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23 April 2011 @ 12:59 am
Is AHS Really Looking Out for Patrick's Welfare?  
As a mother, I found that the school system always sent home the bad news that would get parents riled up on Friday afternoon just before a holiday week. As an employee, I found that my bosses would always send the horrible e-mail that would tell us that our hours would be decreased, our benefits reduced, etc. just at the closing time on Friday afternoon, preferably when the Monday that followed would be a holiday.

These practices are done because that way the people affected by the bad news have enough time to cool off when they finally can get in touch with bad news messenger.

Today, AHS was no different. They published their decision about Patrick’s future on a Friday evening. There will be no one in the offices till Monday. But perhaps, what AHS is not prepared for is that the weekend is enough time for people to converge and show up in numbers against their decision. And, it may end up drastic for AHS. There are many who would not hesitate donating if Patrick were to go where he is loved and felt secure. The decision to remove him from this home is akin to when a child is removed from the family s/he loves simply because the court is emotionless.

I am not denying that, as Patrick’s guardians, AHS has full authority where they are to place the pit bull who was once discarded as trash. But as the saying goes, “somebody’s trash is another person’s treasure,” Patrick is the world’s treasure. He is loved by thousands of people. And the majority of the those thousands are already in agreement that Patrick would fare better if he were adopted by the staff member of the hospital currently he is being treated.
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The videos, the photos, and the messages the public received from the hospital clearly shows how he is loved by the staff and how Patrick loves them back.

We have to keep in mind that this dog knew nothing about being cared for. Throughout his young life, he was malnourished and neglected. At the hospital, he is fed, loved, and respected. Why on Earth is AHS trying to remove from the place that wants him and he is at home. When it’s not broken, why are they trying to fix it?

Here’s what AHS says about Patrick:
At your request I spent an afternoon observing Patrick in his current surroundings at Garden State Veterinary Center. I know you wanted an unbiased, honest opinion about how he was progressing.

Based on what I observed, I do have some serious concerns about his recovery. By that, I do not mean his physical health; they have done a wonderful job healing Patrick physically, it is his emotional/mental state that I am primarily concerned with.

This is not a criticism of the devoted people caring for him there; it is just that his behavioral recovery would not be their area of expertise. They may not recognize Patrick’s needs along these lines. A dog does need much more than affection.

Question, Mr/Ms. Behaviorist: Are you aware that Patrick was sick and has had no time to go to the park and chase squirrels or whatever you think he should have been doing. This dog weighed 22 lbs when he entered the hospital, had comeback from a near-death experience, his muscle mass was ZERO. He had no time to be a “dog.” He was in survival mode.
In Patrick I observed a fearful dog who snapped at a child out off anxiety, and who cowers at the excited attention he is being bombarded with. He is for the most part kept isolated and not being socialized properly with other dogs. (He will no doubt meet up with other dogs in his life and this is critically important.) I also feel he is not being given adequate exercise. Brief walks to the same tree to urinate or defecate before being ushered hurriedly back into his room are simply not enough to foster a confidant, well adjusted and fulfilled dog.

Ahem, as I said earlier, Are you aware that Patrick was sick and has had no time to go to the park and chase squirrels or whatever you think he should have been doing. This dog weighed 22 lbs when he entered the hospital, had comeback from a near-death experience, his muscle mass was ZERO. He had no time to be a “dog.” He was in survival mode. Going to the bathroom was all he could muster his strength to do? What kind of behaviorist are you? Are you so blind that can only see the “typical aggressive pit bull”?

And, by the way, have you seen the videos where Patrick is playing tug of war? Hmmm, they’re actually playing with him:



And how about these updates from GSVS hospital:

GSVS Pet Hospital
Patrick weighed about 20 pounds when he came in but should have weighed closer to 50. He is starting to gain weight now and has gained 5 pounds since last week

GSVS Pet Hospital
Patrick has shown some interest in playing ball but tires easily.

