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.