Humane Society of New Braunfels Area Claims Puppy is Possessed, Kills Him

From the mission statement page on the website of the Humane Society of New Braunfels Area in Texas:

We house animals for Comal County and the City of New Braunfels.
Through the ceaseless efforts of our professional staff, our primary goal is to awaken the true humanity and compassion of the citizens in our communities to the needs and rewards of caring for and respecting animals.

It seems like the citizens of Comal Co are good on the humanity and compassion thing. The staff of the Humane Society of New Braunfels Area? Not so much.

Anyone who has ever spent time with puppies will tell you:  puppies bite.  Their baby teeth are needle-like instruments of pain which they wield with reckless disregard.  They bite shoelaces, hair, hands – anything within reach.  And they bite hard.  As soon as their teeth start coming in, the mama dog will start teaching them about bite inhibition.  They also learn from playing with their littermates, often times too aggressively, until someone gets told off.

As compassionate caregivers, it’s our job to take over teaching duties once pups are weaned and ready to begin their lives as pets.  In the absence of a mama dog and littermates to do the telling off, it falls to us to teach the puppy that biting hurts and is not an acceptable behavior.

One of the humane ways we help puppies become good pets is by continually redirecting their bitey behavior and encouraging alternatives:  Here, chew this toy instead of me.  Hey, let’s play ball instead of biting my hands.  And so on.  It seems like these redirections are necessary about a million times before the puppy either catches on or finally stops teething.  It’s part of the deal with puppies and certainly anyone in the animal sheltering business knows this.

But when the the Humane Society of New Braunfels Area got an 11 week old Dachshund-Chihuahua puppy named Baby George, they were apparently aghast that he was bitey.  In fact, they decided he was possessed (yeah, by demons) and killed him for his normal puppy behavior.  Then they posted about it on Facebook:

The Facebook post read: “The pup is now free; free from whatever unknown demons were causing the aggression.”

The shelter’s executive director, Billie Zercher, defended the killing to the local news outlet:

[T]he animal did show aggression to our staff members on a couple of occasions. And because of that, we cannot put it up for adoption.”

I’m sorry, what?  An 11 week old puppy showed “aggression”?  Check.  Normal.  Expected.

But let’s be clear:  Any “aggression” displayed by an 11 week old puppy is simply the offering of a behavior which needs to be modified by the humans in charge so the puppy learns it’s not desirable.  It’s not in any way equivalent to an adult dog who has displayed aggression toward people, undergone extensive behavior modification with trained canine behaviorists and tried veterinary drug treatment but still failed to modify the behavior.  Eleven weeks isn’t long enough to determine whether rehabilitative efforts have been successful in an adult dog with human aggression issues.  Baby George had only been ALIVE for eleven weeks, let alone had any chance to modify his normal puppy behavior.  No judge in the country would have deemed Baby George a threat to public safety and ordered his killing.  But the Humane Society of New Braunfels Area – the very agency which should have been protecting him – did.  And blamed it on demons.

Will the real demons please stand up?

(Thanks Arlene for the link.)

28 thoughts on “Humane Society of New Braunfels Area Claims Puppy is Possessed, Kills Him

  1. Ridiculous..there is no excuse for killing any animal..possessed, can anyone have the power to make this decision..I really think there should be an investigation and the person or persons involved should be arrested and the staff should be closely looked at..if you can kill an innocent puppy what’s next..smh..there are just uncaring people in this world with no hearts or souls and it breaks my heart to read stories like this..our govt can fund every nation in the world it’s about time they funded shelters and rescues..these animal need a voice and it has to be us..tears for this little one and all those still in this hell hole

    1. To be clear, the federal government does not fund animal shelters in this country. Public shelters are usually funded by taxpayers and pet license purchasers on the city or county level.

  2. I don’t buy in with the whole possession theory and I doubt that puppy truly had anything wrong, but occasionally it does happen. We once had a puppy that was so aggressive at 7 weeks he attacked a littermate and tore him up pretty well. He then tried to attack adult dogs and people. He went to a home with a very well respected trainer who could manage him as safely as possible. She was able to keep him for three years until it became very unsafe for her to do so. He wasn’t wired right.

    1. I get “not wired right”. What I don’t get is condemning the puppy to death without giving him the same chance you would give to ANY PUPPY, regardless of wiring.

      1. We had a dog come into our vet hospital who wasn’t ‘wired’ right. She was a young golden who started showing serious aggression as early as 8 weeks…by the time she was one year, no one could safely be around her. The owners tried everything, including various trainers, behavior experts, and medication. The day we euthanized her, it took five people to safely restrain her for the sedation.

        BUT…that is VERY rare, and the proof of that dog’s ‘bad wiring’ was well documented. A bitty little pup growling or even snapping at a stranger does not a maladjusted dog make. A dog that young is so malleable…pups don’t typically take much training to ‘get it’. Killing a baby for being playful or frightened is ridiculous. There’s no way at that age to know if a dog is ‘wired wrong’…and certainly no way to know if any behavior problems are fixable or not. And since the majority of behavior problems ARE fixable…

      2. they even took down their facebook page guess they couldn,t take the heat they were getting from outraged animal activists and animal lovers!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. O.M.G. The stupidity never ceases. I suppose they’ll be killing all the black cats for being witches and bad luck? Sheesh! (Head -> Desk)

  4. The woman who initially sheltered him is considering suing.

    There are three problems IMO:

    — The woman had two dogs already and that was the limit . . . thus she had to take the puppy to a shelter. If there wasn’t a pet limit in place, she could have kept Baby George to find him a home in the first place.

