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« Hidden allergens in your pet ' s food | Main | Paging Dr. Dog: How pets ' special senses can save human lives »

27 August 2008

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Dutch

Wonderful post that couldn't have come at a better time for me (details omitted for brevity's sake).

The OTHER Pat

Great post, Christie!



And Christine S - If you go to Petfinder and do a search for rescue groups in your ZIP code, I bet you'll find there are all sorts of groups near you that you didn't even know about. (I recently did that search in my area and was quite surprised at the number of groups I'd been unaware of). So perhaps you can find another group that you are better able to "click" with.



Or maybe you can decide to try to be a force for "change from within". I know that can be really difficult, and not everyone has the fortitude for it. But I just wanted to toss the idea out there for you to think about.



And good for you for wanting to find ways help even though you can't take in an animal!

Alex

I quite agree, and believe that much of the time we're on the right side of the equation with our "rescue dogs love you more" type campaigns and charity policy of reinforcing positive messages. Occasionally we get supporters asking why we give advice on pet buying if we're a shelter - surely we should be demanding people visit our Rehoming Centres? Well, we'd certainly prefer it, but we're realists. The market for buying puppies is not going to get smaller just because we'd like it that way, so in the meantime if people are certain they want to buy, we'd like to encourage them to buy from the right places. It's all helping animals in the end, and that's what we're all in this for. I applaud your statements and hope we always continue to live up to them.

Christine S

Word.

I've been wanting to volunteer somewhere and thought the local rescue group would be a great outlet for my efforts. I can't foster, but I have a background in web design and people skills, both things that I think could be useful to such a group.



I've gone to one e-board meeting, and two or 3 PetSmart nights, and I've heard so much negativity from the head, (and other members, but primarily the leader!) that I'm not sure it's something that I *want* to support.



They're also poorly organized (records are on lined paper!) but that's neither here nor there.

Lori

I hadn't thought about this in quite this way before. You're absolutely right. Thank you for this point of view! That's why I love this blog and site.

Christine S

@ OTHER Pat:

I'm definitely considering both of your suggestions and they are definitely something to consider.

The group I've hooked up with was initially researched through Petfinder, and seemed the most convinient, which is, admittedly, a selfish priority, but a priority for me all the same.



One of the fun, encouraging stories I was told did mention a splinter group filled with bad blood, and I'm half-tempted to track them down, but that might be a bit too mean.



So, I'm considering how I can make gentle suggestions, without necessarily being the one in charge of seeing them through, though I can always do that too. I've been in administration and "change from within" (to borrow your phrase) positions in the past with non-pet groups, but again, that might be more of a commitment than I can shoulder right now.

So, I'm pretty much playing it by ear.

Janeen

Apparently I suck as a dog owner.



I've been turned down more than once by holier than thou rescue groups. The fact that I'm a professional dog trainer with years of experience working with difficult dogs who walks and trains my dogs (who live in the house and are with me almost 24x7) daily and who will willingly spend almost anything to treat a sick dog was out-weighed in one case by the fact that I did not *yet* have a fenced yard and in two others by the fact that I *GASP* had one sexually intact dog in my home.



In each case, the folks I dealt with were quite nasty and preachy about the situation. So much so that I went out and bought a purebred dog from a reputable breeder instead (waiting list and all).

Colorado Transplant

That little cat in your picture looks just like the cat I adopted about two months ago from PetSmart--a sweetheart, she is. Her name is Inca.



I did not get a lot of questions thrown at me when I said I wanted to adopt her, for which I am thankful. Mainly because I had just lost one of my fifteen year-old cat, I wasn't in the mood for nastiness. However, I encountered none. The girl in charge just wanted to find a home for the cat that had been there a whole year.

Cait

I find the "a rescue dog will love you more!" message VERY offputting, frankly. Like my dogs DON'T love me because they came from excellent breeders?

Christie Keith

That photo is from Therese at PetSitUsa.com, who used it to promote the "Black Friday" event where shelters try to find homes for black cats, who have a hard time getting adopted. I'm so glad you gave Inca (perfect name!) a home!

Colorado Transplant

Thanks, Christie. I soon after adopted another black cat for Inca to play with. Her name is Sophia (she looks Italian).



Sophia won 4 ribbons out of eight at a cat show, but then had to wait 4 mos. until I came along.



I love my black cats, and call them my black beauties.

Susan Cosby

Funny that our shelter, with new leadership and a new positive attitude has seen adoptions skyrocket even under the doom and gloom of the recent economic downturn.



