Many people are bringing their animals into shelters with the belief that this is not abandonment. Last week alone we were witness to several such instances. One family brought their two children into the shelter to leave their cat. One of the little girls had tears streaming down her face as she fought to save him. She didn’t want to leave his side. The reason for breaking this child’s heart? The family already had other cats and decided they no longer wanted him, they were just going to walk away. The cat just watched as they left him, the girl still visibly upset. He went from a warm home were there was at least one little girl who truly loved him, to the cold, lonely life of the shelter animal.
The day after we witnessed this heartbreaking scene we checked in on the cat and were informed shortly after the family had left, he had became confused, visibly depressed, exhibiting an emptiness after being abandoned that becomes all too familiar to those who rescue. Its when the animal realizes their family is never coming back. We couldn’t leave him in that state, and we went and got him out. He is currently staying at a foster for now until we find him his forever home.
Not all stories end this way, the majority don’t get out! People don’t realize the trauma an animal experiences when they are abandoned by their family, and for many it can take some time to begin to trust people again.
The cat’s tale has also brought to mind another story of a pair of 6 month old terrier siblings a family had brought into the shelter to get rid of. They also brought down their two children. The children ran around out in front of the shelter pulling the dogs all over the place, the pups shaking, terrified the entire time. The parents were not giving any direction towards the children on the proper ways to handle and care for the dogs or to the depth of the situation at hand. They were just young pups and in their short lives they have experienced being taken away from their mother and other siblings, brought into a home with no guidance (for the children or the dogs), and now abandoned by their family into a shelter to be further separated from each other or worse. Their lives have been that of chaos, loneliness and uncertainty.
We have to stop this madness. Speak up for the animals and tell it like it is. Everyone who brings an animal to a shelter chooses to do so. There are other options, but they take a little more time and effort. Rehoming is the alternative in which an animal gets to keep its dignity and does not have to experience the traumatic effects of life in a cage or worse, die alone.
There is always a choice. Every animal has the right to love and respect, there are resources available. Please choose wisely.
Abandonment is never the answer, ADOPTION IS THE ONLY OPTION! Rehoming is the solution.
Fido Rescue and Adoption Alliance