Friday, December 5, 2014

Cats and Dogs, Living Together

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” - Mahatma Ghandi

“How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven.” - Robert A. Heinlein

You've seen them on Facebook daily, those pictures of cats and dogs, family pets who have been orphaned or abandoned, and who need a new forever home.  There are the pleas for foster and adoptive homes.  And then there are the more frantic posts, begging for immediate help in saving a pet's life because they are in a shelter, and they are scheduled for execution.

Somehow, the words "shelter" and "execution" sound so wrong together in that sentence.  Think about it.  A young teen, on the streets, is brought to a homeless shelter.  He is given a bed to sleep in, clean clothes, good hot food, a place to shower.  After a month, no one comes to claim him so he is given a needle of toxic drugs to let him die humanely.  His body is cremated as part of a group of other homeless youths like himself.

Are you upset yet?  Oh of course, everything would have been different if he had been brought to a No-Kill Shelter, where he could have continued to stay until a foster or adoptive home was located and approved, but those are far and few between, so there was only one choice:  death by lethal injection.  So much kinder to the teenager.  This incident just points out how important it is to locate the mothers and have them sterilized so they won't continue to give birth to kittens that they cannot properly parent.


My first two cats, Ira Carlos and Minerva Athene, were adopted from Bideawee, in New York City, in 1976 and 1978, respectively.  I believe it is a no-kill shelter.

My current girl Yorkie, Chelsea Rose, was first rescued from a kill shelter, fostered and put up for adoption by United Yorkie Rescue.  It just seems crazy that there have to be rescues from shelters.

The feline-love-of-my-life, Ira Carlos (the second) was adopted at one of the pet supermarkets, from a group that I believe fostered the cats until a home could be found.  They never accepted more cats for foster than they could care for indefinitely.  Unfortunately, that meant many other kitties went to kill shelters.

What kind of people abuse or abandon their family pets?  And what kind of so-called "shelter" executes relatively healthy animals?  Is there really such a thing as a "humane" execution?

The older I get, the less I understand.

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