back to article Adopt this dog or we'll kill it

Those among you who remember when it was all fields round here may also recall the famous January 1973 cover of National Lampoon which carried a pic of someone holding a gun to the head of a rather worried looking mutt and the headline "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog". Zack the dog as seen on dogsindanger. …


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  1. Andy

    Okay, it's not nice behaviour. But.

    I don't know about in the US, but it's my understanding that in the UK at least one major shelter charity does exactly the same thing; they just don't bother with the advertising campaign.

    So unless you think that the problem here is that the advertising is manipulative (rather than the problem being killing healthy dogs) this is not really uncommon.

  2. Nick

    Call me Heartless...

    ... but how about a 30second countdown to the tune of 'countdown'.

  3. Thorin


    I know this will anger a lot of people but if they have to put some animals down then so be it. Even if they have to put a lot of animals down then so be it. It's a sad reality but the planet breads too many dogs and cats to be "pets" and there are too few humans who can reasonably take care of them. I understand that pets hold places in people's hearts that's fine but we should be wasting gov't (or really tax payer) money to keep them alive. If the shelter can't deal with them that sucks but it's the world we live in.

  4. Rick

    Such a sad state

    It's such a sad state of life when it takes a website like that to show all the animals that get put too death because no one wants them. I got my dog from a rescue and plan to do so from now on.

  5. b166er

    Did i translate this correctly

    'Lets put the truth in front of the consumer - either do something about it, or at least realize you're a partner.'

    I'm a partner how exactly? It's my responsibility somehow that these dogs have no home? Does that make me a partner too, to the homeless people that die each year?

    Maybe in China, you could put the truth in front of the consumer, literally. Ew ;p

  6. Dick

    Euthanize this!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the hell?

    I can see the logic in emphasizing the fate of animals which go unadopted, but implying that failure to adopt a dog makes you complicit in its death specifically is pretty ludicrous. Precisely how many dogs is each of us supposed to adopt? One a week? One a day? Hmm...

    And in the vein of heartless humor, has somebody made a yahoo widget which shows a ticker with the running total of deceased canines? Or maybe a little speedometer showing the death rate in HpH (Hounds Per Hour)? Could be a hit...

  8. Misha Gale

    Fsck 'em

    Wouldn't it be easier to just kill them all now? Then no one would have to adopt them!

    "Death solves all problems. No more dog, no more problem"

    -- Uncle Joe Stalin

    P.S. @Nick: How about "You are the weakest link, goodbye."

  9. Edward Pearson

    Fantastic idea.

    Enough with all bleeding heart nonsense in the above comments.

    My father used to own a kennels, and as such had contact with a lot of dog shelters. I can tell you straight, all of them put dogs down on a regular basis. After keeping the dog for a certain amount of time (it varied from 4 months to 2 years), if nobody was interested in adopting it, then, age dependant (normally anything over 6 years old), they'd be put down.

    This is a great idea, we need something like this in England to highten awareness. It's a no nonsense approach (something that we see less and less nowdays), which I'm sure would work.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death is an act of nature

    How many children of big hearted families will be cutting back on the quality of their food, their education and their medical coverage because they were pressured into 'saving' and now supporting an animal that would have most likely died in the wild?

    Humm... I think I'll start a new website...

    P.S. I could call Sally Struthers and save a dozen third world children for less than the cost of keeping a dog.

  11. Andrew Kay

    Not funny

    Tickers? Eating Dogs? Countdown timers?

    Get a grip you sad people.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The website doesn't try to make people feel guilty about not adopting, it's just trying to make people aware of the situation in the US and the fact that it can be rectified if more people would adopt and neuter pets, instead of buying them from breeders or other places.

  13. Sabahattin Gucukoglu

    Don't go mad ...

    All they want you to realise is that animals have to die because the overpopulation hasn't got anywhere to go but into the loving hands of shelters. This simply means that if you want a cat or a dog, find your perfect companion at a shelter! You don't need to worsen the situation by paying money for a young pedigree/near-generation breed of animal and you can still be happy.

    This just makes me glad to continue recommending animal homes to future pet owners. So far I don't think I've ever heard anyone let down. My stray cat certainly couldn't be a healthier and more lovable animal to keep. One would think the expenditure of keeping these animals would enough to convince people to consider taking an admittedly small portion - the cost of the animal - out of it!



