Whenever I address any issues, I try to see the other point of view and wrap my head around different ways of thinking. I also try to be as diplomatic as possible. There are just times when being polite or tactful doesn't always get the point across. I believe this is one of those times. Domestic animal dumping has become an out of control issue in this country. Those involved in animal welfare at any level can confirm it is absolutely at an emergency level, as is pet overpopulation. It takes a toll on the animals being dumped and often contributes to their early demise. Dumping doesn't solve anything because animals will continue to breed (regardless of where they are) without being spayed or neutered. In fact, this problem has become so out of control for me, on a personal level, that I have come to believe in the mandatory sterilization of most humans. I am mostly referring to the people who lack the capacity to care. - It is because so many people act without thinking. They give no thought to how their actions are going to affect others down the line. They make the most insane excuses (I could write a book on those alone) and none of those excuses are valid or acceptable. At the end of the day, it is clear to me that many people lack the ability to make compassionate and rational decisions. Dumping animals is the act of a sociopath. When animals are being dumped, there is no thought given about their safety, lack of shelter, lack of a food/water source, or the fact that they are now disoriented and lost. Few animals can find a way to survive this cruel and unacceptable act; most do not.
Over the years I have seen the horror and devastation that pet dumping brings. There are simply no words to describe this barbaric act of cruelty or the issues that it creates. I have seen animals who have fallen victim to cruelty at the hands of people, who were completely emaciated and in some cases, hours from death because of the actions (or lack thereof) of other people. For me personally, I have had to put up 'walls' so to speak to keep people from trying to dump animals on me. I had to remove myself from social media because it gave people a platform in which to contact me. Then they resorted to contacting my family and friends in reference to dumping animals. My own Dad removed himself from Facebook (before I did) because of this...Because people want to transfer whatever issue they could easily manage themselves, onto another person. Not taking into account what the other person might be dealing with in their own life. As anyone can see, I have provided sources on my own website for one to read up on if they need guidance on managing a feral cat issue. I went so far as to write a book about the reality of what goes on in the world of animal welfare. I spoke about animals that range from pets, to farm animals, to wildlife in an effort to inform people who want to learn more. I have made myself available for years now to speak to any group about a number of animal related issues such a population control, how to care for companion animals properly, how to introduce new animals into the home, how to adopt the right animal for you and your family and even how to go about becoming a vegetarian or vegan while still getting a high level of protein. -Yes, I actually create full meal plans for people. We don't know what we don't know. So we need to always be in learning mode and open to new information that might benefit us (or someone else) in some way. At times, I have reached out to other people or rescuers asking for their advice on a particular issue. The difference is, I never asked any of these people to handle something for me. I know they are already have enough on their plate. I was willing to do the work. I was just looking for some insight or a different perspective. We all have so many great tips that we have learned from experience. When you are seeking information, I think people can always appreciate that and will have respect for you because it shows your heart is in the right place.
We do not own or operate a rescue of any kind. Operating a rescue requires certain guidelines, setups, etc...None of which are present in our home. It is just a home. I simply love animals and have been blessed with a keen ability to communicate with them and work with them. It is a blessing and a curse at the same time. It is a blessing because I can tame the most wild feral cat (that is trying to hiss, bite and escape) and turn them into a loving, affectionate lap cat in a matter of hours or days. My ability to do that has helped me to save a lot of precious lives. To take these poor, forgotten members of The Animal Kingdom that society doesn't help or take any responsibility for and turn their lives around is a true miracle. One that most people wouldn't bother to do if they did have my abilities. It is what I live for! That said, it can also be a curse because then people expect you to handle even the simplest issue that they (themselves) could resolve. They don't take into consideration that I might have more animals than anyone they know of, all permanent members of our family, all rescues, who require a lot of daily time and care. No one has a clue what that entails. They don't give thought to the fact that people like me work (sometimes two jobs), have our own health problems (sometimes life threatening) or that we might be under a tremendous amount of stress with any number of our own issues. We might have an ill family member. We might have more work that particular week than we've ever had. We might be maxed out financially because we just took several of our own animals to the vet. I have experienced all of the aforementioned. How our life, family and home are set up is by design and by choice. Speaking of choice, it is also our choice to get involved when and how we are able to depending on what is going on in our lives at the time. I am blessed enough to share my life with someone who is also as compassionate as I am. As a couple, we take great pride in helping all kinds of animals. We do everything from trap feral cats and tame them, to trapping raccoons and possums who need to be relocated to a safer environment for their species. It has taken us many years to learn how do to all of this. We didn't get a book or a manual dropped off to us on how to handle every possible scenario. We get absolutely no help. We don't have any magical "resources" that we can lean on. But we see what needs to be done for the benefit and safety of these animals, so we just do it. We live by the philosophy that helping those who cannot help themselves is the right thing to do.
