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snopes
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A New Orleans couple who left their two dogs at a shelter when fleeing Hurricane Katrina went to court to get the pets back from two women who each adopted one.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/K/KATRINA_DOGS?SITE=FLTAM

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TurquoiseGirl
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I have this recurring nightmare that the Boutros' original humans will appear one day and demand to have him back. That there was some tragedy that caused him to be stray for so long he was emaciated and was in the pound for three more weeks before I adopted him.

There are plenty of adoptable dogs out there. I am sure there are some dogs who permanently "lost" their humans. Why don't the couple from New Orleans adopt them?

Also? This is why microchipping your pets is a good thing.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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GenYus
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T-Girl, how would microchipping these dogs have helped? It doesn't sound like they were lost. Or did you just mean to avoid the situation of having missing dogs in general?

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Syllavus
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T-Girl, that's so sad about the Boutros, that he was neglected before you adopted him. He looks like such a sweet dog from the photos you've posted of him. Ahh neglected pets just break my heart. [Frown]

Not sure what to say about the topic at-hand though, it's a very sad situation for all involved. At this point my gut reaction would be to say let the dogs choose which family they want to be with, but I doubt that would be deemed official by a court.

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abigsmurf
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I'm afraid I would go the heartless route.

"you left those dogs to die why should you be considered fit to keep these dogs?"

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Cervus
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[Roll Eyes]

Leaving dogs at a shelter is not the same as "leaving them to die".

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Sylvanz
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Originally posted by abigsmurf:
quote:
"you left those dogs to die why should you be considered fit to keep these dogs?"
The Coutures took their pets to a temporary shelter when they couldn't take the pets with them to flee the storm.
quote:
The Coutures left the dogs at a temporary animal shelter in Louisiana in August after their home was "virtually destroyed" by Katrina, according a complaint filed in state court last Friday.
They didn't leave the dogs to die. They neither abandoned them in the house nor dumped them permanently in the shelter. I think they should give those dogs back and I think it's plain evil to add insult to injury to the people who lost so much from the storm.

P&LL, Syl

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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Understood, Syl, but the shelter's decision may have been one of desperation. SO many pets were left homeless that the shelters were bursting at the seams. Shoot, we got 60 or so Katrina dogs shipped to our shelter in Colorado.

So, the couple left the dogs at a temp shelter in August. The dogs were sent to a shelter in south Fla. And now, in june/july they're trying to get them back?

Seems like a pretty long gap to expect a shelter to hold a pet when they have willing adoptees.

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Sue Bee
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I see nothing in the story that tells me when these folks originally attempted to get their pets back. Perhaps it took them a good while to even track them down. We just don't know. It seems to me to be compounding the horrors that many folks went through to not return their pets to them, and this is not the first case that I've heard of.
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Sylvanz
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I agree Sue Bee. There are plenty of homeless shelter dogs and cats out there without "stealing" Katrina victim's pets. I've heard other cases of people searching for their pets for months. The aftermath of the storm made it chaotic trying to find humans who could actually speak for themselves let alone animals that can't tell you their names or addresses. Even in circumstances where the owners were known mistakes (obviously here) were made. These women should return the dogs to their rightful owners.

P&LL, Syl

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Magdalene
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Well, I tend to voice the unpopular opinion on this one....

No, it isn't fair that the original owners may have lost their dogs due to no fault of their own.

It also would not have been fair to leave these animals waiting in a shelter for God knows how long waiting for their owners to locate them. Especially taking up shelter space/foster homes needed by other animals as well.

It is also not fair to expect the new owners to give up these dogs which they adopted in good faith and have had for several months (I think most shelters agreed not to let the Katrina pets be adopted out until after the end of 2005, right?)

Simple truth is, life isn't fair.

It'd be nice if the new owners gave the dogs back, but they're not obliged to. They didn't steal them. They adopted them in good faith.

Magdalene

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"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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Franny
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So I have two minds on this...
1. Many comments smack me of blaming the victims. It IS excusable that people displaced in undescribeable ways are only now able to try and find family pets. Some families have been dealing with such challenges that the task of finding a family pet has been near impossible. Try this: move to a different city and start calling all the shelters in your former home town telling them you want to find your mixed breed black female neutered dog who answers to Sweetie.

This is an impossible task without individually traveling to EACH AND EVERY animal shelter. There are hundreds of possible locations that Katrina dogs could have ended up in. Most familes had neither the time nor the money to invest the PURE LEG WORK required to find their pets until now.

As much as we like to think we know our dogs - it is not that easy to identify your black lab when all you have to go on are pictures and they are all of slightly emaciated black labs.

