Suicide rates among family dogs have risen sharply in the past six months, prompting concerns from families and professionals.
The reasons for human suicide are often complex and multi-faceted, and officials and researchers acknowledge that no one can explain with absolute certainty what is behind the rise in suicides of our K9 companions. But Humane Society officials cited a number of possible explanations, including that if dogs today weren’t bored enough already, we’ve taken away the one thing that gets them excited during the day: trying to tear the mailman’s face off.
Indeed, the revelation comes just months after Canada Post began installing so-called ‘superboxes’—community hubs that will allow the crown corporation to deliver all your junk mail in one place, forcing you to get dressed and go pick it up down the street in -27° weather.
Veterinarians around the country first began sounding the alarm over the increased number of dog suicide cases in February, and cite easy access to poisons such as day lily and daffodils being among the most common substances ingested to inflict harm.
“We know dogs think their sole purpose in life is to bark at the mailman,” said Sam Faulkner, an associate professor of animal sociology at Mount Royal University who has published research on rising animal suicide rates.
“And we know we’re not counting all suicides. It’s vastly unreported by their human masters who think their half-witted dog is just ruining houseplants because that’s what dogs do.”
Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and elderly people sick of having their diaper changed by a Filipino man-nurse, and the surge in suicide rates among family dogs is surprising.
Renee Dormer, a former postal worker who currently offers a dog walking and dog shit-picking-up service, says dogs are facing a decreased role in the family household due to Canada Post’s decision to cease home mail delivery, and they aren’t responding to the news well.
“I’ve noticed more animals are having fewer bowel movements, which is a sign that they aren’t eating as much,” says Dormer.
“That’s because they’re depressed,” she added with an authoritative voice, asserting herself as an expert on animal behavior because she picks up their shit for a living.
More dogs now die of suicide than being run-over by a car, according to the Centre for Animal Behavior, which published the findings in March’s issue of Mutt Morbidity. In 2014 there were 19,136 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides in Canada, while in 2015 so far there have been over 12,500 dog suicides in only the first four months.
There is hope for Fido, however. As companies like Amazon push the aviation envelope forward with their plans to begin deliveries by drone, rednecks and mischief-makers are already in the planning stages to shoot those fuckers down. Maybe they can let their dog in on that action.