Can Your Love Stop This Shelter Dog From Killing Again?


You stopped in at the animal shelter one Friday afternoon on the way home from work. Just to browse, you said, but secretly, you knew the time was right. You’d been thinking about adoption ever since your girlfriend had left you in an apartment somehow made even emptier by the fact that she took all of the light switches, fixtures, and electrical sockets with her when she ‘went to visit her mother’ in the middle of the night last weekend.

Suddenly, you see him: black and white, a mutt, a dog with a heart a mile wide and a smile seemingly even larger. You walk towards him, but suddenly a hand grips your arm and pulls you back. You look up, and it’s one of the volunteers, with fear in her eyes.

‘No,’ she whispers softly, so low that it’s almost inaudible below the din of barking and whining dogs from the cages that surround you. ‘Not that one.’

‘Why not?’ you breathe, subconsciously adopting her reserved tone as though somehow, speaking loudly would break the spell protecting you from the pooch across the room.

She pulls your arm more abruptly, spinning you towards her. ‘Because, she says sternly, adopting a more forceful tone. ‘That dog is a triple-murderer.’

The barking stops. Everyone heard, each and every dog, and now all of the focus is on the drama unfolding between you, the volunteer (you think her name is Rosa), and the still-innocent looking mixed-breed that was the object of your affection only moments ago. That was before, of course. Before you learned the awful truth. Now your memory lurches into action, spitting out forgotten newspaper reports about a triple homicide a few blocks away from the very shelter where the only thing left alive when the police kicked down the door was a blood-splattered canine with an innocent look and, later, a positive gun shot residue test that was ruled inadmissible by his surprisingly competent dog-lawyer.

Still, as you gazed into his steely – or is that determined? – blue and brown eyes, you realize that you could flip the script for this lovable, if murderous mongrel. Your love couldn’t overcome the many, many, many issues that plagued your last relationship with an actual human being, but surely it could stop this simple dog from executing another human being in cold blood. You could be the one who saves not just this pup, but also innumerable future victims of his homicidal rage. You could make a difference in the world.

It’s your turn to be stern. You brush Rosa’s hand from your arm, and address her with a firm, and what you hope is authoritative tone. ‘I’ll take him,’ you say, and then turn back to the cage where he sits. You wink once as if to say ‘we’re in this together, and by that I don’t mean future bloodshed, but rather your rehabilitation into society.’

Rosa composes herself, and then pulls the requisite paperwork out of her pocket.

‘What’s his name?’ you ask, feeling a warm rush of euphoria over your future with your murder-dog new best friend.

‘Trigger,’ she tells you, not looking up from the documents in hand.

Perfect, you think. Just perfect.




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