Remember many of these people evacuated on public transport of with the national guard (because they didn't have their own cars). It is probably not too easy to convince a National Guardsman to let you take your dog on a transport. Don't blame them because it has taken them this long. They are rebuilding destroyed lives with minimal resources.

2. Yes, you love your pets. But lost animals are adopted every day. My eldest pup was a rescue. I like to think that whoever lost him would be glad to know I had given him a good home. That being said, I have taken every measure possible to insure that if my pet is lost I can recover him. He wears several dog tags with alternate contact information including one for a service that updates my address everytime I move (only 10$ for a lifetime of protection). He is also microchipped and I keep this updated.

All of this weighs heavily on me today as my dog, Yoda, escaped from our yard today and was missing for several hours. A ten-year-old boy found him and called one of the numbers on his tags. If this boy wanted to claim him as his own after two hours I would have been pissed. But if I couldn't be located and Yoda was lucky enough to end up with this caring ten-year-old I would be happy for them both.

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I've been waiting here for like 20 minutes.

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TurquoiseGirl
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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
T-Girl, how would microchipping these dogs have helped? It doesn't sound like they were lost. Or did you just mean to avoid the situation of having missing dogs in general?

Sorry for delaying. The microchip identifies the responsible human (I refuse to say owner). It might have been easier for the original humans to find out what happened to their dogs if the dogs could have been more easily traced.

This is a hard one for me. I would be devastated if I were separated from the Boutros (but I cannot imagine a circumstance under which I would leave him at a shelter. If I was able to get out of town, he's coming with me, but I wasn't there) and then couldn't get him back. But I would be thrilled that someone one else was taking care of him and he was happy. I guess I really mean that about not "owning" a dog.

On the other hand, I know first hand how quickly one can get attached to a dog. I honestly don't know what I would do if someone came to me with a sob story about how they let their beloved pet go missing for three years. I think part of it would depend on the Boutros' reaction to them.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
It is also not fair to expect the new owners to give up these dogs which they adopted in good faith and have had for several months (I think most shelters agreed not to let the Katrina pets be adopted out until after the end of 2005, right?)

Of course it's fair. They adopted dogs from a shelter in FL which were placed in a shelter in LA. They should have known when they took the dogs that there were horrendous screw ups and that the original owners might still be looking for them Hell, people are still misplaced. I'm sure they most are dead but when was it that the little girl finally got reunited with her family....

Many of people whose animals ended up in shelters lost everything in Katrina. Even people who left their animals behind because there were no shelters that would allow pets are without fault. Few people really anticipated the degree of destruction that occurred or the length of time that recovery is taking. Anyone who would keep a animal that got separated from its owners because of this disaster is too heartless to own animals.

The animals were placed in the shelter in good faith. That good faith things runs both ways.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Magdalene
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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
Anyone who would keep a animal that got separated from its owners because of this disaster is too heartless to own animals.[/QB]

Wow. Judgmental much?

Magdalene

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"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
Anyone who would keep a animal that got separated from its owners because of this disaster is too heartless to own animals.

Wow. Judgmental much?

Magdalene

No more so than a lot of people around here. A lot less so than many.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:

It is also not fair to expect the new owners to give up these dogs which they adopted in good faith and have had for several months (I think most shelters agreed not to let the Katrina pets be adopted out until after the end of 2005, right?)

Was it really fair though to have the cut off the end of 2005? That wasn't that long considering the major and on-going upheavals associated with Hurricane Katrina. There are still, for instance, people living in tents or otherwise seriously dislocated almost a year later. Maybe, for many of them the least of their worries is whether they ever get their pet back, but it is not like they gave up their pets so they could go off an a fabulous world cruise.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Magdalene
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I have a question for all of you thinking that a year later, these people should still get their dogs back.

What 'statute of limitations' do you find acceptable?

How long do you think these dogs should have to live in kennels in shelters before they have a home?

Most of you seem to think one year of living in a kennel is acceptable. Many of the Katrina victims still aren't on their feet. How much longer should their dogs have to to wait? Two years? Three years? Five years?

Yeah. I hear from people all the time about how greyhounds being made to live in kennels while they're racing is cruel and mean. Never mind that's how GREYHOUNDS, unlike most breeds, are raised from birth and know no differently, and at that point in their lives, ARE NOT pets. But somehow, it's okay to make a dog--that WASN'T raised that way, and ISN'T used to it, and has only EVER been a pet--live in a kennel for a year or more waiting for its owner to reclaim it.