My biggest disappointment with people is that sometimes an otherwise intelligent and nice person can often lack the ability to have a conscience...Towards both animals and other people. Two of the biggest examples I can name are: 1) Animal dumping...Anywhere. 2) Contacting people like us (or our friends and family) about wanting to dump an animal here. While I am always glad to provide instructions and tips on what they can do as a member of society, the reality is, people don't want the tips. They just want you (or me) to deal with whatever animal related issue it is so that they don't have to bothered. - I call it like I see it and that is the truth about their motives. I have been reduced to tears on many occasions where people calling didn't even realize it...Then I hang up the phone because I feel helpless that I cannot save the life of every animal and also because so many people expect me to. They sort of forget the fact that you are just a person. Or that you have a life, other interests you might want to talk about or that you would like to hear from them for other reasons. "Hey, how's it going? There is this cat (or dog)...." My ears pretty much start ringing at that point and I realize that a genuine caring person would not make such an inquiry. They could look up the information on what to do and handle it. We are all busy. We all have stress. We all have families, jobs and homes/yards to maintain. We are all sleep deprived a great deal of the time. All of those things are just a part of daily life. What people need to understand is that anyone involved in animal welfare (in any capacity) is already more overburdened...In pretty much every way you can name. I want to make it clear that our own animals are never a burden. They are our family. We never wanted kids and our animal family is full of love and provides us all with a great deal of happiness. However, we are always (and I mean always) doing things behind the scenes, sometimes at all hours, to help animals. This requires a lot of time, physical effort and well as dealing with the emotions of it all. It is not easy, folks. Often times it can be exhausting. I frequently pull animal related all-nighters and then have to work the next day. We never mind being tired if it means saving a life. What we do mind is when someone doesn't take into consideration all the things we are already doing. It makes me ask myself "What is enough?" on a daily basis. This is rhetorical question by the way. Who helps us? Yet another rhetorical question. *cue the crickets*
Over the years I have heard some pretty out-there things from people who say they want help with an animal, but helping is actually the furthest thing from their mind. We are talking about grown people...Adults who drive, vote (scary), reproduce (even scarier) and probably work somewhere doing something. Yet common sense eludes them when it comes to a cat in their yard or under their house. Getting a proper trap (a worthwhile investment we have used to save countless lives over the years) is not a big expense or a corporate decision. If someone can scrape together enough intelligence to master such complicated things like toilet paper and dental floss, they can most certainly set a trap. They even come with instructions for those who can read. The can of tuna might not have instructions on it, but a can opener is usually the best choice for opening those. I say this because of the mouth-breathers of society who think nothing of making a phone call to say that there is a bird flying around in their garage...When opening the garage door will allow the bird to free itself. Why is it necessary to make it someone else's problem? We have the internet and countless books, videos and available classes (for free) for those who want to learn (yes, actually learn) how to make a difference. Personally, I have never attended a class. But for newbies or beginners, any animal organization will send information (again, for free) to help educate you. Alley Cat Allies even offers phone webinars that you can attend. Can you sit in front of your computer or dial a phone number? Great. Then you're all set. And you will be armed with enough information to know what to do when you see an animal in need. We can never learn too much, esp. when it comes to being a better person. Right?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that people involved in animal welfare don't care about other people. No, they simply look at the big picture and the long term of their choices. They try to live a life by doing what is right and setting an example. Whereas, animal dumpers and abusers do not. Those are the people who don't care...About anyone. Then, you also have people who say they love animals, but they go to such extremes with their efforts that they lose all credibility and are usually ineffective. I can't speak for people who say they love animals, yet they display radical behavior. I don't associate with people like that and cannot even relate to them. I wrote a book about animal welfare in an effort to help both animals and people. I did it because I do care. In fact, I care so much that it hurts me when I see people making poor choices based on laziness or indifference. Think about it...If everyone lived with the mentality that they didn't have time to care, show compassion, or bother to help another living being, our world would be completely destroyed. If not for the people that do care, we would have no order and would all be living like wild animals ourselves. I believe in my heart that there are far more people who do care about others. Those are the people I gravitate towards. Those are the only kind of people that are welcome in my life, period. The only problem is, those are the people are constantly overburdened, trying to make up for what others are not doing. We all need to do our part.