Shelter staff MUST be inviting and friendly to both volunteers and adopters. Adoption requirements can't be based on mythology and stereotypes nor can decisions be based on the "worst possible scenario" (and that seems to be how most of the convoluted rules come about in animal shelters). While there are still pockets of negativity here ... they are not tolerated when uncovered.



It's amazing what an attitude makeover can do for your adoption rate although it usually needs to be done with major personnel changes. Seems that you really can't teach old dogs new tricks.

Andi

I completely agree with that article. I went to the local shelter once to adopt a cat. I was given a whole long snooty sounding lecture on what a great responsibility it is to have an animal. The woman never once cracked a smile. Then she named the astronomical adoption fee. I was so put off by her attitude I left and "adopted" a kitten from a local farm for free. Also there is another rescue shelter close to me that charges $300.00 plus for every animal. Why so much? Why are the adoption applications so complicated and long? Personal references for a dog or cat? Come on!

Maggi Burtt

Hi Christie. I found this website through another pet website. Great blog.



I agree that negativity simply breeds more negativity.

I was lucky enough to know two employees at my local HS when I went to get a dog. Cracker is a hound mix and they didn't want to give me a dog to live in an apt. Shelters need to look at the other circumstances, in a non judgemental way. Who's to say the person with the yard is not going to just put the dog out for the day and not walk him? I am a dogwalker/trainer by profession. C gets several hours a day of exercise and socialization, if they had only looked at my lack of a yard she would have missed out being my "coworker" and being the great dog that she is.



When I worked at a Vet clinic and had the opportunity to give info to prospective dog or cat owners I encouraged adoption over purchase but also discussed purchasing from a reputable breeder, how to choose the right pet for their lifestyle and the sort of commitment that came along with each and every animal.



No one should be judging anyone else for deciding the right way for them is through a purebred animal, or a rescue or any other type of adoption scenario. Education is important for the subjects of puppy mills and byb's but "scare tactics" backfire. We all have brains, given the right information we can decide for ourselves what it right for us.



And yes, I catch many more flies than most. And I really really like honey :)

puppynerd

I've had these thoughts many times, but never caught the irony that most of the grumpy, judgemental power-tripping rescue workers were proponents of positive training.

Very astute of you. :)

Sheila

Thank you for addressing this! Of course, you have to have some form of application, but COME ON! Overly bureaucratic/corporate forms and the policies to only rent to a prosperous nuclear family with an old farm house and 100 acres has probably stopped more people from adopting shelter animals then anything else.



You know what? I don't own my own home. Our household income is probably around $35k a year. Our cat and dog love us unconditionally and are as happy that they are part of our lives as we are to have and love them.

Dawn

Actually Rescue shelters DO note the positive. They do note, that every shelter pet adopted will save another that can be let in.



Yet I think the reason they Scream the negatives is that they deal with, day in and day out, the kinds of people who will simply dump their pet out in the street beause they no longer want it. Or because they got new furniture. Or for whatever other inane reason. And it becomes EXTREMELY disheartening.



And so I believe they scream the negative to try to get the Public to be more Aware of what's going on in this world. And to Try to get people to do the right thing by animals and treat them better. Without awareness and knowledge things never change.



I see the need to Scream the negatives, but they do need to shout the positives a little louder as well.

Lis

And so I believe they scream the negative to try to get the Public to be more Aware of what’s going on in this world. And to Try to get people to do the right thing by animals and treat them better. Without awareness and knowledge things never change.



Is this working for them?

Christie Keith

I blogged the other day about this, but I'll repeat it: It seems the very same people who know how to train dogs with positive methods don't seem to get that the exact same thing works with PEOPLE, too.



Negativity makes people feel guilty and bad, despise the shelter, feel that they're looking down on you, think of rescue groups as judgmental and condescending, demoralizes the volunteers, and drives away donors.



Making your shelter a clean, happy, pleasant place for community members to visit means they'll come there when they need help but also when they are looking for a place to volunteer, and when they want to adopt a pet. It also means the staff is happier. And all that means more adoptions.



There is no practical or rational basis for the culture of negativity. Browbeating people DOES NOT WORK. It's irrelevant whether people are or aren't "bad pet owners," because telling them they are DOES NOT WORK.



Shelter workers are venting their frustrations, but by doing so directly at the people they are angry at, they demoralize everyone else at the shelter, alienate the community, and perpetuate the very situations they're ranting about.



