There's a story this
click to enlarge
morning in the Tennessean
about the problems of animal cruelty in our state. And that reminded me: I want to say something to you people who drive a little way out of town to drop your pets off when you can't or don't want to care for them anymore.
I don't know what you imagine becomes of your pets. Maybe you think they make their way into the wild, living some idyllic life. Maybe you can just put them out of your mind because you have put them out of your sight. I don't know.
But here's what happens to them. They die.
Almost all of them. They live a very short time out here and then they die excruciating deaths.
Many of them die on the side of the road because they keep coming back to the spot where you dropped them off, like they're checking to see if this next car is maybe you coming back to get them. And they get hit and then their bodies sit on the side of the road for days, while crows and turkey vultures pick at them.
Some of them, like the black-and-white rabbit that was in my garden this summer, are such easy pickings for local coyotes (and dogs) it would have been kinder for you to snap that animal's neck and throw it in a hole in your own backyard, rather than wasting the gas to get it up here so that it could suffer and die where I have to see it, but you don't.
A very, very few get taken in by suckers like me.
But you should know, if you dropped a cat off along Clarksville Highway at the end of October, she didn't learn to hunt. She wasn't frolicking in the open pastures, catching field mice and living the life of Riley.
She subsisted on dog food she stole from my garage. When we finally found her, she was so scrawny that you could not pet her back because her spine stuck up sharp against your hand. And she had an infection that would have killed her, if she hadn't starved to death.
As it was, she died last Tuesday when she was coming out of the anesthetic after she was spayed. Luckily, the vet was able to revive her.
She is a great cat--friendly, spunky, funny. She's very good with people and she's litterbox trained. She clearly was your pet.
And you dumped her out here.
You should know that she would have died out here under almost any other circumstances.
What if she didn't ever come out to be seen? What if we hadn't been home?
People, if you can't take care of your animals any more, don't just abandon them.
It's the same as killing them, except you don't have to face it.