Shona Sibary is a journalist for the Daily Mail who recently published an article about her habit of getting cute puppies and giving them away when they get older or pose problems to her. Her column sparked outrage to people who believe that a dog is a family member for life, not just something to be tossed away when it becomes inconvenient or too much work. She discussed several of the dogs. One, a husky cross named Juno with enchanting blue eyes had developed a habit of jumping six-foot fences, which Sibary said caused her “too much stress.”
Of course, dogs need a sufficient amount of training and exercise so that they don’t develop bad habits — as well as a secure enclosure. She gave Juno away in 2012, when her daughter Dolly was just three-years-old. Dolly, who obviously bonded with Juno, was hysterical at losing the dog. In a heart-breaking scene, she held onto the dog while sobbing uncontrollably into Juno’s fur. Dolly pleaded with her mother, stating the following according to the Daily Mail.
“Why can’t we keep her, Mummy? She wants to stay with us, I know she does.”
Instead of understanding the real bond that children can have with pets, Sibary instead directed Dolly to another puppy she set her sights on. She picked her hysterical daughter off the ground and continued on, thinking only of the next pup she’d buy. As Juno stared at Sibary, seeming to want to remain in the only home the dog knew, Sibary felt only relief at getting rid of the dog that she saw as a burden that sheds hair on things, and all too easily handed Juno over to new owners for free.
What is really sad is that Silbary is aware that she may be sending the wrong message regarding commitment to her daughter, as Dolly recently asked her the following question.
“If I’m naughty, Mummy, will you re-home me, too?”
Sibary realizes that people may not have the same point of view that she has, but justifies her life by saying that she spends a lot of money on the pups when she has them and loves them then, believing that she is giving them a good life. Over the past four years, she admits to “failing in love” with four puppies. Then, when they mature, the thrill is gone, and she wants to get rid of the burdensome creatures. Sibary stated the following, according to the Huffington Post.
“Then, months later, I have turned my back on them and given them away. I admit this is strange, not least because no one is more welcoming and loving to a doe-eyed little puppy than me.”
She blames her lack of commitment to her canine family members perhaps to being denied the opportunity to have a puppy when she was growing up. Is it that or is it a throw-away society that values ease above commitment? People on the internet have criticized her lack of feeling and comment, even calling her “vile.”
Dogs Trust, a shelter that also educates the public about canine ownership, weighed in on Sibary’s statements. Giles Webber, Dogs Trust’s director of Rehoming, said the following.
“Everyone knows Dogs Trust’s famous slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas,’ but with over 110,000 stray or abandoned dogs needing care every year, too many people choose to ignore it. Sadly, for every dedicated, responsible dog owner there are too many people just like Shona Sibary who are happy to give up their dog when it loses the cute factor or when it becomes too much effort….We urge everyone who has been angered, appalled, or disgusted by her attitude to visit our rehoming website, sponsor one of our dogs, volunteer, or make sure anyone you know who is thinking of getting a dog, thinks Rescue First.”
In defending her treatment of dogs, Sibary notes that she put money into all her dogs, and they all were placed in loving homes. She said the following.
“I’m a serial dogamist. In the early stages of the relationship I’m head over heels. I attend all the puppy classes. I don’t even begrudge picking up dog poo.”
Before getting rid of Juno, she bought a dog to be a companion to Juno. She was told that the pup was a Rhodesian ridgeback, though she realized that the sellers sold the pup for a much lower price than that breed often commands. The dog she named Albus in time became aggressive, even attacking a neighbor’s westie. She rehomed him with an ambulance driver, his wife, and five children. It’s not clear whether they were told Albus’s history. Before giving Albus away, Silbary had to find her next canine — but noted that she had to get rid of Albus so it wouldn’t “eat” her “adorable new charge.” The new dog, Pippa, a “tiny dapple-coloured sausage dog,” was sold to her apparently because the former owner needed rent money.
She wanted to get rid of Pippa after the dog killed pheasants, ducks, doves, and a pregnant lamb. She got another dog to keep Pippa company, a Labrador-collie cross named Cookie. However, the two dogs apparently were permitted to roam free, and even Cookie killed sheep. She eventually found homes for the two dogs and got another dog named Clover.
Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today, is none too pleased with people who treat dogs like a stuffed toy to be passed around and stated the following.
“I’m speechless when I meet people like this. Dogs are family and you don’t give up on family. It sends shivers down my spine. The problem is when you get a puppy, it’s ready to learn. If, in its first home, the dog doesn’t learn and hasn’t become sociable, when it enters the rescue world, it’s a dog with a whole lot of problems, a dog that’s not easy to love. Even if you find it a new home with other people, very often it will ricochet several more times around other owners and rescue centres unless it comes across a wonderful person willing to spend time to undo those mistakes. It will be very hard to rehabilitate.”
What do you think about people who give up on their dogs whenever problems occur or when they outgrow the “cuddly, cute puppy phase?” Do you think it’s fair to the dog? What message does it send to others, including children? Please leave your comments below.
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