Rant to your therapist or a support group or friends; everyone needs to blow off steam. Jobs suck. Working with the public can be very difficult even when animals aren't suffering. But stop with this culture of blame and complaining and finger pointing and demonizing.



Because, as I may have mentioned, it doesn't work. In fact, it makes everything worse.



And everyone in the management field knows these things. Many shelter directors know them, too, and have made huge improvements in their communities because of it. Ignore those lessons, and it's the animals who pay.

JenniferJ

Backing up what Pat said, I am so sorry that you were treated that way.



I am a small scale hobby breeder who is also an active rescue volunteer. And you know what? i have had some foster dogs come in who were more than I could safely handle. And our rescue has had a few puppies surrendered to us who we had to euthanize due to unprovoked aggression. The only conclusion that we and our vets were able to come to as that they were mentally ill, no blame could be assigned to former owners or adopters.



Personally, when a dog that we adopt out ends up being mentally unstable and it is clear that the new family did right by the dog, I feel terrible for ALL involved.



Because our rescue almost never gets young healthy puppies in for adoption and the history on many adults is unknown, families with small children or indoor cats are usually referred to a responsible breeder. If you opt to purchase a puppy from a breeder, as has been stated, avoid commercial outlets, puppy millers, web-millers etc... While it is not a 100% guarrantee, finding someone through a local breed club which requires adherence to a code of ethics for listing on their breeder referral is a good place to start.



To get all adoptable dogs and cats out of shelters and into homes would only require that adoptions of homeless pets be about 23-26 percent of all pets acquired each year, total. So as has already been stated, if you stay away from supporting commercial outlets then please feel no guilt if you choose that route. Somewhere out there is the right pup for your family whether from a shelter or a reputable breeder.

The OTHER Pat

Whoa, Kim! I am SO sorry you had to go through that, particularly when you obviously did a LOT to try and make things work out for this dog and your family!



And I want to say that you should NEVER have to feel apologetic about going to a breeder for a dog. As long as you're not going to a commercial breeder (in any of their many guises) and do your homework to satisfy yourself that the breeder you are dealing with operates Responsibly, there is NOTHING to be apologetic about over obtaining your next dog this way.



Again, I think you did very well by that dog. Too bad the rescue you dealt with was too caught up in their own agendas to be able to see that as well.

Kim Finnegan

Rant to your therapist or a support group or friends; everyone needs to blow off steam. Jobs suck. Working with the public can be very difficult even when animals aren’t suffering. But stop with this culture of blame and complaining and finger pointing and demonizing.



I'm coming a little late to this discussion, but I just had to write. We were actually on the opposite end of pet adoption just last week and had one of the most traumatic experience of our life. We adopted a rescue in Feb. of this year after losing our beloved dog of 13 years. We sailed through the adoption process - after filling out dozens of forms, signing contracts, etc. We have 4 young children, which the rescue group was aware of. We brought home a wonderful 9 week pup. As time went on, he began to show some aggressive behavior - food guarding, object guarding and biting, to name a few (including 2 of my kids, though thankfully not quite breaking the skin - my husband an I were not as lucky) - none of which was provoked - the kids were always instructed, over and over, on proper manners around puppies and dogs. Long story short - money spent on group training, private training, etc helped him improve, then he developed epilepsy - we were prepared to deal with that as well, spending thousands on emergency care, neurologists, medication - but when he came out of his seizures, he was often aggressive, not recognizing us for 5 to 10 minutes - long enough for him to do serious harm to a child, or adult, if one came upon him not realizing he was just coming out of a seizure. We agonized for weeks, but in the end, we felt we had to return him to the rescue group, per our contract, for the safety of our kids- who loved him but were forever nervous and a bit afraid around him (at 65 lbs, he weighed more than most of them). We didn't dump him for convenience, we weren't bad owners, we didn't give him up at the first sign of trouble; we just knew this was an unfortunate fit and wanted to give this guy, now 10 months old, a chance at home more suited for him. The treatment we received from the rescue group when we dropped him off was beyone cruel. In front of our kids, while dragging the dog away from us, we were accused of being inept - two adults in the household couldn't handle one dog, when this person had to deal with 6-7 animals on her own. According to this group, we were lazy, unfeeling jerks, who gave no thought to the dogs feelings of abandonment. It was just awful - I don't recall ever having felt that beaten down and sickened by the actions of another person. I realize that those who volunteer their time for rescue groups deal with a lot of nasty stuff, and a lot of nasty people, but when is it OK to treat another human like they are less than dirt when they, too, just want what is best for the dog? Thanks for providing a forum for this topic. We hope to add a dog to our family again someday, but the negativity we've experienced through this group has at led us consider turning to a breeder in the future instead of a rescue. Unfortunate... for all involved.

