There has been such a proliferation of stolen dogs lately that I thought it important to include an article about prevention. Everywhere I go now I see heartbreaking fliers and posters made by people searching for their lost pets. Although it’s true that some of them may actually have wandered off somehow, the fact that most of them seem to be small, pedigreed dogs makes me think that there is more going on. Small pedigreed dogs bring a hefty price in the market, and it is a very LARGE market. As noted in the article, there is also money to be made by selling animals to research labs, but the article doesn’t mention that there is also a market for cats. Where your pet is concerned, like your children, be safe rather than sorry. Have a look at this article from Care2 to learn how thieves work and how to keep them away from your pet:
The Latest Mews!
August 23, 2016
People are good. The gray and white cat at the bottom of the dumpster never stopped believing that. Not when someone left him there in the trash, knowing he was too weak to jump out again. Not when they threw his meager possessions – a soiled bed and some cracked dishes – into the garbage with him. Not even when he grew hoarse and exhausted as he cried for help and the hours passed until he couldn’t call out anymore.
It was mid-morning on that late spring day when one of Neighborhood Cats’ staff drove up to the dumpster. She’d been feeding a feral colony behind a nearby supermarket and had a stack of paper dishes to discard. She leaned over the side, ready to toss the plates in – and froze. A pair of yellow eyes was looking back at her. In the instant before she could react she took in the telltale signs of long neglect: the filth matting the eyes, nose and coat, the barely concealed ribs, the pathetic, threadbare bed. In the still air she could hear the rattle of labored breathing.
The cat moved first. With an effort, he pushed himself to his feet and took a step forward. Then another. It didn’t matter that he was tired and sick. His yellow eyes were clear and calm and there in the trash in the parking lot, the battered cat had no doubt he was walking into the arms of a friend.
We spent weeks helping Skylar get well. He needed treatment for a severe respiratory infection and anemia. At one year old and four-and-a-half pounds, he was critically underweight and so his days were peppered with small meals and treats, fitted between naps. As Skylar grew stronger he slept less and ate more and his personality began to sparkle. We learned he likes asparagus (just the tips), loves other cats and enjoys riding around on shoulders. Catnip toys don’t impress him much but feather wands do. He can unwind a whole roll of paper towels in less than a minute.
Skylar’s unsinkable spirit didn’t go unnoticed. His big heart captivated our friend Andy, founder of the rescue group Not Lost in Jersey City. One day last month Andy took Skylar home. Today, bursting with good health and good intentions, Skylar is always ready to lend a helping paw when Andy sits down to work. “He’ll climb on my shoulder, stand on the keyboard… whatever it takes,” Andy said with a smile. “I don’t know how I ever managed without him.”
Won’t you help us save more cats in need like Skylar? Your gift will make this possible.
Footnote from Kathy: Neighborhood Cats is a wonderful organization that taught me and thousands of others the art of “TNR” or Trap, Neuter, Return. TNR finds and traps abandoned and feral cats living on the streets. After the cats are trapped by any of the thousands of TNR Certified volunteers, they are brought to various facilities to be spayed or neutered, allowed a few days of rest and healing, and then returned to their original spots. Often, if cats are friendly enough, Neighborhood Cats finds new GOOD homes for them. Any cats that are found are cared for for the rest of their days. If you know of some homeless cats living without true homes, please look into TNR certification through Neighborhood Cats (it’s one inexpensive class). It will allow you access to traps, onsite shelters and a library of information, as well as a network of other volunteers. In addition, TNR of course decreases the population of homeless cats by preventing them from any further reproduction. Like they say, if you’re feeding cats but not spay/neutering cats, you are BREEDING cats. Please also consider making a donation to Neighborhood Cats. Even a small amount is greatly appreciated, and greatly needed. Thanks!
If you haven’t already figured it out, this is entire blog is not a feel good, walk in the sunshine kind of blog. There are many wonderful blogs like that, many of them having to do with the bright side of the lives of animals, and I encourage you to find them. For me though, the point of this whole thing is to bring attention to the other animals, the ones whose lives have been less than ideal at best, and living horror stories at worst. Every time I write a piece, I pray that the right people will see it. Not the ones who already love and appreciate animals, but the ones who don’t “get it”. The ones who still believe that animals are just property, and say things like “it’s just a dog”. And especially the ones with the hardened hearts who don’t think twice about hurting an animal. I pray that their hearts will be opened and made soft, and that their minds will be filled with the knowledge and awareness of the joy of animals, and feel love and respect for them. I pray that something will “click” for them, that they will be filled with understanding and become warriors and voices for the animals.
