Dog Saved by Airport Worker Goes Back to Abusive Owner

Hunting DogAn airport worker who got canned when she stood up for a dangerously sick dog has had her job reinstated and will receive back pay. But the dog is still in the hands of the irresponsible owner, who reportedly rents him out to work as a hunting dog.

You read that right. The dog has no control over who cares for him or uses him, because his owner packs him into a crate and ships him to whoever will pay to have a hunting dog that they didn't have to nurture, train, or get to know.

Renting out hunting dogs is a practice that's been going on for at least 10 years -- and not even hunters think it's a good idea.

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The earliest reference I could find to the rental of bird dogs was in a bird-dog magazine from 2004, which claimed that hunters renting these dogs (for as much as $100 a day) were required to do three days of training before being allowed to take the dogs off-site. (Am I cynical if I immediately say, "Oh, yeah, RIGHT?" In a world where gun owners object to a 10-day waiting period to buy a gun, they're going to agree to wait three days for a dog to get to know them?)

The most telling comment about this practice comes from, well, the comments. A blog post asked hunters what they thought about this idea, and while many of them liked the idea of being able to borrow a dog for the hunting season, the general response was: "Wait, half the joy of having a dog with you when you hunt is the great relationship." I'm paraphrasing; they actually said it better.

Thinking about it, and having seen pointers in action, I can sort of see someone renting a dog for one day. The dogs absolutely love the hunt, and in a very closely controlled environment, where you really know the person borrowing the dog and can keep tabs on the dog's care, I think it'd be okay. But it also seems super-douchey, like some city slicker coming out to the country in stiff, new hunting clothes he got in the back room at REI looking for some authentic outdoorsman experience. Basically, it seems to me that if you have to rent a dog, you're doing it wrong.

But if you are renting out your dog, and he comes back after a two-week hunt so emaciated that he can't stand up to be X-rayed and so sick he requires four days of hospitalization before he can be sent home, you are really doing it wrong. And you shouldn't be allowed to have a dog in the first place.

I hope someone digs up the name of the idiot who rented out this dog so I can use my frequent-flier miles to fly to Texas, strap on my steel-toed boots, and kick him in the hiney. Who's with me?

Do you think dogs should be rented out to hunters?


Image via Lachlan Hardy/Flickr

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