Monday, August 20, 2012

Things That Make Me Laugh!

A couple of months ago I posted a blog called "Compassion Please! For Pets and People".  It was about the barriers that have been set up by shelters that  prevent people from reclaiming their lost pets (hours, costs, location, etc.)

Most of all is the distainful attitude that is often cast on these owners which spreads through staff and volunteers and actually hinders reunions, instead of helps. More lost pets in shelters (instead of reclaimed) means more dead animals. Pretty simple.

I want to point out that at no place in my blog did I say that shelters shouldn't charge a reclaim fee. I was just asking for compassion and some thought to go into the process so that pets don't get left at the shelter because of the cost or the attitude of the staff and volunteers.

There were eighteen comments on the blog. Fifteen of them were positive and agreed that shelters needed to show more compassion or they relayed their own experiences about losing pets.

THREE comments were negative, here are the excerpts:

Karissa:  "There's compassion in the rescue industry, but shelters have bills to pay, too. If shelters waived reclaim fees on a regular basis for every hard luck story they hear, they wouldn't be able to keep the doors open."

Anonymous: I work in rescue and I happen to be very poor. Still, the bottom line is that anyone who "loses" a pet for any reason other than a natural disaster is completely irresponsible and I stand by that. There is no reason to lose a pet. .....I also volunteer at my local county shelter. This is not about money or not being able to get to the shelter in a timely manner. It's about the fact that irresponsible people let their pets end up there get there in the first place! "

Monica, Shelter Operations Manager: Kbear, I hate to point out the obvious, but perhaps if your cat was wearing a collar and tag, the neighbor would have called you instead of the shelter. I'm sure she was just trying to keep him out of harm's way- a cat can cross a lot of streets in 45 minutes, and vet bills are way more expensive than shelter reclaim fees.  As for HAWS not accepting checks for reclaims- I can't speak for them but I'm not surprised. They've probably had too many bounce. If that was happening at my shelter, we'd have the same rule.

All three of these women work or volunteer at shelters in Wisconsin. Thank you for supporting my point, ladies! And, that is what makes me laugh!


  1. I am shocked by these comments from rescue workers...The story would be different if this was a woman whose cat escaped over..and over...and over and had to be picked up constantly, but it was a mistake.
    Let me say what everyone is thinking...
    Karissa- a small reclaim fee of $50 or so...okay. Over $400 and complete disregard for another person...quite another.
    Monica- I think you should know better than anyone that some cats just can't keep a collar on. I had a cat who would streak into the basement and come back collarless EVERY time. I got him microchipped. As you should know, the reason we get cats microchipped, and the reason we buy safety release because collars can come off.
    Anonymous...I feel sorry for you for the day that you have a cat or foster cat that slips out the door when a guest comes over unexpectedly. True, cats should NOT be going outside without a leash or strict fenced super-vision, but anyone that works or volunteers in a rescue knows that cats who have been indoor/outdoor their entire lives will make a mad dash for the door. True, the owner should be taking precautions to keep them inside and always be very careful. But life isn't so carefully scripted. Shy cats hide and can speed in the direction there going like a train One of my cats who never cared about that big secret back door wandered outside one day when I was taking out the garbage. She stood there for a few seconds and I didn't run when I ran to scoop her up. She never showed any interest again, but I guess this makes me a bad cat owner?
    I love all of my fur-kids, but if they or a foster were ever to accidentally get out , I would want an organization that actually cares about their well-being to WANT to help me get them back so they don't have to put them down in the back room. I know my shy (and former feral as kittens) furkids wouldn't be "adoptable" or "good enough" for HAWS to consider worthy of adoption, but I love them... and shouldn't they love animals too if they are pulling in donations to save them?

  2. I have a sanctuary at my home for dogs; this evening, I couldn't find my mama Beagle and one of her weaned but still small puppies but did find a cement block knocked out of place leaving a hole at the bottom of my fence. I was supposed to go to work; I called them - explained the situation (puppy Ralph is about 5# thus still owl size); we worked it out and I went hunting. Thank God for good neighbors. I spotted Gidget, mama Beagle, right away after coming back outside. Went up a drive to see two neighbors in a golf cart go down their drive: they found Ralph! Did I want or plan this? NO. Do I have a solution? Yes - chicken wire along the bottom of my fence. The dogs have been digging there more effectively this year due to the drought. I thought they were safe....