Back when the Minnesota Valley Humane Society in Burnsville was still operating, dogs would be brought in to be surrendered, most still wearing their collars. MVHS staffers would take off the collars and usually throw them away, but they started saving them for me when I asked them to. Most are in good shape and can be reused.
So I finally got around to this big project last weekend, pulling about 100 of them out of a bag and sorting them into reusable and unsalvageable.
These were in good enough condition for reuse.
While I was sorting, sadness washed over me: every one of these collars was on a dog that had been unwanted. A lot of them found new adoptive homes through MVHS, but quite a few never made it onto the adoption floor. And some of the collars were filthy, indicating the neglect or indifference these dogs endured and also the low value placed on them by their owners, who couldn't be bothered to make sure the one thing that was always on their dog was clean.
The pile of unsalvageables: too worn or torn to be used.
The winner of Ugliest Dog Collar. This reminded me of a car interior from the '70s.
And the Filthiest Dog Collar.
Here you can see the words, but note how the edges have ground-in grime.
Pile of collars with salvageable metal and plastic hardware removed.
Dirty unsalvageables on the left and freshly washed salvageables on the right. These collars represent a lot of surrendered dogs.