Friday, March 8, 2013

Owner dying wants cat euthanized


So I am on Facebook, surfing pictures of cute kittens, and every now and then my feed is interrupted with images of kitties who are on "the list".  You know the one, the list of animals scheduled to die.

I hate those images.  I totally understand them. People can't stand by and do nothing (good for them) and by sharing sometimes pets get saved.  Sadly often they do not.  The reason I hate them is because often people who are in no position emotionally or financially to do something have their heart strings pulled to the point of breaking and they have to do SOMETHING.  Sometimes they take in a pet that they really shouldn't, putting an emotional and financial burden on not only themselves but everyone (and every pet) in their lives.

But often the "something" is that they lash out.

Case in point. An elderly owner is dying.  The owner has no options for the three year old "Pumpkin" and brought it to the vet to be put to sleep.


Horrific right?  There has got to be a home for such healthy kitty.  But lets remember this owner is dying.  No one is stepping up to take Pumpkin with in the owner's circle of family and friends.  What options are there?  Put an ad in Craigslist or in the paper?  Sure, but that takes time and energy and you still don't know for sure what kind of life your kitty will have.  Will it be loved and cared for or will it just exist, or worse be used for bait or something else?  Most people rule out bringing an animal to a shelter.  They don't want their beloved cats sitting in a cage being traumatized with all the other animals and noises, before either being adopted by 'someone' or being put down.  Doesn't it seem like a more humane option to have the kitty's life end in love? (I am not condoning this, but I can understand it)

So my heart breaks for Pumpkin, and Pumpkin's owner faced with a beloved pet having to live her life with out everything she has ever known or loved.  As I'm reading over comments about the situation to see if someone was able to help Pumpkin, I see so many negative comments..

  • vets who would even considering killing a healthy cat should not be practicing!! 
  • I cannot believe how selfish this owner is to say that, a healthy cat, the right answer find her a good home. 
  • The owner should step it up and donate some money to 'Pumpkin's' new owner to help with future housing/vet bills 
  • A lot of things piss me off in rescue, and this is at the top of the list. Killing your perfectly healthy pet because you are dying. There are always options!
How is attacking the owner helpful?  How is attacking the vet helpful?   You do not know the owners situation.  What if there is no money because the health care system drained it all? Most people do not have the resources to network to find a cat a new home - and remember this person is dying, how much energy do they have. Even when pets are networked so many of them are unable to find homes - remember a companion animal is killed every eight seconds because there are not enough homes and resources to care for them all.  What makes Pumpkin special?  Why is Pumpkin more deserving than the thousands of others looking for a home right now?  I bet you there are at least a thousand three year old healthy cats waiting right now.  Do they not all deserve a home?  

There are no easy answers to this post.  I abhor the idea of killing Pumpkin.  There are times when I contemplate the end of my own life and I can not stand the thought of what would happen to my cats.  There is no one in my life that would take on seven cats.  I can barely see anyone taking one.  I am very very thankful that the shelter in my area has such a wonderful adoption rate, and the chances of my cats finding new homes if the unthinkable were to happen would be pretty good.  They know me, they would do right by my cats.  But if I lived in a high kill community and I knew I was dying and I could not find homes for my beloved kitties... 

As much as I would like us to be a no-kill nation, I do not see that happening.  Maybe one day when we take care of the human beings that are falling through the cracks - the homeless, the hungry, the mentally challenged,  the abused and neglected - maybe then I might believe that no-kill is an option everywhere.  Until then I accept that kindly ending a beloved pet's life instead of letting it face the unknown is sometimes should be an option.



not that I do not think people should help to help find a home.. but I by no means would be saying cruel things about the people involved.

11 comments:

  1. If people would get their pets desexed it wouldn't be as big of a problem. I know so many people who buy their cat or dog from a pet shop or a breeder and then never get them fixed, and then seem shocked when the animal gets pregnant.

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  2. Its a shame that somebody can't tell the owner that they would be happy to give pumpkin a home with out the need of a shelter or being put to sleep I feel so sorry for the owner to be put in this situation must be very distressing for him or her and for all we know the local shelters may be full so that they have no other option,so very sad

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    Replies
    1. I wonder were this little kitty is?

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    2. If she was close to me I would take Pumpkin in a heartbeat

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    3. There are kitties near you in the same desperate need..

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  3. I feel so badly for Pumpkin's owner and for Pumpkin. I don't know what to think of the whole situation.

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  4. how terrible....and then to add to it, people feel the need to vent stupid and hurtful comments without doing something to help. my theory is put up or shut up.....the age of social media is good in that people can get some help, but it leaves those with the need to comment the outlet to vent without restrictions (or an internal editor in the case of a lot of people). we hope this owner and kitty can find some help.....

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  5. Thank you for this thoughtful post.
    Carine
    (Texas' human)

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  6. We recently had two young cats, two and three years old, an elderly woman had rescued from a farm. They were a little shy to begin with and were only accustomed to her. She had a stroke and went to the hospital, and died a month later. Her son, whose wife had just given birth to their first daughter, came from out of town to be with her and fed her cats in her house, but when she died and he wanted to put the house up for sale couldn't find anyone to take the cats, who were not terribly friendly by that time. He took them to the shelter and signed the order to call him if they were in danger of euthanasia, and they couldn't even be examined. At the last minute, really, a volunteer in one of our private rescue groups picked them up for him (we work with that shelter), and someone offered to foster. It took a few weeks, but they've gone from surly and angry to one tentative and one a total love bug. Last year, before we were organized, they would have been euthanized. Just like you working with your shelter, sometimes that bridge of fostering saves more lives than people realize.

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  7. True, we know nothing about the owner, except that s/he is an "elder". Well, I'm 53 and I know cats can live for 20 yrs. Simple math, means I need to hestiate adopting kittens. Speaking only for myself, it'll be seniors only at our house from now & into the future. But then again, I also feed & TNR a colony. So, I'm in the same box as that owner. What happens when I gone (moved or dead) and, well, I haven't solved it yet.

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    Replies
    1. Actually I don't think we should assume s/he is elder.. Could be someone younger dying of something catastrophic.

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