When Love Isn’t Always Enough

Photo on 10-15-13 at 3.36 PM #3 As some of you may know Eric and I adopted Penny. She was the product of animal abuse. She was found chained in a yard and abandoned in Kentucky. After being shuffled around, a litter of puppies and a foster home she came to Eric and I. Penny had a severe reaction to any dog for a reason unknown to Eric and I. Because of this aversion, while at her last foster home, she was kept in a crate almost the entirety of her stay there of 9 months. When we adopted her we knew she had some issues but were ready and willing to take them on. In the ensuing months the depth and severity of her abuse came to a forefront. We tried crates, an outdoor kennel, and a heavy duty dog crate- all of which she either figured out how to escape or injured herself trying to do so. She had been on a number of different medications all through this process. She could not be left alone in the house in any capacity or accidents and destruction would ensue. In recent weeks she has even gone as far as biting. After talking to a woman who runs a rescue, as well as friends, and family members whom have all had a number of dogs over the years, Eric and I made the heart wrenching decision to put Penny down.

The severity of her issues have made her “unadoptable.” Had we tried to find a new home for her, the chance of her behavior improving was minimal-if anything it would digress. We did not want to take her to a shelter where she would be scared and alone and surrounded by dogs in a kennel where she would be further panicked and afraid. Medicating her to a point of comatose is not an option and no quality of life for such a vivacious and free-spirited dog that we would have ever wanted for her. We made the choice to do it with us, so she could be with people she loved, and with the people who put their whole hearts into trying to give her a new home and life that was so brutally taken from her.

All of the dogs my parents and I currently own have all been rescues. Adopting any animal is a chance. Animal cruelty is one of the worst crimes a human can commit, especially towards an innocent animal who has little to no defenses. Realizing that the effects of animal abuse are sometimes insurmountable, and that there is a person in the world that hurt her so badly, has been one of the hardest realities that we have had to face in recent days. In the words of a friend we should not feel guilty for “wanting her to have peace.” We could no longer stand by and see the pain and fear of being put in a crate flash in her eyes. We could no longer justify reprimanding her for having accidents in the house while in the midst of one of her separation anxiety attacks. We stand by our decision to give Penny peace and a home where she will be loved and never left alone. Where the pain of her torture in her life no longer exists and she can be the best

There will be those who understand, and those who think we could have done more. We owe no one an explanation, but that is not what this is. This is our personal story and heartache of loving a dog that was the victim of animal abuse. This is a shout out to anyone who thinks it’s ok to harm an animal in any form, and what their actions turn into- the consequence of a beautiful animal losing its life. This is understanding for the hundreds and thousands of people who adopt pets and don’t always have the perfect ever after of giving a pet a second chance for years to come that they hope for. We will continue to adopt for years to come, because for every severe case like Penny, there are 100 more that can have a full second chance in life. There is no other way to honor her memory or serve justice to what was done to her than to help others with as much love and commitment as we did for Penny.