Monday, June 05, 2006

Throw Away Pets

One of the more unfortunate things about living in the country, even a more urban area such as ours, is the number of pets who get abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The owners seem to think that pets are throw away toys to be used, abused, and tossed when it is no longer convenient.

Even though many of the residents live here year round, there are several part time residents. In a few of the cases of abandoned animals these part time residents are to blame. They bring a kitten of puppy out to the summer cottage to keep the kids busy, but when it is time to return to the city they assume their neighbours will be more than happy to take on one more mouth to feed. Unfortunately, most of these poor creatures are hit by cars or accidentally poisoned. I'm sure more than a few get completely lost and end up starving to death. A few of the lucky ones will be taken in by a local resident or at the very least delivered to the OSPCA for care and hopeful adoption.

Most of the blame lies at the feet of people who have no attachment to the area at all. They drive through, seeing homes ranging in size and value from hovel to palace, and figure this is a good place to dump their animals. These drive bys will drop an animal off in front of a home or worse yet near the pier under the assumption that because people live here year round they must be able and willing to take on yet another animal. Some get lucky.

Sunday, while PeterC and I were doing outside chores, a bedraggled looking mutt wondered into the yard. He had a collar but no tags and it was obvious he hadn't been brushed or groomed in a very long time. Even though he was friendly enough we could not take in another animal so he was taken to the OSPCA in the next town over. There, we hoped, he will be cleaned up and find a good home where he will be taken care of and kept for the rest of his days.

Animals are a life long responsibility but it is possible to get in over your head. Instead of dropping your unwanted pets in a community in the hopes that someone will take it in, please take it to the local animal shelter where it will be given a chance to survive and find a loving home that can take care of it.

Even though each SPCA has different rules and regulations about drop offs, in our case there were no accusations, recriminations, or even fees. The people there took our phone number and the location the dog was found. In the end he is being given a chance that so many other throw away pets don't get.

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