  14. J

    Spay & neuter ALL

    Good that they are doing this website thing. Sure, it's nothing new and they are just drawing attention (I agree the "everyone's to blame" angle is stupid) to the problem. Which is great, I think. The more upset and revolted people are, the more noise they make.

    I personally believe only licensed breeders should be able to breed and sell animals, instead of the stupid situation we have now. Every non-licensed owner should have ALL their animals castrated. Sounds extreme, but I think it's necessary to save the millions of killed animals and the mountains of money wasted to cope with the situation as it is now. And before such kind of measure has time to have an effect (if it happened to come to fruition), stupid people should NOT go buy dogs or cats, thus discouraging people from breeding them in the first place. Go get one from the pound/ rescue society, or from the street (my cat chose me in the parking lot like that, and fooled me into letting him inside, the bastard). They are as good (or frequently better, health-wise) than "breed" animals.

  15. John PM Chappell

    Meh. Kill them all.

    It's only a dog, at the end of the day, turn them into cheap food, maybe?

  16. Phil

    Given the choice, I'd give money to save humans

    They should have more of this sort of thing. How about a counter for each time someone in the US gets shot?

    or a counter for each time someone in the US is made homeless (especially for the under 16's)

  17. Dale Morgan

    When will humans...

    Have the same rights as animals? seriously I wish we could put down all the homless people that are in my city, obviously we'll put them on some poster and ask people to take them into their homes but if that doesn't work we can put them down..

    It would easily sort out the "homeless" problem

  18. Iain Purdie


    Every charitable donation I make from my bank account each month bar one is to animal charities. Frankly, I have more respect for animals than I do for people.

    A dog doesn't pretend to love you while it's screwing your best friend behind your back. If it screws something, you know about it. The daft creature usually does it in front of you then looks positively confused when you try to explain that the mother-in-law's leg is *not* fair game for humping.

    There's no pretending from a cat that it wants more than food and a warm lap to sit on. A horse will kick you if it's threatened, a dog will bite if you strike it and a cat will lash out if you poke it in the eye. If you have common sense, it's easy to give respect to and expect it from animals.

    Humans, on the other hand, are greedy, treacherous, manipulative, unthinking, and uncaring (or are at least capable of all of these characteristics). Perhaps if we could teach our children to be better people and to care more about the world we live in, other people and the creatures we share the planet with then that wouldn't be the case.

    Good grief, I sound like a bloody hippy.

  19. Dreilyn

    Ridiculous Statement...

    "[E]ither do something about it, or at least realize you're a partner.".

    Nonsense. Guess what? I'm doing nothing about it, and I'm not a 'partner', either - if 'partner' is supposed to imply that I share the responsibility for the country's inability to keep all its dogs in luxurious conditions. I don't keep dogs: never have, never will. I wouldn't wish them harm - I've nothing against dogs, particularly - but I've no particular desire to live with one. And no half-baked attempt to guilt-trip me is going to change that.

    No animal should be deliberately mistreated, that's a given. But given that our society allows us in dealing with animals a measure of pragmatism far beyond what we're permitted to use with humans, it's perhaps preferable that these dogs are spared the suffering that will inevitably come from being dumped on some family or owner who didn't really want them and isn't really equipped to house them, but felt shamed into complying with this site's demands.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is plenty of money.

    I can throw a brick any time where I live and hit one or two people who have enough money to help every poor human every cat, dog, bird and wild creature in this world and they wouldn't lift a finger to help family of theirs much less any down and outer(man or dog) they don't even pay taxes. Quit making excuses for billionaires they aren't helping anyone or anything hoarding all that cash they are a common enemy for anyone who has to work to eat "we can't help the dogs or people" that's just completely false we could indeed help them, kill a few of the insanely rich and take their money and we can help them all. Who's with me lawyers first we could euthanize them and take their credit cards.

  21. Dillon Pyron


    I am on the board of a 501(c)3 charity that provides vet care for Corgis and Corgi mixes in rescue. Our goal is that no dog will be denied rescue because of health issues. Sometimes the problems are too severe.

    Yes, there are a lot of high kill shelters. Austin has a medium kill, although several years ago they announced the goal of becoming a no-kill shelter. The problem is, the way that works is that they don't take in animals that are injured or sick or may not be adoptable. Everybody wants a puppy, nobody wants a 7 year old Lab.

    Spay and neuter. And don't buy from puppy mills, like pet stores. Either adopt or buy from a reputable breeder.