Gina Spadafori

Kim, your experience makes me sick to my stomach. I am so sorry for what your family went through.



If you want to try again with a rescued dog, know that there are groups and shelters who do care about people as well as animals. I hope you will find one, because I know that there's a great dog out there who'll be getting a great home from you.



Gotta add that if you do go the breeder route, do skip the puppy-mill retail outlets (a/k/a pet stores) and find an ethical, reputable breeder who'll be there for you and your dog no matter what. They're out there, too.



But I bet you knew that. :)

JenniferJ

Hi, I should clarify that the rescue I belong to is breed specific which is the main reason we rarely get healthy, uncomplicated puppies. If someone therefore wants a purebred puppy of our breed, then we do refer them to a reputable breeder.



If however breed is not important to a particular adopter, then there are certainly mixed breed puppies out there in shelter and all breed rescues, particularly medium and large breed pups. Where you look for your families companion is often therefore going to be directed, at least in part, by your families' specific desires or needs.

JenniferJ

Gina, I got yelled at yesterday because I would "GASP!" only sell puppies on a spay/neuter agreement and how dare I place such a restriction on something someone is paying good money for. I told her good luck and she was under no obligation to wait on one of my puppies. She's off any list of mine anyhow!



i was actually very nice and explained all about responsible breeding, although I really wanted to let her have it. For my pains, she called me back to read me out again. Needless to say I hung up.



Damned if you do.....

Gina Spadafori

Well, now I'm feeling kinda bad about jumping all over the lady who came in here saying she had "no choice" but to buy a Westie from a puppy-mill retail outlet.



(Note to self: Be nicer. Click. Treat.)

Mikey

Re. catching more flies with honey....



At an APDT conference about 12 years ago, I went outside for a break after Karen Pryor's talk. There was a man there with the teensiest little Yorkie. He had his dog, a brand new clicker, treats, and Karen's book. He was trying his very best, but of course as a new clicker convert, his timing was in need of improvement.



One of Karen's assistant trainers came out, saw the man and his dog, and sized them up in an instant. She marched over to him, and proceeded to tell him everything he was doing wrong, in great detail. Then she marched off to rejoin the conference. The man sadly picked up his dog, left the clicker sitting there, and left.



Such an upsetting scene! I tried to catch up to the "trainer" to give her a big correction, but my timing was poor and I missed my opportunity.

The OTHER Pat

Buffy A - Here's another idea to keep in mind. Because so many Responsible Breeders also do rescue on a small scale, it's entirely possible that you can have it both ways - work with a Responsible Breeder, AND rescue a Sheltie in need. No guarantees, but if you decide to start contacting breeders, you might keep this in mind.

Buffy A.

I lost my beloved Sheltie/Brittany mix girl December 3. She had cancer. Because I fell in love with her Sheltie bark and Sheltie energy, I vowed to adopt a rescue Sheltie. We still have her litter mate.....who is 8 years old today.



At the first rescue group, we arrived only to find out that the dog we wanted was "promised" to their next appointment. We are 61 and 72 years old and I got the feeling that the rescue people thought that oldsters like us should adopt an older dog. I hate turning my back on an older, or ANY dog, but our present dog has Cushings Syndrome (so did the girl who died) and might need medical intervention and expensive testing in the future....therefore, I was hoping to throw the odds in my favor that the newly adopted dog might not need a lot of veterinary care. Of course, if he/she did -- we would lovingly provide...we can afford to do this.



We never made it to the second rescue, but were at the invitation stage. We had been approved on paper. It was either that I had to cancel our appointment (within hours after we made it and days before it was scheduled) because of a car problem (it was a 200+ mile trip) or else it was because I indicated I wanted to change the dog's name (someone else who adopted from them did this and they wrote a cute story about it) or else they took umbrage at my wanting a copy of their contract to review before we completed the adoption process. Take your pick! At any rate, after supplying the rescue people with every kind of reference imagineable (including our driver's license numbers) this gal stopped answering my e-mail. I kept taking the high road and apologized over and over. I really wanted her 3-year old female Sheltie....I just withdrew my application this morning and have just applied to a third rescue organization.



