Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pardon my soapbox

I'd apologize for the soapbox I'm inevitably going to be on for a while now except that I don't think I need to. Those of you who are offended by it should take a good hard look at why you are offended. Feel free to accuse me of sounding like Bob Barker.

Here's the soapbox:

Spay and neuter your pets. No excuses. Do it. Now. If you live in the City of Pittsburgh, you can apply for a free spay/neuter for your pet, so cost is a lousy excuse.

Also. . . adopt, don't breed or buy. Unless you have a need for a specifically bred working dog, why aren't you at the shelter? And as there is no such thing as a working cat. . . well. . . just get a shelter kitty.

This sweet boy, Coca Cola, and his brother, Dr. Pepper (may he rest in peace). . .

were found in a box on the side of the road with their mother and two siblings. Friendly, loving, and quirky, these two seemed to come already knowing how to deal well with kids and other cats. When Pepper died of kidney failure at the age of 9, the entire family felt the terrible loss. He was an amazing cat. And he was dumped as a kitten. Coke is 12 years old and healthy as an ox. He's still as silly and loving as he was 12 years ago. He's a wonderful older brother to our other cat, tolerates the dog and kids, and is a generally sweet, wonderful friend. Somebody just left him out in the cold. Not even on the door of a shelter.

This silly dog. . .

loves her human puppies and her kitty cats. There is no doubt that she'd lay down her life for any of us. She's a big soft sweetheart who just loves all the people. She has proven to be an incredibly wonderful, loyal family dog over her 9 years. She was dumped at the shelter with 3 siblings. Her parents hadn't been fixed, even though their owners clearly didn't want puppies.

This poor guy. . .
 (the cat, not the kid)
wound up in the shelter not once. . . but twice. The first time, he was found as a kitten, just wandering the streets. He was adopted and then returned when the owner claimed he was "moving." We suspect he started to notice that the cat had health issues (probably related to being born stray) and didn't want the responsibility. Either way, he was left, unwanted, not once, but twice. We don't know if his mother was a stray/dump when she had the kittens or if he was dumped later (most likely the latter as he was found alone), but twice rejected, Clark is now in his forever home. He is best buddies with the other cat and the dog. He cuddles the kids and adults alike, and runs to the door with the dog to greet his returning family. For added amusement, he "barks" at the mailman.

And then the new baby. . .

Found on the side of the trail by the river. . . hurt and alone. Completely abandoned and in urgent need of food and veterinary care. He was nearly eaten by another larger animal because someone dumped him. After just a few days with us, he's already coming out of his shell, playing, cuddling, even purring.

This is the motley crew that makes up my house full of wonderful, loving pets. All abandoned. All unwanted. There are hundreds of great animals in shelters around the city just waiting for a good home. If you're looking for a pet, please check the shelters and breed rescues. Please get your pets "fixed." Keep your cats indoors and your dogs on leashes and in yards. They are domestic animals. They were bred specifically to live with humans, not in the woods or on the streets. That litter of kittens is not better off on their own in the country. They are better off in a house being taken care of. The "purebred" puppies from a breeder are no better than the loving mutts at the shelter waiting for a home.

This PSA brought to you today by someone who has spent the past few days tending a wounded kitten nobody wanted.

PS: Moses is healing well and is starting to play and pounce when I'm in the room. He's still a little skittish when big animals (AKA humans) make fast movements, but he's making social progress really quickly considering his recent trauma. We still haven't decided for certain if we're a foster home or a forever home for him, but he's sure easy to fall in love with. . .

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