    And, interestingly, I used to throw the Morning Telegraph. 35 years ago.

  22. Maty


    For the right person, a pet is an investment. A pet naturally de-stresses the owner, (when its not ripping up the curtains or crapping in the hall), and its a fact that people with pets are generally happier and live slightly longer on average than people without them. (I'm not including the owners of pit-bull terriers here, obviously.)

    So adopting a stray is good for you as well as the animal. However, if you are getting a pet as a toy or a fashion accessory, here's a suggestion. Leave the animal at home and get yourself put down.

  23. Michael

    simple solution

    A couple of quick solutions:

    1. ship them off to Korea for dinner.

    2. Open a Korean restaurant and start selling for dinner.

    3. Ship them to Glasgow as my local Kebab shop is running low, I haven't seen a cat or dog since it opened a year ago....

  24. Ian Ferguson


    I love dogs. But they are animals - worth neither more or less than say, a pig. If there are excess, unhappy dogs, why not use them as food? The Vietnamese aren't half as squeamish as we are - in fact, ironically enough, they're more likely to keep a pig as a pet than a dog.

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  26. Rob

    Do you reckon we could do the same...

    ... with Chavs. We could say adopt a Chav and teach it some respect and make sure it gets a job, otherwise we'll kill it. Would solve a lot of issues over here in the UK.

    (what, I can't hear you, muman ights, your mumbling, sorry can't hear you)

  27. AB

    @Iain Purdie

    "A dog doesn't pretend to love you while it's screwing your best friend behind your back."

    Isn't the dog supposed to be man's best friend? So really you're just against canine self-love...

  28. Ferry Boat

    It's a dog's life

    Wake up people! It's a dog. It's not a person. It doesn't matter when so many people are dying because of insanitary conditions, polluted water and starvation. Not to mention being shot by your government (Burma) or someone else's government (Iraq). We can't help members of our own species so we shouldn't be helping another species until we've sorted out our problems.

    Vote, give money to decent charities that help the third work with education projects and stop whining about Woofo. The dogs? Well, make them into food for poor people.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Heartless. Just... heartless

    @John PM Chappell

    I hope when you die you end up in hell and a thousand anubis will tear up your flesh for eternity

    @Euthanize this!

    Stupidity. At least those dogs are allowed to live. Taking them all and then pulling off a genocide is just stupid.

    @Andrew Kay


    Also, someone better add this site to the filters of the emos... Oh no, put that blade down!

  30. Graham


    We could save all the f*^£$%g money we spend on chavs and save the dogs... now that really would be a caring society :)

  31. Fragula The Furry

    Given the choice...

    I would rather adopt a homeless supercomputer. (CDC/Cray especially)

    Supercomputers don't bark at the postman, pee on the carpet, lick their own and each others anal orifices then your face, eat excrement etc. unless programmed to!

    Sure they cost more to "feed", but have you ever tried compiling/running flops.c on an alsatian pup?

    I have a solution though. We simply /get over/ the stupid taboos and eat all pet horses and donkeys. (these are tasty and nutritcious, I assure you. Horse steak is *much* nicer than cow steak!) and give all the little puppies and kitties to the sad former-horse-owning little girlies who must have pets.

    Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against dogs, but they don't have 80 bit floats and POPCNT, and taste like shit.

  32. Spike Ravenscroft

    How about

    a little bit of responsibility people?

    I every pet owner was responsible and sensible there wouldn't be this problem.

    Mind you, if everyone was a bit more responsible and sensible, there wouldn't be most of the problems in the world would there?

    Frankly, as much as I'm in support of the Burmese monks, and I'm wearing red in support of them today, i think that the world could stand for there to be a whole lot less humans and a few more dogs.

    Either way, I'm a cat person.

    Who incidentally, is getting her new cat from the local shelter.

  33. Ian99


    I have an easy and quick solution for both the dog and chav problem.

    Clearance of Landmines.

    3 birds with one stone!

    And should the Dog/Chav survive a week in a mine field, then they should be put up for adoption!

  34. A J Stiles

    Universal Neutering

    I agree wholeheartedly with J: If you're not a breeder, your animals don't need reproductive organs. Neutering should be universal, and it should be available free of charge -- or at the very least, a "breeder's licence" should cost much more than the Operation.