If we have problems here at the third rescue, I will ask my husband to reconsider a good breeder. We were not looking for a "bargain:" sheltie, but were looking to provide a loving home for the Sheltie of our choice who needed a good home.



If my attitude is bad, then shelter adoptions might not be for me. We'll see. I want the dog that I select, as long as he/she will get along with my dog. I want to name the dog what I want to name her/him. I want the dog that I adopt to be MY dog and not a jointly-owned dog with the rescue....(you have got to trust someone at some point in time, and our references are impeccable) we have had three beloved dogs in 20 years of our marriage and give them the best of everything. Best food, tjhey sleep in bed with us, have the run of the house, we are retired and home most of the time. We buy brand name food and I brush teeth daily. Been with the same vet for nearly 20 years.



I will wait to see what the nest rescue says, but I admit to being sort of put off by rescues in general because of what has happened to me.

The OTHER Pat

You did not sound like a "witch on wheels" - just a very frustrated would-be adopter. I used to have a beloved Sheltie-Girl too (how funny that you refer to yours exactly the same way I refer to mine!) and miss her very much as well. I have a Papillon now, but I have to say my heart sort of skips a beat every time I see a pretty little blue girl. So I can understand your heartache, and offer my sympathy.



An actual co-ownership, huh? Rather than a takeback clause? I guess I'd find that a bit excessive, too. And I absolutely think it's the right thing to do to examine a copy of the adoption (or purchase, if you end up buying from a Responsible Breeder) contract before making any sort of a commitment. And you DO sound like you're offering your prospective new dog a wonderful home.



So keep at it. I will tell you that the breeder of my Papillon is one of the tops in the breed in the world. And yet, she frequently has a rescue dog or two in her home available for adoption. These are not dogs she has taken back, but dogs that have come into her care some other way (abandoned dogs left at her vet, dogs that someone "can't keep" any longer and asks if she can help, etc.). And I know she places them with the same care that she places any dog of her own breeding, yet without being "over the top" about it.



So they're out there. Keep at it. And {{{hugs}}} on the loss of your Sheltie-Girl. I still miss mine, too.

Buffy A.

Thank you all for your comments. The words "co-ownership" were my own words that I used to sum up how I perceived a sample contract that I googled online.....I used those words because in this sample contract, the rescue agency dictated what kind of food you could not feed the rescue dog -- store brands were out.....name brands were in. And other itnrusive things too, that I just do ordinarily anyway -- but don't want some agency looking over my shoulder and making me nervous. Like I said, I want to be MOM!

Now, I have always fed my dogs name brands and NOT store brands, but my husband just the other day brought home some store brand doggie treats for our present dog from one of the discount stores here in Ohio.....so I guess that would have been a violation!



I also (on the same web page where the contract was found) happened to accidentally get onto a page where pictures were shown what people did to precious sheltie-girls and boys who barked and annoyed their owners.



I will not ever be the same after seeing that page.



If that is what rescue workers deal with on an on-going basis, they will always have my prayers. Some probably have Post Traumatic Stess from dealing with cruelty like that.

Shelties do bark, but they are herding dogs. I loved my girl's bark.....and I loved being herded by her.



Don't know how severe this next rescue's contract will be, but we'll see.



I feel closer to getting my Sheltie boy or girl today than I did yesterday!

Buffy A.

Hi Other Pat -- This third rescue might have an affiliation with a breeder, now that you mention it. I think you have put me onto something that might work. We'll see. Hope so!



The third rescue said that I have been approved also. On paper. They are happy to mail me a copy of their contract in advance of the visit to their facility.



The second rescue lady did contact me today and said she just needed some time to herself and would get back with me tomorrow. I disclosed that I had, after withdrawing my app with her, applied to the third rescue. I really don't want to step on toes, here.



I shared with her my concerns about the joint ownership thing and told her that in my humble opinion, the rescue people were heroes, all and that after seeing some of the pictures of harmed Shelties whose owners objected to their barking on another website, I really did understand their reluctance to let go of the dogs in their care. But that I still sort of needed to be THE mom of my new dog.



I think part of my frustration is that I am still grieving for the loss of my Sheltie-Girl and I apologize to all if I sounded like a witch on wheels in my earlier post!

