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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pet Dumping

I am appalled at the thoughtlessness of some people. Recently my sister found a “pack” of 10 kittens unceremoniously dropped at the roadside on her way home. Understandably some of them were frightened and ran away from her, but she caught the ones she could and took them home. These kittens were from at least 3 different litters. Most were so thin I could see every bone in their tiny bodies. Most also sported painful, weepy eyes.

How can people be so uncaring? I can’t imagine dumping a pet out in the country to fend for itself. These are usually pets that have been cared for and fed regularly so they don’t know how to provide for themselves. They may have even been indoor pets and are terrified of the great outdoors. Here they must risk their lives just crossing the road. Predators seek them out (coyotes, hawks, eagles, owls and dogs). And some uncaring souls shoot or poison them.

Perhaps these “dumpers” imagine that farmers will happily adopt their animals. But farmers and acreage owners usually have pets of their own and don’t have room for more. Besides, who says abandoned animals will even make it to a household? If only these people would leave their pets at shelters where they will be cared for and hopefully adopted. There is no shame in leaving a pet at the shelter. In this economy people are losing their jobs and even homes and are unable to properly care for their pets. Isn’t it better to take them to a shelter than to leave them in a ditch in no man’s land? If you are worried that a shelter will euthanize them, seek out a no-kill shelter.

Years ago when my family moved out to the country we began to collect stray animals as they were dumped near our acreage. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep them all indoors so many died young or disappeared. This is the fate of outdoor pets. I was just glad that we were able to give them the love and care they needed for as long as we could.

My sister is unable to keep the kittens she found so she did the responsible thing and took them to the local shelter. Hopefully they will get the treatment they need and eventually find very good forever homes.

Have you ever rescued an abandoned pet? Have you ever caught someone dumping a pet/pets? Were you ever in a position of being unable to properly care for your pets? If so, what did you do? I’d like to hear of your experiences.

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