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Q: Did you ever get the impression that your cat/dog adopted from a shelter had been physically abused?

March 15, 2009 | By Michele Z. | 4 answers | Expired: 1844 days ago

Did you ever get the impression that your cat/dog adopted from a shelter had been physically abused?

I'm not asking about known/documented cases of physical abuse, but about cats (or dogs) whose history was not known and the shelter staff gave no indication that abuse was suspected.

Soon after I adopted Chetzer, I realized that he would duck his head anytime I went to pet him--and he looked scared. I got the impression that his previous owner used to whack him across the head for whatever stupid reason(s). I then gave Chetzer more time to become accustomed to me, but months later he would still duck. My "solution" was to slowly approach him from his side and gradually move up to his head and neck. To this day, he still seems a little skittish over initially being touched on the head (but knows that I am not a threat to him and he has grown to love head massages).

In short, what made you believe your adopted pet had been physically abused?

Readers' Answers (4)
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Alissa K.
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Mar 16, 2009

My dog is afraid of anything that makes noise. She visibly shakes when she hears the lawnmower, vaccuum, my hairdryer...she jumps at sudden noises and even hides under the table. I think someone may have teased her or chased her with something noisy. I have tried to introduce my hairdryer to her while it's off and she seems ok, but still leary of it. Once it goes on though, forget it. Even though she sees that it's not hurting me...

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Chrystal W.
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Mar 15, 2009

i got my cats for free from the same litter and i think one of them was abused with a mop. whenever i mop i have to put her in a different room. she is deathly afraid of it. she is getting better at not being afraid but i always thought it was weird that she would be afraid of it. she freaks out at the smell of bleach too.

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maddie g.
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Mar 15, 2009

i got my dog from a breeder and he still does that often many animals will so this just from instinct.

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Kavykeeper
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Mar 15, 2009

Michele, I have the exact same issue with Puzzle. When I got her, she didn't like being touched. She refused to let anyone touch her head. She'd kick up her back legs, run or turn her head as though she was going to bite. I started slowly petting her on her jaw. She'd tolerate it for a few minutes. I can pet her jaw now, rub under her chin and sometimes use a single finger to pet her head. She still doesn't like a full hand petting her, unless she is out of the cage and on my lap. She lets me pick her up now and no longer runs away. I think someone also was hitting her. I've never had another guinea pig react this way.

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