    — She had offered to take him back anyway and find him a home if nobody else had done so by the end of the stray hold period, and she called every day to check on him. But the shelter never talked to her about their decision to kill him.

    — The shelter director used the old excuse that the rescuer had signed Baby George over to the shelter, so it was okay that they killed him.

    The demon thing is just gravy on all this crap.

    1. In many areas where there are limits on how many dogs one can have, age of the dog can come into play. Some rules will say ‘2 dogs beyond the age of 6 months’ or something like that. Was it a town law or an apartment/housing law? Poor pup never had a chance. I hope the lady does sue them.

  5. There is no Temperament Test for puppies. NONE. I hope the foster does bring suit against HSNBA. It might be the only thing that will bring this Director’s ridiculous thoughts and processes to light. Certainly the Board should be informed and look into this situation. And what about the staff? Why are they not concerned or speaking out as well? The whole situation is so incredulous.

  6. Nothing humane about killing a puppy this young – and the excuse they cooked up? That’s just pathetic. Hope the foster doesn’t let this one drop. Who knows what else is going on there? GEESH!

  7. This is sad, simply sad. How ignorant can people get? Puppies bite, and a chi doxie mix might be more bity than some I guess. I have one and though not a puppy she has her moments and has to be redirected and occasionally cussed at. Luckily my language doesn’t seem to offend her. The language I’d like to use about people murdering puppies for no reason is bound to offend about anyone else though so I’ll stick with ‘a sin and a shame’.

    1. I live here. I don’t practice the “black arts” and I know that what was done was very wrong. This kind of posting causes distraction the the actual cause. Please refrain. Thank you.

  8. O . . . M . . . . G!!! Who ARE these people? Is it possible to perhaps have rational people with hearts working with these defenseless precious animals?

  9. Yeah, and I’m sure this demon possession had nothing to do with smelling dead corpses of cats and dogs and sensing the impending doom of people who prefer to kill.

    What irks me the most about this, is that these animal shelters are the “authority” that the news taps anytime there is an animal related issue and they clearly know nothing about animal behavior.

    They lie and they don’t follow through because they *want* to kill and celebrate their so-called mission, when there was a person willing to take the dog back. Yeah, nobody wants to kill. What’s next, “don’t blame us”? So gross.

    Sigh. Venting to the choir. Sorry little doggie, that the serial killers murdered you. I’m sorry that you are dead.

  10. Have you lost your minds!? It is (was) a PUPPY! All animals (mostly~ 99.9%) can be “rehabilitated, although puppies are being puppies! I don’t think I’ve heard any worse excuses for murdering animals. Some come very close! Unbelievable!

  11. I personally think the puppy nipped the person that got to pass the death sentence….. Their ego got the better of them and when they got nipped.. they got mad at the puppy and said, “you are going to die for that “… and unfortunately they won the argument…Sad..sad…sad..

  12. Your site popped up on my FB site this AM and glad it did. I’ve been a professional dog trainer & animal behaviorist for 40+ years now and recently semi retired. I’ve seen & heard many horror stories over the years. I train basically Service Dogs now these past 20+ yrs. taking most of my dogs from shelters. I have found them to be the “human throw- a-ways and God’s glory” with them being the very best in Service Dog work. This story though made me boil. I’m working with our own 21 week old chocolate Lab pup who is without a doubt one of the worst biters I have yet to work with and we’ve had him since he was 8 weeks from a breeder. All of our dogs are “miracle dogs”, chosen by God. One might find this odd, but when we go to the shelters, prepare to do the paper work, we usually find “something wrong” like…they were supposed to be put to death 2-3 days prior. Some might call it a glitch in the system, we call it God’s hand in their lives. This Lab is no different. Anyway, it’s been awful going through his teething. Nary a day went by without me or my husband bleeding from an open gash in our arms, hands or fingers while simply playing with Zephaniah. He DIDN’T mean to cut our skin, his teeth were just razor sharp. Even our recently retired 10 year old Service Dog treated him as though he had a terrible case of “cooties”! Yes, dogs treat other dogs that way too. But, Zephaniah IS learning now. His puppy teeth have come out all but a few and are being replaced with beautiful new pearly whites. I won’t say there wasn’t moments I didn’t wish to pull every one out of his face and wait for the adult teeth to come in for I would be lying…BUT, we are almost through this dagger stage! And, his older sister finally doesn’t think his case of cooties is too bad after all! NOW…if I can just get him to control that LICKER out in public………….

    I am a professional dog trainer with many yrs. of experience. My beginning was military, police then on to Service Dog training which has been my love. We got the first Seizure Alert Dog Bill ever in the world signed into law in 2002 and also the protection of all Service Dogs. I had 2 Bouvier des Flandres at the time which were both murdered 2 years after the bill was signed. We now live in South Dakota. If anyone wishes to contact me, feel free. NO SCAMMERS or sales people, please. I have had 3 head in juries and just learned to read and write again after 23 years and don’t need your hassles. If you wish to write me about dogs or training or ? fine, write to me and I’ll be more than pleased to get back with you.

    1. This is insane! A possessed puppy??!   Why not just burn him at the stake?  If he’s not “wired right” then there IS an issue, but murder isn’t the answer, & no I wasn’t there!  But I’ve seen LOTS of “overly aggressive”  animals. When time is put into them & love is shown, it is surely worth more than killing an 8 WEEK OOLD puppy!

Leave a Reply