Somehow the local animal group has mistaken me for a tech guru, so I’ve ended up being their email contact person and webmaster.
Regarding the title of this post, we get letters. Like these. The latest arrived yesterday. I quote [almost] verbatim, changing names to protect the innocent and guilty alike:
My name is [Unspeakable] and my wife and I are facing a big transition in our life. We are suppose to adopt a baby in the next few months so we will not be able to give our 3 cats the attention they need. You see 2 of these cats are almost 12 yrs old and we’ve had them since they were kittens. The male, Lucky, is diabetic. Sniffles, the female had a very bad case of kennel cough when we got her from the SPCA so she has very bad sinuses because of it. the 3rd cat Norma Bates a little 6 yr old female who is basically a ferrel cat that lives in our house. We got her from [another group of crazy animal rescuers] but she hates any kind of interaction so we cant do anything with her.
All in all I see all 3 of these cat as unadoptable. We hate the fact that we cant keep them but we have to think about not only the welfare of our new child but their welfare as well.
Please help us during this hard time. We love these cats deeply but things are changing in our lives.
Darned funny thing. ALL would-be dumpers “care deeply” for their animals. ALL of them are getting rid of their pets SOLELY for the most altruistic reasons (or because the BAD PETS — you know, like the ones with BAD SINUSES, have driven them to it). And NONE of them ever offer a donation or even thanks. Nor are they willing to bear the responsibility of treating a chronically sick animal, training an unruly one, or euthanizing a truly psychotic “unaddoptable.” No, the cost of treatment is always too much. Training? Why, that would take both time AND money. And euthanasia? Why that would make them bad guys, and see, they’re too, too, too kindhearted to do anything so cruel. Somehow, it’s just our DUTY to take their responsibilities off their hands — and magically make the unwanteds disappear. They can then fantasize forever about how very, very GOOD they were to find their discards a Happy New Family.
I wrote back. Politely, even, thanks to some astute coaching and restraint offered by the group president. I didn’t send him a copy of this.
OTOH, I must say that I’m also doing email go-between work for the adoption of some foundling pups who were rescued from starvation and certain death. The wonderful people taking care of them and the wonderful people speaking up to offer homes for them are a great antidote to folks like Unspeakable.
The local group doesn’t have a shelter. Just overtaxed foster homes that can barely take on any more strays, let alone owned-but-unwanteds. Every once in a while, when somebody truly has to let an animal go (because they’re being transferred overseas or because they’re moving into a nursing home, for instance) the stressed-out volunteers find ways to make room for more. But also in those cases, the pet owner or that person’s family often offers to pay for the critter’s care until adopters can be found, and they’re truly regretful.
None of this, “Yeah, well I LOVE ’em SO much and I’m such a WONDERFUL caring pet owner that I can’t wait for you to take them off my hands” crap. At least this guy didn’t threaten to dump ’em in the woods. But what do you suppose he’s going to do if his adopted baby (assuming that’s even a true story) becomes chronically ill or develops behavioral problems?
Thank heaven for the wonderful antidotes.