Animal Shelter in California Initiates “Scared Straight” Program for Rebellious Puppies

Animal Shelter in California Initiates “Scared Straight” Program for Rebellious Puppies


ORANGE COUNTY, California – 

The stereotypical profile of a pitbull walking the streets at night and getting picked up by dogcatchers is all too familiar for most people living in California. That’s why it’s the first state to have a “scared straight” program to put troubled young dogs back on track.

Scared Straight is a program that was originally designed for troubled teenage human children, but M. Walden, the owner of a dog pound in Orange County, saw the program’s design as an opportunity to extend help to other communities.

“These dogs don’t know what it’s like being locked up,” Walden told Empire News in a recent interview. “We’ve had youth intervention programs before where we just talk to them, but they all just look away like they don’t even understand what we’re saying. It’s frustrating.”

The program operates in much the same way with dogs as it does for troubled teens. Puppies, usually age two months to two years, are brought in and put through the same process as impounded dogs. They are harnessed, muzzled, and transported via cages.

Walden explained a typical day at the Scared Straight program to us:

“We show them what it’s like being locked up inside. Stuck in a cage in a room full of obnoxious barking dogs all day. These dogs don’t care – most of them are in here for life. But they see these young puppies walk in here with everything to lose and they really feel for them. We let them talk one-on-one for a while. The transition of growling dogs everywhere to a real sincere chat with a heartbroken lifer really gets to some of these pups.”

Walden says the hardest part is seeing some of the same puppies come in a year later to be locked up, but also that they make the next generation that much more scared to continue their destructive behavior.

The program is expected to spread to other parts of California with some funding and community support. So far its response has been overwhelmingly positive, and bad behavior in young puppies has dropped significantly.

N. Dakota Town Passes New Law; Dogs That Attack Will Be Shot In Front Of Owners

WEST CARBON, North Dakota – City Passes New Law; Dogs That Attack Will Be Shot In Front Of Owners

A small town in North Dakota has recently passed a law that does not bode well with animal rights activists. In response to an increased number of dog attacks in 2014, West Carbon has passed a law requiring any dog that attacks or shows aggression – whether it be towards a human or another animal – to be shot, execution style, in front of its owners.

According to West Carbon police records, 53 dogs have been ‘put down’ in front of their owners since the law went into effect mid-2014. The most recent execution was Roxanne, a Blue Heeler owned by the McYoung family. According to Daniel McYoung, police shot Roxanne in the family’s living room after neighbors reported that they saw her biting the feet of Rusty, the McYoung’s other dog in the family’s backyard.

“This whole thing is ridiculous, Roxanne wasn’t biting or attacking Rusty, she was nipping at his heels, that’s what she does, she is a Heeler for god’s sake! The worst part of the whole incident is that the police insisted upon shooting the dog in our living room, and then did not offer to help clean up the mess they made,” said Daniel McYoung. He says that, thankfully, the one their 12-year-old daughter had been at a friend’s house for a sleepover when the police arrived.

Chief Wiggler from West Carbon Police Department publicly responded to Daniel McYoung’s statement by saying “The breed of dog is irrelevant, the dog was biting another dog, and in my book that’s an attack. In addition, the McYoung’s neighbor was of the opinion that Roxanne was attacking the other dog. People need to understand that when it comes to the law, perception is reality.”

Wiggler finished his press release by saying, “We insisted upon resolving the issue in the McYoung’s living room because it was a Saturday afternoon, and we did not want to cause a scene publicly by resolving it outdoors.”

Those that oppose the law say that it’s clearly an attempt for law enforcement to intimidate citizens, and that the law itself is inhumane.

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