And what if the owners decide to *never* reclaim their dogs? According to some here, the dog should just be left sitting in a kennel somewhere until the owner shows up.

I'm just curious--those of you screaming that the dogs getting adopted out isn't fair--all the other dogs still waiting for their owners--what's fair for how long? What's YOUR limit?

As I previously stated--NONE of this is fair. Nobody asked for Katrina to happen. Nobody asked to be forced to leave beloved pets behind. Nobody asked to be left in limbo for months.

But sadly, there comes a point where people are going to have to make decisions and accept certain things have happened, and while it's not fair, it still happened.

I'm just really curious about all these people screaming it's not fair. Just how long would you make these dogs live in kennels? Granted, I doubt they're being treated cruelly, but to go from being a housepet to another dog in a crate, for indefinitely, can't be doing them much good either.

Magdalene

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"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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I met a family of Katrina evacuees while I worked at a shelter here.

The family was in the shelter for about 3 weeks, and then in a hotel for another 3 months. They moved into a home just before Thanksgiving. While they were at the shelter, they learned that a woman in Ohio was fostering their dog. They informed the woman that they wanted their dog back, but, of course, until they wouldn't be able to take her back until they had a permanent home.

So, when they did get their home, they called the fosterer up and asked when they could pick up their dog. She said that she didn't think that they should have the dog back because she didn't think they were worthy pet owners.

They spent six weeks in negotiations with this woman before they hired an attorney, and they still do not have their dog back.

So. That's *my* anecdote.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Sylvanz
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Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
I have a question for all of you thinking that a year later, these people should still get their dogs back.

What 'statute of limitations' do you find acceptable?

How long do you think these dogs should have to live in kennels in shelters before they have a home?

Most of you seem to think one year of living in a kennel is acceptable. Many of the Katrina victims still aren't on their feet. How much longer should their dogs have to to wait? Two years? Three years? Five years?

Yeah. I hear from people all the time about how greyhounds being made to live in kennels while they're racing is cruel and mean. Never mind that's how GREYHOUNDS, unlike most breeds, are raised from birth and know no differently, and at that point in their lives, ARE NOT pets. But somehow, it's okay to make a dog--that WASN'T raised that way, and ISN'T used to it, and has only EVER been a pet--live in a kennel for a year or more waiting for its owner to reclaim it.

And what if the owners decide to *never* reclaim their dogs? According to some here, the dog should just be left sitting in a kennel somewhere until the owner shows up.

I'm just curious--those of you screaming that the dogs getting adopted out isn't fair--all the other dogs still waiting for their owners--what's fair for how long? What's YOUR limit?

As I previously stated--NONE of this is fair. Nobody asked for Katrina to happen. Nobody asked to be forced to leave beloved pets behind. Nobody asked to be left in limbo for months.

But sadly, there comes a point where people are going to have to make decisions and accept certain things have happened, and while it's not fair, it still happened.

I'm just really curious about all these people screaming it's not fair. Just how long would you make these dogs live in kennels? Granted, I doubt they're being treated cruelly, but to go from being a housepet to another dog in a crate, for indefinitely, can't be doing them much good either.

Magdalene

Errmmm first of all no one is "screaming." I hate that as if when you have a strongly held opinion a good way to minimize it is to accuse you of "screaming."

I don't think the dogs should stay in the shelters forever, never said so. I think fostering is great if people are willing. If someone inadvertently adopted a Katrina dog then they should return the dog considering the circumstances. Insisting on keeping the dog and making up "abuse" stories (we've seen this twice in this thread) has nothing to do with "fair" (whether screamed, whined, or said with dignity) it has to do with what is decent and humane. If it was a child would you advocate "finders keepers?"

P&LL, Syl'soft spoken'vanz

--------------------
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

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Sara at home
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No one is screaming unless you are, Magdalene.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Magdalene
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quote:
Originally posted by Sylvanz:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
I have a question for all of you thinking that a year later, these people should still get their dogs back.

What 'statute of limitations' do you find acceptable?

How long do you think these dogs should have to live in kennels in shelters before they have a home?

Most of you seem to think one year of living in a kennel is acceptable. Many of the Katrina victims still aren't on their feet. How much longer should their dogs have to to wait? Two years? Three years? Five years?

Yeah. I hear from people all the time about how greyhounds being made to live in kennels while they're racing is cruel and mean. Never mind that's how GREYHOUNDS, unlike most breeds, are raised from birth and know no differently, and at that point in their lives, ARE NOT pets. But somehow, it's okay to make a dog--that WASN'T raised that way, and ISN'T used to it, and has only EVER been a pet--live in a kennel for a year or more waiting for its owner to reclaim it.