    If I was Prime Minister, I would even introduce free veterinary care for (at least) cats, dogs and rabbits. People who keep pets are known to be generally fitter than people who don't, so it would be saving the NHS money in the long run (a flea and worm treatment every few months is money well spent, if it means someone gets a bit of fresh air and exercise walking a dog).

  35. Maliciously Crafted Packet

    Dogs, the healthy option.

    "How many children of big hearted families will be cutting back on the quality of their food, their education and their medical coverage because they were pressured into 'saving' and now supporting an animal that would have most likely died in the wild?"

    How many children of big hearted families will be getting decent healthy exercise and would learn about responsibilities that come from looking after and caring for a dog.

    Kids love having dogs around, they provide them with companionship and fun. Now and again dogs have even been known to get kids away from their Playstations running around outside in the fresh air, doing their bit in the fight against childhood obesity.

  36. Cameron Colley

    Re: Not funny

    Oh, right, sorry... bbbooohhhoooo, wah wah wah, sob sob sob, wimper...

    Is that better? Did that help the situation any? Did I just save the life of a dog? No, didn't think so...

  37. Rob


    Well said, like that idea a lot, thinking fuel duty might drop and I might get state pension as well. So much TAX would be free'd up :)

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We should do this to people in ICU!

    We should do this to people in ICU!

  39. Hugo Lia

    Old story...

    I remember a story I've read in a SciFi Magazine called "Tierra Hermosa" (it was in spanish). In this story to save the wild life of a valley a fund is created, if they don't get the money the valley must be destroyed, with alll the animals and trees in it.

    Only a few people give money to save the valley... but a lot of people pay to shoot the animals and burn the trees!

  40. Law


    This is really no different to Oxfam tactics, eg - when I donated £10 to oxfam when the christmas tsunami's happened - then I got thanked by Oxfam by sending me about £30 worth of crap through the post with huge glossy pictures of bloated kids or kids with fly's on them with captions like "save the children - just so much a month" or "save the people - just so much a month" or "why are you not saving them?? Its just so much a month" over the space of a year. I find that sort of thing offensive... I want to help people, but just because I donated to them once doesn't mean they should try and guilt me into doing it as a directdebit!!

    It took about a month once I got completely fed up of them, plus some legal threats before they took my name off their system... at least with this site I can just not visit it!!

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  42. Luther Blissett

    @Ian Ferguson

    "I love dogs. But they are animals - worth neither more or less than say, a pig."

    On the contrary, pigs are smart enough to know what a computer game is and play it for food. Dogs just paw at the monitor. And then whine. And then shite all over the place.

    The Prophet (PBOH) was right. Dogs are quite unacceptable outside of any context in which they are irreplaceable, e.g farming, sniffing out hippy shit. As it happens jackels are probably better at both, as the Russians have discovered.

    What a lot of sentimental saps we have. That's why the UK is going to the dogs.

  43. John PM Chappell

    LOL @ Heartless

    No really, were you spaced out when you typed that? ;¬)

    I won't burn in 'hell' because:

    The word simply means 'cellar' or 'cave'. The concept it was adopted to cover is found in Jewish scriptures which the Xtians also adopted as theirs and has nothing whatsoever to do with flames or suffering. A much later and different suggestion is found in single text, usually called "Revelation" which was written by a man who was either hallucinating through drug use or else through poisoning as a result of illness. In any case, it contradicts many other texts of the Xtian faith and is the only place you find the fiery pit... but guess what? It's for 'Satan' and his 'Demons' not people you don't like.

    As for Anubis, quite what you think Egyptian deities have to do with a modern Xtian concept is beyond me, not to mention that there is only one Anubis and he did not chew people to punish their lives. Oh, he was Jackal-headed, too, not a dog.

    So, tenuous grasp on reality, no grasp on mythology and anthropomorphize animals... have you sought professional help, at all? :¬)

    P.S. I think I'll go find a nice dog Char Sui....

  44. Tricia Pulley

    Adopting pets

    When I did the search, I didn't find any dogs in danger until I expanded it to "Any breed" and "within 500 miles" of my ZIP code! We are looking for a dog - we want a rescued Rhodesian Ridgeback (preferrably a lab mix, actually, because they are a tad smaller but with the desirable qualities of a Ridgie). I specifically want a RESCUED dog for just the reasons this article points out.

  45. Phill

    A better solution

    Why don't we just say:

    Unless you can't look after this dog because your sick... kill it your fucking self or find another owner yourself. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DOG.

