse decisions I have ever had to make under advice from the RSPCA who said it was unlikely he would be rehomed. I couldn’t bear for him to spend the rest of his life locked up in a kennel, waiting for me to come back.
“I asked them to rehome him but because of his age, his dislike of teenage boys and the fact he would be competing with all the other dogs, the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep. It was the right thing to do.”
An RSPCA spokeswoman said GSDR had been left a message asking them to contact the owner direct in a bid to resolve the situation. She added that once the owner and the dog arrived at their premises, no mention was made of putting the dog to sleep.
“However, after spending two hours at the animal shelter, sitting with Bailey, his owner decided it would be unfair on him to rehome him and since she could not afford a vet, she asked the RSPCA to put him to sleep,” she continued.
“All too often, the RSPCA deal with animals which have been abandoned by people who have taken the coward’s way out and failed to live up to their responsibilities as a pet owner.
“Bailey’s owner has our sympathies and respect for making a brave but responsible decision in the best interest of her dog when she herself was in a very difficult place.”
GSDR has also criticised the RSPCA for not waiting to hear back from them after leaving a message on their answerphone and not waiting at least a few days to see if a home could be found.
Jayne Shenstone from GSDR said: “We had two homes for that dog and our volunteer was on his way to see him. Had they just waited an hour, Bailey would be alive today.
“There is no justification at all for the RSPCA to have killed that dog. We have taken on plenty of older dogs and they get to spend their last years in a loving, comfortable home.”
The RSPCA said that the owner’s situation was “critical” and that the decision was a matter for the owner who decided that kennelling Bailey for any amount of time would cause him undue stress.