For a living, I help people. I take great pride in knowing I made a difference for someone who needed me. My passion in life is helping animals. It is nothing I will ever make a living with and do not intend to. I do it because I want to. Sometimes both worlds show me a dark side of people or of humanity in general. I choose to believe that people have a choice. What they do for others (or not) is a reflection of who they are. For instance, we were dealing with a life threatening issue several years ago. It turned our lives upside down and I was living on no sleep for months on end. An elected official's brother came up to me and said that he had some kittens in his garage, but he "released them to the cat people." Translation: He turned them loose, here. And no thought given to our situation at the time, our existing animals or the fact that it was the most difficult time in our lives. I don't recall us ever labeling ourselves "the cat people" nor do we wish to be referred to that way. By making other people aware of these scenarios, I am hoping to open some eyes here. That particular instance was a rude awakening for me. In that moment, I realized that sometimes our own friends and neighbors weren't as considerate as we had hoped. And that after all the rescues and countless nights of doing more than our part, they had no problem derailing our efforts by opening that garage and turning loose a family of helpless kittens. It was a selfish act of cruelty...Towards both people and animals. One I have never forgotten. It is once instance of many. It is people like this who make us want to relocate to an undisclosed area with no immediate neighbors.
You cannot shame a sociopath. There is no cure for their mentality and it is the most dangerous mentality on Earth. You cannot ask them to think or to care about others. Sociopaths only think or care when it comes to furthering their own agendas. All you can do is call these people out for what they really are. Many of them lead normal lives on the surface, but it doesn't mean they are not still evil to the core. Show me a sociopath that takes responsibility for their actions and apologizes and I will show you the turquoise, disco dancing unicorn living in my backyard. Do not mistake these people for being strong, as they are actually very weak. They are lacking the sensitivity chip that makes the rest of us normal. Try holding a cat that is bleeding from the mouth and taking his/her last breath because they were dumped and hit by a car. Try getting a dog that has been burned repeatedly with cigarettes and abandoned to trust humans again. It takes compassion, love, common decency and never ending strength to do those things. The day you dump an animal or mistreat one is the day your humanity dies. Thank God there is no time limit on Karma.
"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
~ Albert Schweitzer
I have provided a Q & A here for people who might fall into the potential pet dumper/sociopath category:
"There are two kittens here and my husband is going to shoot them if you don't come get them."
Your husband is a psychopath. No sane or normal person would say or think something like that. Don't let these poor kittens fall victim to someone like him. Go online and inquire with local rescues, foster programs or shelters. Many foster programs will put the kittens on display on weekends if you are able to keep them during the week. In fact, they are more likely to help you adopt out these kittens if you try to help, too! Also, find a new husband. His behavior speaks volumes about who and what he is. The fact that you would find stay with someone like this is both frightening and sad.
