After much consideration and great sorrow, Rescue Pit made the incredibly difficult decision to euthanize Walter and to release him from his anxiety riddled mind.
Walter came to Rescue Pit from Rochester Animal Services severely emaciated after being found as a stray. He needed to gain some weight, but was otherwise a gentle and calm dog. As Walter became more comfortable with his environment, he showed signs of anxiety – deep, crippling anxiety. It was not only stranger danger, new things, or typically fearful items; it was everything. It was the couch, or the wind, or his shadow. He would even wake up scared of his surroundings. During these situations, Walter became so petrified that his fear became aggression, and he would turn that aggression on the people and dogs around him.
Rescue Pit began work on a behavior modification, and consulted our veterinarian on a path forward. As Walter’s anxiety continued to spike, we were faced with a difficult decision. Simply put, we imagined the world from Walter’s perspective: moments of joy, ripped away because of fear and anxiety that could strike at any moment. We saw a terrified dog, trapped in his own mind, acting out in hopes of gaining relief. We talked with multiple behaviorists, and the conclusion was clear – the humane thing to do was to release Walter from his fear.
We wish more than anything that our efforts would have been enough to heal his hurting soul. It pains us to realize that Walter would have never escaped his terrified mind, and would have always been a risk to those who loved him.
We know nothing about his past, whether it was full of love or neglect, and we cannot begin to guess at what he experienced before he came to us. We do know that we loved him for every minute that he was with us. For a short time, he experienced the comfort of a warm sweater over his skinny body, the security of a home, the love of his foster parents, the kind gentle hands of compassionate trainers.
We here at Rescue Pit volunteer every day to help dogs and save lives. We foster and care for dogs in hopes of giving them a better situation. During this, we often lose sight of the most difficult side of rescue, and the hardest, most unfortunate truth: not every dog can be saved.
We do make a promise to every dog we care for: to be their advocate, to love them, and to always make the most humane decision on their behalf. We also made a promise to you – to be transparent about our organization and the decisions we make. We are not the first rescue or family to make this difficult decision and unfortunately, we will not be the last. We hope that Walter gains release from his life of hardship. And for all those who have had to make a similar decision, know that our hearts break with yours.
Rest well sweet Walter.