Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Tail in Two Cities

Two stories tore at my soul today - different cities, different people, same concept.

In a town up north, a couple moves out of their apartment leaving behind a very sweet, very friendly three year old pitbull, locked in the apartment without food. No one discovers her for three weeks.

On a small acreage near me, a grow-op is busted and the family moves out. The property is put up for sale. Janice and I go to look at it (Hearts on Noses Sanctuary is looking for a larger, less flood-prone home), and as we walk around the property, two nearly starved cats crawl out from under the deck of house. They too have been abandoned, and the little black one looks so emaciated it is a wonder she is still alive.

I shall never understand how people can walk away and leave their animals behind. Yet it is a story that those of us involved in rescue hear every single week.

As for the dog left in the apartment, rescue groups across the province pulled together for her. First a small rescue picked her up and delivered her to Turtle Gardens Animal Rescue in Topley BC. Bully Buddies took over from there and found her a foster home in Prince George. Today I did a homecheck for a potential adopter, the application was approved, and tomorrow a person from Herding Rescue will drive her down here, she will overnight with me, and then I will deliver her to her new home on Friday. So many people to help one sweet dog land safely in a forever home.

And the cats.....fortunately I had some donated goodies in my car that I was supposed to deliver to yet another rescue. (Sharon, I hope you don't mind but a very generous amount of the dog food was used to help fill the tummies of those starving cats - in the two bowls which were also in the donation bags). One of the cats was such a friendly little soul, but we didn't want to take him away from the much less healthy and very, very timid little black one. Instead, we opted to leave them lots of food and contact one of the cat rescues in the area to help arrange their capture. I will stop by daily to give them food (cat food!) until we know they are safe once again.

Most abandoned animals are not this fortunate. Cats turn feral, get eaten by coyotes or hit by cars in their weakened state. Dogs and cats die locked in abandoned buildings. Piggies are sent to the auction or slaughtered or given away free to the first person who comes to get them, no questions asked. And alpacas and llamas hide in the trees until eventually someone calls the SPCA or moves onto the property to once again provide with the care and feed that they need.

The callousness it must take to walk away from a sentient being who is dependent on humans is mind-boggling. May the cries of the animals forever haunt the souls of those who abandoned them.


Anonymous said...

I do understand that sometimes dire circumstances in life cause people to rehome their pets, but to abandon them?

Happy to hear the pitbull is heading for "home" with the coordination of many rescue groups.

And thank you Jean for feeding those poor starving kitties, of course I don't mind you used the donated dog food.

I echo your last words.


Karen & Mike said...

I ache for people who are forced by circumstances to part with their animals and who do the right thing by them...but I hope there's a special place in hell reserved for scumbags who abandon the animals they pledged to care for forever.

Alexandra Fiona Dixon said...

Bless you for caring for these two cats, and you did it just right. You left food, knowing that they would eat it, and you didn't take the healthier cat, knowing the little one needed his companion for moral support - losing his buddy might have put him over the edge, in his weakened state. I read your subsequent blog about getting them safely into crates.

20 years ago I was going to work in the Financial District here in San Francisco one day, all dressed up in my high heels and business suit, running for the bus, when I saw a cat carrier and scratching post on the sidewalk, with a big "FREE" sign on them. I stopped to check, and to my disgust there was a cat in the carrier. So, I called in late to work and got the cat to a no-kill shelter. And I decided on the spot that in future, if any animal ever crossed my path who needed my help, I would help it, no questions asked. Because - if not me, who? If not now, when?

I have kept that promise, and been a better person for it.