One of the best bits about being retired is NOT having to move anymore. Mind you, nearly fifty years of following my father's and then my own military moves made it very easy to write the Moving with Pets brochure for the society a couple of years ago. Much of the material in there was test driven on tours across the country with everything ranging from budgies and turtles to kitties and dogs.
So I know first hand that bringing the family pets along IS an achievable objective. And before the keyboards catch on fire ... kindly remember that the military didn't always have the salaries or moving benefits they do today.
Add into that mix that my Dad did a lot of investigative Military Police kind of things that had us relocating every couple of years ... and you can understand why its such a treat to stay put. But ... if I have learned one single thing in nearly fifty six years, it is never to say never. I'm hoping I've made my last move, but if not at least I can say that I'll know how to bring my crew with me.
In the course of maintaining the homeless pet sites, I am often saddened to see all the lovely pets who wind up being left behind. Take Michelle, who is pictured above, for instance. She was found in the basement of a house by the new resident, with an open bag of food. The kind folks at SHAID say she is a sweet and personable gal ... already spayed and (sadly) declawed and clearly a beauty as well.
Or take Tabitha, above, who was found wandering the halls of an apartment complex after her family had moved. If its tough to be an abandoned kitty ... the ante is upped for the seniors and this sweet girl is still waiting at the Valley Animal Shelter for someone with enough heart to bring this sweet gentle soul home.
Sadly Abigail was not an isolated case. Beautiful Tabitha, above, was discarded by her owners and rescued by a neighbour ... who brought her to the Queens SPCA. I can't even be polite about describing what I think about a person who could abandon a sixteen year old cat of any stripe ... the fact that she is gentle and well behaved and stunningly beautiful is irrelevant to that. If she was ugly as a post that would still be no excuse.
It IS actually abuse to abandon an animal, and unless I am very mistaken it IS actually against the law to do so. In many instances, the person or persons who commit these crimes are not unknown. I DO get that its a problem if they leave the province, but if they can't be charged ... would it be possible to name them on a wall of shame somewhere?
Odds are to even that wherever they go they'll wind up with a new pet ... until the next time they have to move of course.
These are all sad stories ... but the saddest thing is that these lovelies really only represent the tip of the iceberg For every one that finds safe sanctuary, dozens more are turned away to meet a variety of Unsung Unhappy Tails.
The other day I got the latest newsletter from the No Kill Advocacy Center, in which it was talking about the Steps to Success to get to No Kill and #2 on that list is "Keep them out of the shelter"
People are more inclined to abandon cats because they are smaller and its easier for them to make a quiet getaway without the neighbours calling the police. The saddest thing about that is that cats are usually the easiest pets to travel with ... sigh
Abandoned cats cost municipalities in a wide variety of ways ... would it not be timely perhaps for them to send out the moving with pets brochure in their tax mail outs? Or at least have it on their websites? And maybe even put it in the paper every now and then? If they can pop for ads for swimming pool fences and not flushing tampons, why can't they do that, eh?
What time is it? Its always time to recognize that the ounce of prevention is always cheaper than the pound of cure.