"My cat just keeps getting pregnant. I don't understand it. How does this keep happening?"
Do you know what causes babies? Human beings have access to birth control. Animals do not. Any animal, homeless or not, can either get pregnant or get another animal pregnant if you don't spay and neuter them. These services are available for free to those who qualify. Mobile services are also available in most major cities and those are usually free as well. Go online and inquire about it. Or, take the animal to the vet to be spayed or neutered. Then, make an appointment to do the same thing for yourself because if you don't know what causes pregnancy, you don't need to reproduce. Remember, puppies and kittens are ALWAYS the fault of a human being, somewhere down the line. One kitten can turn into 100 faster than you can imagine. Oh, and please don't vote in the next election.
"We are moving and we can't take our animals with us."
So they don't allow animals in whatever city or state you are moving to? Right. This should not even be an issue. You don't have animals for months or years and just dump them because you decided on a new apartment or location. I lived in an apartment before...With 2 dogs, a cat, 3 birds and an aquarium. You simply select a pet friendly apartment. But under no circumstances (unless you are in the military and going on a tour of duty) should you try to dump your animals on other people. People in animal welfare have heard so many ridiculous explanations and stories for so long. They aren't buying what you are selling and inwardly they think you are as low as it gets. If you wouldn't put your kids or grandmother on the curb or at a shelter, don't do it to your animals either. Animals are family. Like with kids, they are a lifelong, package deal. Wherever you go, you take them with you. Period.
"If I can't get rid of all these cats around my office, I am just going to put out bowls of antifreeze."
Was Ed Gein your father? Please tell me you don't have kids. Congratulations, you are a full blown psychopath. Animal abuse or neglect is a crime. It is also an indicator that you are not safe around other human beings. This is not a solution. Animals die an excruciatingly painful death when they are poisoned. Would you drink Drano? Well, if this is your idea of a population control solution vs. using resources that any of us have access to, then maybe you should. Go find a unicorn and play leapfrog with it. After you are done, find a brick or a rock and hit yourself in the head with it repeatedly. Lastly, gargle with some broken glass. Then, you will have a glimpse of what a poisoned animal goes through internally when they are dying.
"I am going to shoot this dog if it comes in my yard again."
So you want to murder an animal? Who owns the dog? If there is no owner to speak to, contact animal control if you are too lazy to drive the animal to a local shelter. A dog in your yard isn't there to intentionally make you angry or be a nuisance. Truly. They are either lost, hungry or both. If they are lost it could be that someone is looking for them. Put up a few signs, place a free ad online and make an effort to get them off the streets as soon as possible. As a human being, you (unlike animals) have the ability to rationalize. Well, some of us do. At any rate, keep in mind that no animal wants to be lost or roaming the streets. They want shelter, food and for someone to care. Period. Pretty simple. Now, about you...Stop playing Goodbye Horses and go check yourself into Trembling Hills.
"There is a family of cats here by my house. Between my kids and my job I am just too busy to help them."
Sounds like you won't make the time or just want someone else to do it. Either set a trap if you cannot touch them and then transfer them to a carrier one by one. If they are friendly, but just scared, you can offer them some food and gain their trust that way. Animal control will let you borrow a trap. Many feed stores and local organizations will let you rent one. Tuna never fails. We work full time and have trapped many cats this way. It is possible to maintain a job, responsibilities and set a trap. Maybe they are not your cats and you resent having to help them. But we can never do too many good deeds in a lifetime. It won't kill you to do something kind to save a life. But it does make you look like a jerk when you assume that your job is somehow more important than another person's or when you just expect them to do it for you.
"How do I get ahold of ___? I hear they love animals and there is this ___ here that needs help."
If someone wanted you to have their number, they would give it to you. If you are without the info. to contact a particular person, there is probably a reason why. You are looking for a place to dump an animal. And just because someone loves animals, you assume they have an entire sanctuary, ark or zoo a their disposal. If an animal needs help, then help them. Be a responsible adult and just do it! Keep in mind that calls like this represent who you are and your overall character.