And what if the owners decide to *never* reclaim their dogs? According to some here, the dog should just be left sitting in a kennel somewhere until the owner shows up.

I'm just curious--those of you screaming that the dogs getting adopted out isn't fair--all the other dogs still waiting for their owners--what's fair for how long? What's YOUR limit?

As I previously stated--NONE of this is fair. Nobody asked for Katrina to happen. Nobody asked to be forced to leave beloved pets behind. Nobody asked to be left in limbo for months.

But sadly, there comes a point where people are going to have to make decisions and accept certain things have happened, and while it's not fair, it still happened.

I'm just really curious about all these people screaming it's not fair. Just how long would you make these dogs live in kennels? Granted, I doubt they're being treated cruelly, but to go from being a housepet to another dog in a crate, for indefinitely, can't be doing them much good either.

Magdalene

Errmmm first of all no one is "screaming." I hate that as if when you have a strongly held opinion a good way to minimize it is to accuse you of "screaming."

I don't think the dogs should stay in the shelters forever, never said so. I think fostering is great if people are willing. If someone inadvertently adopted a Katrina dog then they should return the dog considering the circumstances. Insisting on keeping the dog and making up "abuse" stories (we've seen this twice in this thread) has nothing to do with "fair" (whether screamed, whined, or said with dignity) it has to do with what is decent and humane. If it was a child would you advocate "finders keepers?"

P&LL, Syl'soft spoken'vanz

Again--how long is the statute of limitations? Somebody adopts a Katrina dog. Five years pass. The original owners show up demanding the dog back. So what's fair then?

And I hate to point out the obvious--but there's a world of difference between a human child and a dog. There are those who would disagree, but speaking as a childless woman with two cats and a dog, that's my take on it.

Magdalene

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"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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Magdalene
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
No one is screaming unless you are, Magdalene.

When you call people 'heartless' and 'unworthy', you come across as screaming.

Magdalene

--------------------
"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

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Sara at home
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If I had adopted a Katrina dog and the owners hadn't been able to locate the dog until five years later, if the dog was happy to see them, seemed to want to be with them, I'd let him go. That assumes the people lost almost everything, had to either abandon the dog or placed it what they thought would be temporarily with a shelter, were homeless for an extended period, lost the dog in the "system" and had been trying to locate the dog for an extended period of time.

Lots of ifs there, but if the dog still thought of those people as his people or his pack, I'd let the dog go. That's fair to the dog. That's fair to the owners who had no intention of giving up their dog. After all, the dog doesn't understand anything about destroyed homes, no place to live, no jobs, no money, shelters having to place dogs they hoped they were keeping only temporarily......

I'm compassionate enough to believe that in cases like the Katrina disaster, there are situations where my happiness or what's fair to me is not the primary consideration.

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
No one is screaming unless you are, Magdalene.

When you call people 'heartless' and 'unworthy', you come across as screaming.

Magdalene

I thought you said that was judgemental. Now you tell me it's volume, too. My, my, my.

No. I'm perfectly calm. It's not an emotional topic for me.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Magdalene
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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
No one is screaming unless you are, Magdalene.

When you call people 'heartless' and 'unworthy', you come across as screaming.

Magdalene

I thought you said that was judgemental. Now you tell me it's volume, too. My, my, my.

No. I'm perfectly calm. It's not an emotional topic for me.

If it's not an emotional topic for you, then why the name-calling of those who disagree and keep the dogs?

Magdalene

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"Don't mess with me. I dance with swords."

Posts: 1656 | From: Colorado | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
quote:
Originally posted by Magdalene:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
No one is screaming unless you are, Magdalene.

When you call people 'heartless' and 'unworthy', you come across as screaming.

Magdalene

I thought you said that was judgemental. Now you tell me it's volume, too. My, my, my.

No. I'm perfectly calm. It's not an emotional topic for me.

If it's not an emotional topic for you, then why the name-calling of those who disagree and keep the dogs?

Magdalene

First off, the word "unworthy" wasn't used in this thread until you accused me of calling people that.

Second, I think I pretty much explained when I said what I would do why I would think anyone who kept the dogs under those circumstances are "heartless".

Third, unlike you, I've expressed no opinion of anyone who disagrees with me. My comments were about the people who chose to keep the dog. I said nothing about people who think that's appropriate.

And finally, one doesn't have to be emotionally involved in a topic to have an opinion. I have an opinion. That is no indication that I am emotional about the topic.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

Posts: 8317 | From: Reading, PA | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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