If someone can’t keep his or her pet any longer, here are some DO’s and DON’T’s. If you think some of these stories are preposterous, know that they are actual cases we’ve seen at our shelter or experienced firsthand. (I tell what happened to the animals involved at the end of this post.)
First, the DON’T’s:
DON’T throw kittens out of the window of a moving car. A twelve year old girl standing in her driveway was horrified to witness this.
DON’T drive out to the country and dump your animal. I visited the home of a woman who told me that her six dogs had all been abandoned on her rural road. Many others had been, as well, but six was her limit so she had found homes for the others, not without considerable difficulty.
DON’T leave your pet abandoned and tied under a tree in the summer heat, like the dog in the picture above. (At least, however, the abandoner cared enough to put the dog in shade with food and water bowls.)
DON’T stuff an injured, sick puppy into a garbage bag and throw her into a dumpster.
DON’T move away in the dead of night, leaving your dog tied in a shed with no way to get food and water.
Now, the DO’s:
DO try to find a home for your animal. Here is an excellent article on how to do that, and dangers to avoid: http://www.dogingtonpost.com/the-scary-truth-about-free-to-a-good-home-dog-classifieds/
If all else fails, DO bring your pet to a shelter where he or she will be safe, humanely treated and quite possibly put up for adoption. DO tell the shelter everything you know about the animal, so that they can give full information to his or her adopters.
The End of the Story
One of the kittens thrown out of the car window died; the other was saved thanks to intensive treatment by Northside Animal Shelter’s veterinary staff.
The dog left tied under a tree was brought to Northside, spayed, cared for, and adopted four days later. Here she is in her new home:
The sick, injured puppy was found by a good Samaritan who noticed the black garbage bag squirming in the dumpster. He tore it open, discovered the animal and brought her to Northside. She was given the name Desiree (which in French means “wanted, desired”); her broken leg had to be amputated, but she made a full recovery and was adopted by the shelter’s head of vet services. Below are her before and after pictures:
The dog abandoned by her family who skipped town under cover of darkness was found by my brother, who lived next door and heard her barking. He went over to the house cautiously, because the people who lived there had been problematic, but the place had obviously been vacated. Making his way around to the back he found a filthy shed and a little blue pit bull tied up. He fed her and gave her water while he tried to get his local animal services agency to intervene; legally they had to post a notice on the front door for 48 hours before they could impound the dog.
Meanwhile my brother was continuing to care for the dog and struggling not to get attached. “I didn’t name her because I knew if I did I’d have to keep her,” he said. He and his wife already have two dogs and couldn’t take another.
Fearful at first, the dog grew to trust my brother, wagged whenever he approached, and let him pat her. The second night after he found her, he came home to see a rental truck parked in the driveway of the house. The residents had obviously come back to collect the last remnants of their possessions. After they left, my brother went back to the shed. To his astonishment and disgust the dog was still there — abandoned not once, but twice.
Things came together after that: the humane society took her, then a pit bull rescue organization got involved — and now she is in a loving home. “I cried for happiness when I heard that,” my brother said. She’s called Serenity, and hopefully her circumstances will always reflect that peaceful name.
Good people are good to their animals; the “good-hearted” bad people kick and abuse them. – Proverbs 12:10, The Message (MSG)
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Next: The One Essential Quality All Animal Rescue Workers Need