"Where does ____ live? I am going to drop off this _____ in front of their house because I don't want it here."
You are a stalker. This is not the question or the thought process of a normal person. I repeat, no normal, well meaning person would even go there. People like you are the reason many households have cameras, security systems and other means of protecting themselves. I would also like to add that someone who goes out of their way to dump an animal at someone else's property (or nearby) is not only void of a conscience, but they are also a huge coward. *Animals that are dumped usually get run over because they are so out of their element and afraid. Dumping in both city and rural areas are almost always an automatic death sentence for any animal. People like you make me wish they would bring back the guillotine.
"My cat peed on the floor. I am going to get rid of it."
Your cat is not an "it." Your cat is a he or a she...A living, breathing creature with feelings. A cat that likely has a health issue. We all have health issues, animals included. I am sure you wouldn't want someone dumping you in a parking lot or shelter because you were not operating at full capacity. A cat going outside the litter box is usually experiencing urinary, bladder or kidney issues. They cannot raise their paw and tell you in words where they hurt. They do all they know how to do to show you what is wrong. It is your responsibility to seek out the help of a veterinarian.
"I have allergies. I have to get rid of my cat (or dog) so help me find him a home."
I have allergies, too. Every day of my life for all my life. Yet I have animals, work in my yard, dust my furniture and I'm still alive to tell about it. I take over the counter medication for it. They also have a vast array of products that eliminate pet dander. They have shampoos, wipes, sprays, etc...Pollen is far more aggravating than pet dander to most allergy sufferers. There are rare cases when people are allergic to some kinds of animals. But when it comes to a simple, low cost solution that would enable most people to keep their pets, they don't want to bother. If you truly are one of those rare people that cannot be around animals, you know that upfront. You have likely known it for years. You don't have a cat or dog for 5 years and then suddenly decide you or your child are allergic to them. That doesn't even make sense.
"My wife wants me to get rid of my dog. I love my dog and we have been together for years. But I am trying to keep peace."
When did this become an issue? Because someone who loves you would have enough love in their heart for both you and your dog. People that come into a relationship with pets are a package deal. Just like when they already have kids. "Love me, love my dog". It is about control. Perhaps in an effort to prove how much you love them by getting rid of your faithful canine companion? When we love someone, we don't ask them to do things like this. We don't want to cause them hurt or grief. In fact, how people treat animals is a huge indicator of how they will treat us, especially in a relationship. There are lots of people in this world who love animals and will love you, too. I would never marry someone who placed such demands on me. In fact, I wouldn't even date them. Your wife sounds really insecure if she is jealous of a dog. Sad.
"Cats need to have at least one litter because it keeps them from getting cancer."
An amoeba is smarter than you. You are reducing the risks of numerous potential health issues by spaying or neutering your pet. You are helping to control pet overpopulation and keep unwanted kittens & puppies (that you likely won't care for anyway) into this world. There is not one documented case or instance on this planet (yours might be a different story) that supports such a theory. Ask your veterinarian or vet tech. Then go to your local nursery and adopt a plant...Like a cactus or something. -Which will also be smarter than you.
"I don't know what to do with all these puppies. They aren't mine anyway. I'll just drive out to the country and let some nice person there deal with them. They have more space than I do."
So because someone has a bigger property than you do, you believe you have the right to dump animals on them? Your way of resolving this is to just push baby animals out of a vehicle and drive off? Whether you are talking about a baby animal or adult animal, you are setting them up to die. In rural areas there are often times coyotes, bobcats, huge barn owls, etc...Predators that love to eat house pets. Also, friends of mine who live in rural areas sometimes have as many as a dozen animals dumped by their homes in a month. This tells us there are a lot of sick minds out there. A total lack of accountability. Keep in mind that when do this, someone might mistake you for a would-be burglar or trespasser, esp. for those of you that like to dump animal in the middle of the night. Taking those animals to an appropriate facility is the best and safest choice for those animals. It might be the safest choice for you, too.