COMMENTARY: Moving on? What about your pet?
November 14, 2013
The saddest stories we hear at the animal shelter are "We're moving and can't take our pet."
When asked "How much time do you have to find a new home for your pet?" We are often told, "We're moving tomorrow."
Unfortunately, people often handle every aspect of the move before making a plan for their pet.
The person and the pet show up at the animal shelter at the last minute, expecting to drop their animal off, so they can get on with their move – loading household goods, enrolling children in new schools, changing addresses and all that the change entails.
Oftentimes the shelter is full, and we will put your pet on a waiting list.
The owners, who have not properly planned for their the pets' future, are furious with the shelter staff because we can't help at the drop of a hat.
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It takes time to find a home for your pet. The owner needs to plan ahead and put forth the effort to find that home.
A woman and man showed up on their last trip to the "dump" on their way out of town, with the cat in the trunk with the junk for the dump, demanding we take their discarded cat.
Transporting your cat in an enclosed trunk is a good way to suffocate or asphyxiate them.
We felt that this cat, who had most likely been a good friend, had no value whatsoever to his family. Our heart breaks for every one of these sad stories.
The rehoming of your pet is your responsibility. The pet is a member of your family and deserves the attention and effort it takes to find a new home.
Of course, the best solution is to find a home where the pet can be with you. Pets become disoriented and develop behavioral problems from the insecurity of being left behind in a strange place.
Everyone knows that foster children do not do well when they get moved from place to place with no place to call home. It's the same for your pet.
People don't leave their children behind but expect that they can leave their pets behind for someone to care for them.
If you are moving and let us know, we will give you many tips and suggestions on how to rehome your pet. With proper planning, we will even take your pet in when we can, depending on the availability of space.
The pet you want to drop off may be your only pet, but it is not our only animal or our only request for the day. At the shelter, we are inundated every day. It is relentless, All of this could be avoided by proper planning.
It is also a miracle that we manage to stay one step ahead of the next full house.
Please do right by your pet and plan ahead to ensure him/her a secure and happy future. Please spay/neuter so we do not have pet overpopulation and unwanted animals.
Our furry friends are far too precious to be tossed aside with no regard for their suffering.
Cheryl Wicks is the cofounder of Sammie's Friends and the director of Sammie's Friends Animal Shelter at 14647 Mc Courtney Road, Grass Valley. For more information, call 530-471-5041.
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