The stretch of tough economic times has taken its toll on God’s creatures, and none so more than the family dog.
Despite the festive time of year, Lisa Cutting of Ocean View Kennels on North Shore Road said Christmas has been a downer for her over the last few years due to the fact that she sees so many animals being abandoned, abused and neglected. Cutting, whose kennel serves as a last resort for these animals in Revere, has to look every day at these formerly loved pets and see their sadness.
Cutting said tough economic times cause people to have to move quickly and leave pets behind; additionally, the throw away culture that used to be reserved for televisions and microwaves has spread to living creatures as well – most especially dogs.
“I get dogs tied to my fence or shoved in boxes and left during the night,” she said this week. “This year alone has been heartbreaking. It’s not just the surrendered dogs. If you saw the police logs of animals that are picked up you’d be shaking. It’s dogs, cats and even iguanas. We had a three-foot iguana here earlier this year. People just move out of a house and leave the pets behind without a second thought. They don’t want them or care about them – just throw them out like a barrel of garbage.
“It’s definitely worse than what it was before,” she continued. “I find people being more careless and more people being more careless with their animals. There are a lot of repeat offenders. The animal neglect issues in Revere are horrifying. It’s really just a never-ending battle nowadays.”
Cutting said they have had some of the most beautiful and loving dogs come through their doors – animals that are confused and don’t know what’s happening to them. She said the goal is always to find someone to adopt these animals, and Ocean View has a very good record of getting that done. However, the paperwork and process can be daunting.
That’s exactly the situation they’ve found themselves in with ‘Hugo,’ a Pit Bull mix that had a wonderful and stable home on Vinal Street until this past August when the dog’s owner brought it in and never came back.
“This dog was well-taken care of,” she said. “This dog is neutered, up to date on shots, kind, loving, full of energy and had a home for four years. Then, the owner just decided to throw out the dog like last year’s pocket book. It’s a sin. You can tell at one point in time, Hugo was loved. When you love something and it loves you back – how can you just throw it out?”
Cutting said the Kennel did go after the owner in court, and they plan to press charges for neglect and also to recover the cost of caring for and treating ‘Hugo.’ Now, the dog that came in so happy and never got to go home, will hopefully find a new home for Christmas with a supporting and loving family.
“When Hugo came in here he was wagging his tail and thinking (his owner) was coming back, but the owner never did come back for him,” said Cutting. “This dog’s spirit was broken. I’m hoping we can find the right person to adopt this dog and bring that spirit back at Christmas time. He paid the price for having a bad owner and deserves some happiness again.”
Cutting said Hugo is kid-friendly, dog-friendly, loves to play ball and loves to play on slides. He is not aggressive and she said people need not worry about the Pit Bull mix.
“People say, ‘Oh no, a Pit Bull,’ but they really shouldn’t,” she said. “These are great dogs when they’re in the right hands. I’ve had Chihuahuas returned. I’ve had small dogs returned. I’ve never had a Pit Bull adoption returned. I don’t think that’s too bad a record for a so-called ‘bully.’”
Meanwhile, Cutting said Hugo is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are so many animals being left behind and so few good homes to place them in.
“Hugo is just one example of a bigger problem,” said Cutting. “This is a major issue with animals being dumped or discarded and it needs to be addressed. It’s heartbreaking and I’m always looking for good people who can provide a home for these dogs.”
She said if anyone would like to help, but cannot adopt a dog, the kennel would gladly accept donations of food, blankets, treats and clothing for the shelter dogs.