Joy

weird. I knew a would-be adopter who was (in part)turned down for NOT seeming as if she had enough interest in reading through the adoption contract. They told her the reasons were that 1. she had re-homed a dog years earlier (it was not a chosen dog but a rescue she spayed/vetted and responsibly re-homed) and 2 because they felt she acted too "flippant" about the seriousness of adoption when she didn't read through the adoption contract before walking through the petsmart event to look at the available dogs.

emp

Thank you!!! I have been reading other pet blogs trying to fgure out of anyone else feels the same way I do and was starting to think I was completely on my own on this one.



My husband and I have been searching for a cat at 5 difft shelters now for the past 4 weeks. We only want one cat (my husband is mildly allergic - we can keep one cat bathed and vacuumed up after regularly, but not two...) and we would like one young enough that we can train it not to scratch. We are only looking at shelters; would never consider buying from a breeder. We don't care about the breed, sex, color, anything -- we just want a cat to love and have as a friend. I work from home so the cat would never be alone. We've read cat care books, already bought cat furniture, toys, food, a litter box, I've planted cat grass insde our apt, we've found a local vet, put screens on all our windows, covered the electrical cords, tied up all loose strings, etc. -- we're as prepared as we can be. Yet -- no cat.



Why not? Well, at one shelter they said they liked me but not my husband (no explanation given as to why - they just didn't like him) -- so would not give us a cat. Another would not allow us to only adopt one -- they allow adoption of 2 cats minimum, otherwise, no deal -- "b/c the cat would be lonely." I explained I work from home and would never leave the cat alone -- they huffed that " the cat knows you're not another cat and it would be unhappy." Another was upset at our request for a younger cat, and said if we were so worried about scratching, clearly we weren't meant to have any animals. This statement came from the same person who -- when I said I have had a pet newt for 19 years (yes, the same newt) -- laughed that she accidentally boiled her newt to death by using too hot water in the bowl. But I'M the one not meant to have an animal?? Or is it just that cats are somehow the only animals worthy of love and care and, haha, newts can be boiled to death for fun?.



Another shelter we went to was about to let us put a "hold" on a cat too young to yet be neutered, but then reneged when we asked what date we'd be able to pick him up, since we will be out of town for 3 days at the end of this month, and I wanted to try to plan accordingly so we wouldn't miss our window of time to pick him up if the surgery happened to be right on one of those days we'll be away. They refused then to even allow us to consider adopting him at all. Another shelter wouldn't let us adopt unless we signed a contract allowing them to come into our home, unannounced, at any time during the life of the cat, to check on its well-being. Um, I'm sorry, but I don't let my own mother come into my house unannounced any time she wants; I'm certainly not going to give that right to a complete stranger. And no, it's not b/c I'm planning to neglect the cat. Thinking you have the right to go into someone else's house whenever you feel like it b/c 20 years ago they adopted a cat from your animal shelter is expecting WAY too much.



I am very close to giving up, despite the fact that I LOVE cats and have been dreaming of having my own for my whole life (since I was asked this question very snarkily by the newt-boiler: the reason I have never had my own cat until now is b/c I had a job where I was moving every year or two, to different countries around the world, and even when I was in one place for a year, I travelled most of the time. Many of the countries I lived in were developing countries where a domesticated cat would not have fared well -- if it would even have been allowed in the country in the first place. For the sake of the cat, therefore, I put off adopting one until I settled down in one place with a stay-at-home job for the long term. I thought this was the responsible thing to do, but apparently not).



Anyway, all of this to say -- I love animals too, very very much -- That's why I want to adopt one! It's also why I've been a vegetarian for 16 years and don't ever wear or buy fur or leather. And it breaks my hear to thear these sad stories too -- that's why I'm going to so many shelters looking to keep one from having to go through this. I just think that in their very noble efforts to care for these animals, the shelter folks can go WAY too far. Some of the shelters noted above were kill shelters -- which means the shelter staff would apparently rather the cat be possibly killed, than sent to live in a loving and nuturing house -- albeit a loving, nuturing "one-cat" home. Or it means the shelter staff would apparently be happier having the cat be potentially killed than adopted by my husband who for some reason they just "don't like" (he is a relief worker in refugee camps who, after fleeing the war in Sarajevo, devoted his life and career to helping other refugees).



Honestly, it's ridiculous. If you love these animals so much, let them be adopted by folks who will love and care for them, even if it's only 99% perfect instead of 100% perfect. I am quite sure a cat facing death would take 99% perfect over the alternative. Or would rather 99% perfect even over the thought of spending many more months locked up in a small pen in a shelter. Can we all just please be a LITTLE more realistic here??

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