Toby died today because one of those people with the hardened hearts abused him irreparably. Toby was a sweet, little 10 pound Yorkie who had nothing but love in his heart. He was taken in as a foster by my friend because he needed a place to heal and be quiet. He had multiple fractures in his leg and pelvis. He was infested with fleas, and encrusted in his own feces. The SPCA won’t release the names of the abusers of course, so we have no way of knowing the whole story, but they were trying to give Toby a chance at a good life. They were hoping that time would heal all wounds. So was my friend. So was I.
Unfortunately the wounds wouldn’t heal. After about two months in a cast, with rest, and good nutrition, and a lot of love, it just wouldn’t work. At first they believed that his leg might have to be amputated, but as long as the pelvic fractures healed he could survive quite well on three legs. But none of the fractures would heal. X-ray after x-ray showed little to no progress. No one really can explain why his fractures wouldn’t heal, but it got to the point that they were affecting his spinal column and causing him pain. They finally determined that his condition would only deteriorate further, to the point of excruciating pain, and that no amount of surgery or medicine would change it. So while he was already sedated today for his x-rays and to possibly have his cast changed, the decision was made to put him the rest of the way to sleep.
I wasn’t going to write about it. It was just so sad, and I was tired of being sad, and worried about being too sad in this blog. My friend was heartbroken. There had been so much hope for Toby finally having a good life, but now all hope was lost. Another little life was lost, and the more I thought about it the more angry I became. I became so angry that it made me sob. I seethed at the notion that this sweet little boy, who never did anything to anyone, ended up with some effing piece of crap who broke his little body, not even just a little but to the point of no repair. Why? WHY?! Why would anyone do that to a dear, sweet little boy?!
I mean really, I want to talk to this person, to these people. I want to ask them, “WHAT IS YOUR EFFING PROBLEM?” Did your mommy not love you enough? Was your daddy not proud of you? Did the kids in school make fun of you? Were mommy or daddy drug addicts or alcoholics? Were you beaten as a child? Were you sexually abused? Well wah, wah, wah – WHO CARES?! Do you really think there is ANYTHING that could justify harming an innocent, defenseless little life? Do you think it is justified because YOU were hurt when YOU were an innocent, defenseless little life? Did you not see him cowering in the corner when you were on your rampage? Did you not see the fear in his eyes and his trembling body? And if you saw it, how could you not RELATE to it? What is the switch that makes you harm this little ball of gentleness and sweetness, rather than protect him? YOU’RE A COWARD! You, and the others like you, are big effing cowards! You are cowards because you pick on something so defenseless, who doesn’t even know what he did wrong, who probably didn’t even do anything wrong. If you have so much anger baby, if you think you have a right to be angry, then bring it out in the open! Bring it out into the light of day and take your chances with other HUMANS, with humans that at least have a chance of fighting back and BEATING THE LIVING CRAP OUT OF YOU! I wouldn’t mind five minutes to have at you myself, you piece of crap, waste of life! You don’t deserve to breathe the same air as the dear animals that you hurt! You’ll never be as worthy as them and you should spend every day of the rest of your life praying for forgiveness and trying to make up for the harm you’ve done! You could have gone through your entire life without EVER hurting an animal, but you CHOSE a different path. Again, I ask you, “WHAT IS YOUR EFFING PROBLEM?!” Give me five minutes to inflict the same pain on you that you inflict on animals!
Toby, at least, had a few months where he knew love, and safety, and peace. My friend did everything she could for him. She loved him, fed him, cleaned him, cared for him, played with him and prayed for him. She fought for him and hung in there with him. She even rode him around in a shopping cart, just to give him some time outdoors without having to walk. The hardest part was that she held out hope for him. This ending was never imagined, never even a consideration. The worst anyone expected was the amputation. Hard to believe but at this point, amputation would have been a desired outcome. In a way Toby was one of the lucky ones, because they FOUND him. There are so many out there who are suffering alone and unknown. Pray that they are found and protected.
Toby’s suffering has fueled my fire, and I hope it will put a fire in you too. Let’s make sure that Toby and the others like him don’t die in vain. Don’t be afraid to be a voice for them. They can’t speak for themselves so we’re all they’ve got. Stand up for them, raise awareness, teach empathy and call people out who aren’t living up to a high enough standard where animals are concerned. Don’t think it’s not your business. IT IS! It’s EVERYONE’s business! And please, please, PLEASE teach children to care for animals. Maybe their parents don’t even get it, but the kids do if someone brings it to them. Fight to have laws changed, protest, write letters, wear t-shirts, put magnets on your cars that help animals, raise awareness, make other people “animal conscious”, don’t buy from pet shops, don’t buy animals period, volunteer for an animal rescue, foster rescued animals, read up on the plight of animals and how to help them, don’t close your eyes or your ears to it. Do whatever you can in your own way to be a voice for them because they really are counting on us. Just do anything. Please.