This weekend, my friend Michael found a litter of six kittens hiding under his lawnmower. Which is particularly unusual since he doesn't own a cat. He called the Jackson County Animal Control and was told that they would charge him $25 per kitten just to remove them. Wait, WHAT? You call animal control about an unwanted animal and they want to charge you a fee to get rid of it? Isn't that what we pay taxes for?
I wrote last month about the problem with rescue societies. Unlike our county shelters, these organizations survive entirely on donations and adoption fees. They also charge a surrender fee. So, what happens to the people who can't afford to pay? More importantly, what's going to happen to all of those unwanted pets?
A few years ago, one of my neighbors lost his home to foreclosure. I was walking past his house and saw a group of my neighbors standing in the street discussing the situation. It seemed that the people had moved out and abandoned all of their pets in the empty house. How horrible! Who could do that to a bunch of poor defenseless animals? While we were all standing around talking about what a terrible human being he was, the man returned to his former home to fee them. He told us that he tried to find homes for them. The humane society and all the rescues wanted money to take them. He had kids to feed. He just lost his home! He couldn't find anyone to take them. What was he supposed to do?
I immediately felt ashamed. Here we all were talking about the animals when the poor family was homeless. What did we expect him to do? This is why people just dump animals on the side of the road. Or in an office complex. I found an adorable little black and white kitten in front of my office one day that had obviously been abandoned. Fortunately, I was able to find a good home for her.
These kittens are lucky they were found by a good person like my friend. Some guys would have tied them in a sack with a rock in it and tossed them in a lake somewhere. But he and his wife have managed to find homes for almost all of them. Naturally, he called to offer me one, but we're all full up here at Conservacat headquarters. I called an even crazier cat lady friend who warned me that the rescues were overloaded this time of year because apparently, it's "kitten season" and they're overwhelmed with unwanted animals.
I still want to know why the organizations we pay taxes to support can't take in these animals. In the meantime, PLEASE for the love of God, have your pets spayed and neutered! Don't let your irresponsibility become someone else's problem.
Oh, and if anyone wants a kitten, PM me. The cute one in this photo is still available.