Sophie’s Story

For this week I wanted to talk about something a little more serious and sad. Dogs who are owned by the state and that could be euthanized are kept where I work until their fate is decided. These are dogs who have had history of violent behavior and the state of Maine decides what to do with them like a trial. We’ve had some pretty nasty dogs in this situation, but we’ve also had some sweet ones with bad owners. I’m going to talk about Sophie’s insane story.

Before she came, we got word that the police were bringing in a dog that attacked someone’s dog. We prepared a kennel for her to keep our workers and the other animals we had safe. Sophie was a big muscular pit bull and she came in with a knife wound on her back that didn’t even effect her. When in her kennel we were unsure of her temperament because she was barking at us through the cage and seemed aggressive. Her actual owner was put in jail so she was now the states dog and she stayed with us for about a week until they decided to euthanized her.

What we learned was Sophie had attacked a few dogs in her past and was definitely dog aggressive. However what we also learned was that one of her attacks her owner let her loose on the beach after already having an incident when he should have had muzzle and kept her on a leash. The attack that sent her to where I work I also blame her owner for. The man’s ex girlfriend had a restraining order against him and he brought Sophie with him to go see her. Sophie attacked the ex girlfriends dog and the woman to protect her animal, tried stabbing Sophie. So the man was arrested and Sophie was brought to us.

We figured out early on that Sophie was only dog aggressive and not people aggressive. The kennel workers earned her trust and we learned she was actually a big love bug. If you went in her cage she just wanted to cuddle and lick you. I felt so bad for her because every time I let her out to use the bathroom she just wanted love. We didn’t know when exactly she was going to be put down, but I was working that day when she was. My coworker grew very attached to Sophie and bought her a big steak for her last meal. I was the only one working that day that Sophie trusted and I had to put a muzzle on her after she was given some sedation to be brought into the hospital area. It was a really terrible feeling because she had no idea what was happening. Since Sophie was so big it took a long time and a lot to actually put her down. I couldn’t stay with her, but I watched another coworker hold her while she passed away.

Sophie could have lived a good loving life with the right care, but because he was an irresponsible owner, she got a record and the state decided she was too dangerous to be alive. Dog aggressive dogs can still live a full life as long as you take precautions. I don’t blame the man for her dog issue’s because I don’t know why Sophie didn’t like other dogs, but I do know he is the reason she is now dead.


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