GSVS Pet Hospital
Patrick is starting to become a regular dog, he takes walks outside without being carried. He is not strong enough to go up and down stairs all the time but does manage them twice a day to build up his muscles.
His insecurities are being unknowingly reinforced by well meaning people as they are not allowing Patrick to explore his world and develop any confidence on his own. He does need to overcome things with encouragement in order to develop his confidence. It can be detrimental to an animal to assume they are scared of everything and to shield them from everything based on this assumption. It is also the wrong way to approach helping him overcome his anxieties. Why would we want to keep him in a fearful state of mind? That is no way to live his life.

Wow, what a horrible accusation about these people. When I saw Patrick barking at the tree, I didn’t see a cowering dog. Maybe Patrick picked up bad vibes from you.

I once had a shelter-recommended behaviorist to work with my 15-week old basset hound. He was the worse trainer ever. He hit my dog with his fist under her jaw. She bit her tongue. Why did he do that? Because she didn’t see at his first command. She was a basset for heavens sake. Food training worked best for her. After being hit a few times in the mouth, my puppy tried to bite him. He told me to have her euthanized because she was an aggressive dog. My puppy, Ginger, lived with us for 14.5 years. She never bit anyone. We had hamsters and guinea pigs that she licked to death. My son when he was younger would jump on her from three steps up from the stairs, screaming superman. Ginger never growled, showed her teeth, or moved any way aggressively. The only time she did anything that could be interpreted aggressive was when my son was going towards our outdoor staircase and a rat was hovering underneath it. Ginger ran in front of him, and kept herding my son away from the stairs. Yes, I don’t trust shelter behaviorists.
Patrick is in serious need of integration into the real world, training and socialization. Simply put, Patrick needs to be allowed to simply be a dog. This is a critical time for him.

And what is he in GSVS? A cat?
We also can’t ignore the fact that Patrick is a celebrity and should be an ambassador for his breed. I wouldn’t want to see a follow up in his later life that showed he had attacked another dog, bitten a child or developed anxiety based issues. The way he is being treated now is not in his behavioral best interest. With the correct behavioral guidance Patrick can help spread the word that Pit-bulls (even severely abused pit-bulls) are wonderful dogs. It would be incredibly irresponsible of us not to properly train and socialize this dog.

OK, I agree. Let’s have the person who wants to adopt him to have him trained. Heck, all my dogs, those who came to live with me as puppies and those that came as rescue underwent training. OK, make that as part of the adoption contract. Just as all the animals must be neutered or spayed, they also have to undergo training. Adopter and and adoptee, together. What a way to bond.
Everyone really owes it to Patrick to give him EVERYTHING he needs to heal and lead a successful life.

I can’t emphasize enough that he needs full temperament tests to evaluate exactly where he is behaviorally and socially. He may already have food and resource guarding issues that need to be addressed. MOST IMPORTANTLY Patrick should go into a foster home immediately before being place into his FOREVER home.

Have you watched this video? Patrick is not food aggressive. What is wrong for him to go to his forever home? What is the difference? Generally, a foster home is used when there are no adopting families available. Patrick has one right there and he LIKES that person.
I think the foster home should remain anonymous so that you know they are not in it for the attention. It should also remain anonymous for Patrick’s sake. He needs time to be a dog and learn important life lessons. He needs some peace so his mind can heal as well as his body. He is not Michael Jackson, he is not a commodity; he is a puppy who is missing out on proper education at a critical time in his life.

I really don’t believe that Patrick knows that he is famous. He just knows that the people who taking care of him love him.
You are absolutely correct to want to see that he has all that he needs beyond physical care to ensure he is set up for success in his life.

Are you sure that you are?

Furthermore, AHS, should be careful about where they put Patrick. Their shelters don't really have a very good reputation. Look at this article about them:

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Shelter-Shocker-65290687.html

People on Facebook are incensed. There's a new petition group, Please allow Patrick to be adopted by the GSVS staff member, asking for signatures to keep Patrick with the family he knows and a new Facebook Page, GSVS, Patrick's Forever Home, ready to write to legislators, fundraisers, etc.


  
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venckman: Crabbyvenckman on April 23rd, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
That "unbiased" report dripped with contempt for GSVS. What a bunch of condescending morons.
~Lirpa~: You're joking?katje0711 on April 23rd, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
What the heck is the matter with these people? What morons! I'll check out that group.