    Less dogs in shelters, less guilt on people who don't deserve it.

    People who give up dogs because the kids got bored of it will certainly feel bad for the 2 minutes they have to administer the injection themselves. But in terms of ethical treatment of animals it will make bad owners think twice about adopting.

  46. Andy Bright

    re: universal neutering

    I also agree this is probably the best answer to the problem.

    As much as I love the Countdown jingle idea, and the browser toolbar addon is genius (although I would change that to DPS - dogs per second in deference to my lack of a life), the concept of spaying and neutering all dogs has many benefits.

    The most obvious is that special class of twat, the amateur breeder, would be stopped dead in his tracks. You know, the kind of git that one day decides he can make a few grand by breeding his pedigree pitbull, only to end up with a litter of dead puppies, or due to his stupidity, a litter of diseased or otherwise damaged goods.

    In Anchorage every dog owner must have a license. In order to get the license our dogs must be current on their rabies jabs, and until your dog can have the 3-year booster that means one year licenses.

    As an incentive to spay and neuter, the cost of the license is reduced from excessive to acceptable.

    With the mandatory idea you would go one step further and no longer issue licenses to anyone except registered and licensed breeders if the dog hasn't had the op.

    To back that up the SPCA (our version of the RSPCA, obviously) offers $100 ops - about 50 quid. City-run shelters spay and neuter all animals before adoption, they even offer name and address implants for free.

    Obviously it doesn't fix everything, obviously people break the law. .

    But I reckon if it helps at all it's worth it. Otherwise we should probably all get the DPS plugin and have the Countdown jingle go off every time a particularly pathetic specimen meets it's ancestors.

  47. David Wilkinson

    Just make it more expensive to not setrilize your pets.

    Nature causes dogs and cats to overpopulate.

    Most societies chose to give them a chance at adoption and then kill them. Other less attractive options would be to hunt them, poison them, or introduce natural predators into our cities.

    Maybe if there was a large fee to buy/adopt/license a fertile dog/cat, it would reduce the problem?

  48. Marco

    Re: Flawed campaign...

    "If they've saturated the market and now they are going to reduce numbers - memory and LCD panel manufacturers do it all the time, unless they fix the problem they cause, they should feel the guilt rather than try to make others feel guilty."

    We are talking about animals here, you caring genius, not "things". I bet expressions like "human resources" come easily over your lips.

    Re: Just make it more expensive to not setrilize your pets.

    "Nature causes dogs and cats to overpopulate."

    Another genius. It's not nature that causes them to overpopulate, but us. We domesticated them. But I reckon you also believe that all those cattle ending up on our burgers was nature's will.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about..

    ...combine it with that website that lets you take remote control of a webcam-controlled rifle to go game hunting? One button lets you donate to save the dog, another lets you donate to take pot-shots at it! Everyone's happy!

  50. Karl Lattimer

    sister site

    So here's what needs to be done. You set up another website which aggregates the results from and then lets the users bet on it!!!!! The perfect accompaniment to this kind of site is a gambling site.

  51. John PM Chappell

    Genius, Karl!

    I bet there is serious money in that, so long you don't base it in Antigua...

  52. Sceptical Bastard

    The solution

    Set up a doggie 'Hot Or Not' website. Keep the dogs that attract the most points and kill the ones voted least 'hot'.

    And to all those Reg Club commentators who advocate the Korean solution, there's not much meat on dogs and it is too strongly flavoured for western palettes. (And don't let anyone bullshit you that cats taste like rabbits - they don't).

    What do YOU think, amanfromMars?

  53. Bill Fresher


    A better slgoan would have been "Adopt this dog or we'll kill you".

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to play devils advocate....

    Lets take Thorin's post and substitute "humans/children" for "animals" etc.

    ----------------- BEGIN TEXT SUBSTITUTION --------------------------

    "I know this will anger a lot of people but if they have to put some humans down then so be it. Even if they have to put a lot of humans down then so be it. It's a sad reality but the planet breads too many children and there are too few parents who can reasonably take care of them. I understand that children hold places in people's hearts that's fine but we should be wasting gov't (or really tax payer) money to keep them alive. If the shelter can't deal with them that sucks but it's the world we live in."


    For those who think it's better to spend money on saving humans...

    My cynical side says... humans have enough brains not to breed when food is scarce and starvation is likely. So why should I give money to people who don't use the brains and keep it in their pants ?

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