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Last Tuesday I spent the afternoon at the MSPCA animal shelter, where I heard the stories of several people who were surrendering their pets. Some of the stories were stupid, most were unfortunate, and all were heartbreaking. One man brought in two feral cats he trapped; both were euthanized. One old man brought in a very old dog that was panting like it was 100 degrees out--they told him the price to surrender versus the price to euthanize; the dog was euthanized. One woman--I'm guessing a cancer sufferer going through chemo--wearing a bandana on her bald head--brought in an elderly cat to euthanize. Another woman brought in a small dog in a cat carrier, it was a nice dog but wouldn't stop putting it's teeth on her, and she didn't know how to deal with it. An older couple brought in an unneutered pure bred German shepherd which had bitten one of their young relatives and was no longer trusted, and would not be accepted by a German shepherd rescue; it was taken away and euthanized. A young couple brought a dog they bought from a southern breeder that advertised online; they recently moved and could not keep the dog.

Everyone sat for a very long surrender interview. There were lots of questions, some of them personal, very detailed, about the surrendered animal's behavior. What's his favorite toy? How does she act around other dogs? Has he ever bitten anyone? How long can she go unattended before she goes to the bathroom? Have you ever taken anything away from him while he was eating it?

The woman in the older couple sat for the interview while her husband wandered nearby, talking to the other dogs and trying not to cry. Then he took the dog around to the other entrance to be euthanized, and they waited for a long time to get their leash and chain back.

The man with the feral cats consoled everyone that animals have souls and that if they loved their pets they would be reunited with them in heaven.

The cancer sufferer cried. The young couple cried. I cried.

It was the worst day in a bad week.


May. 2nd, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
This is why I have six cats. I can't turn them away, I can't take them to a shelter. It would break my heart.

Two of mine were ferals. One is socialized enought to sleep with us on the bed, but will scratch and bite if she doesn't like the way you touch her. The other will just barely let me, and only me, pet him and wont let me pick him up. But he's a sweet cat, just really skittish. (Read: Not adoptable)

The latest one was an elderly stray that took up residence under my porch, we suspect someone dumped her off nearby or just turned her out to fend for herself, which she obviously couldn't do because she was starving. She has thyroid disease, chronic kidney disease, bad teeth, ingrown claw problems, and arthritis. She most likely would have been euthanized if I had turned her in at a shelter. She now sleeps on the back of the couch under her sunlamp (my reading lamp.) She prefers people food to cat food specifically cheese and chicken, but will also chew on pizza crusts.

My Snowy came from New Orleans, she was a Katrina rescue.

And Tuna was duct taped in a box with her siblings at 4 weeks old and left on the doorstep of a vets office. She came to me as a foster, still being bottle fed.

Sometime I really hate people.


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