Dear Readers,In my last blogpost, I wrote about the plight of a ten-year-old kitty who was left at an animal shelter by its very apathetic owner and her friend who were more concerned about the latest shopping center fashions than the welfare of the terrified cat. I received more letters about this story than I have for anything else I have ever written. I would like to share some of these very intense sentiments sent in by readers.
“…my blood was boiling just reading about this...the only thing that I would do different is put both of those woman in a cold cage and let them do some thinking instead of shopping” – Sharon
“As a member of several rescue groups, I realize that as despicable and heartless as it is, leaving a pet at a shelter beats leaving the pet in an abandoned house or dropping it on the side of the freeway. But I still fervently hope that one day, when this lady becomes old and dependent, her children, having learned from her example, decide to leave her behind because she has become an inconvenience.” – Marlin
“I volunteered for an animal care center (shelter). The most heartbreaking times were when people abandoned their pet companions and walked away. My wish for all of these heartless people ... Your children drop you off at an old folks home and never come back to visit.” – Annelle
“I am frustrated and appalled at people's irresponsibility concerning their pets. Your story about the two well-heeled women sickened me. I'm lucky to be in a group of Bichon Pet owners, who would rather cut off their own arm, than be cruel to their pet. If you have any ideas on what can be done to change people's attitudes, please let me know. I would like to see legislation requiring mandatory sterilization, among other things. I don't know what's happened to our society, but, I guess it's time to make owning a pet a privilege, not a right.” - Sarah
“…Animals ask nothing of us but love, food and shelter. When you come home from a long day and everything else has gone wrong, the one thing you can count on is coming home to a loving pet. They greet you as if you are the best thing in the world. No matter how bad my day has been…when I come home I know all will be forgotten because of the unconditional love. You can be upset and they will cheer you. You can be mad and one touch of their paw and you are happy. There is no emotion that a pet cannot make better. The idea of just tossing an animal away when you are through is so inconceivable to me that I cannot even comprehend doing something like that. Someone that you have spent 10 years of your life with and when you are through just disposing of it and then laughing and spending the day shopping.” - Barbara
“I hope that your comments in the article about responsible treatment of pets will help with public awareness about the care of pets. I'm dismayed to see that some people seem to regard their pets as animate decor, to be given minimal food, water, and attention but not treated as fellow beings with personality and emotions. This is an attitude which needs to change, and perhaps your writing can help. But until people's perception of pets changes, I think some pets will be better off in shelters rather than suffering with their self-centered owners." – anonymous
I wish I had room for more comments and I thank all who have written for sharing their thoughts. As a follow-up, the kitty who was the subject of my last post has not yet been adopted. Sadly the stress of being in a shelter has caused her to begin pulling out her own fur and she is not doing well. She needs to be placed in a home as quickly as possible, but finding a home for a 10-year-old cat is never easy.
It’s time to change how society views pets under the law. Many of you have great ideas. Share your thoughts with your elected officials and perhaps we can make a difference by working together.