Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Gone Off the Deep End

After I graduated high school, I moved to the Greater Cincinnati Area and soon found work in an animal shelter as a caretaker. Later I even worked for a veterinarian as the same. I love animals, grew up with a menagerie of pets on our 23-acre farm, and since having to rent, I’ve owned only cats, dogs, ferrets, and usually kept a nice aquarium—and still do.

Now let’s fast forward about fifteen or twenty years. What the hell has gotten into animal rights activists, shelters, and fostering agencies for animals? They’ve gone off the deep end and are often extremists, imho.

Before anyone who works/volunteers for an animal shelter or some sort of animal rescue place or hospital gets your panties in a twist when you read this—I do love animals, and like I said above, I’ve worked for a shelter and a vet. However, I draw the line when I’m told what I can and cannot adopt, where the dog/cat is to be kept, and how many visits to the veterinarian I am *forced* to make with my pet. The amount of hoops adoptive owners now have to leap through to give a poor kitty or dog a home nowadays is unbelievable.

I believe it's easier to adopt a child from overseas than it is to adopt a dog in my area. I'm not kidding. My oldest daughter recently went through this with one of our local shelters. Moreover, she was told she could not take the dog out of the county. Say what? I can hear myself ranting if I had been in her shoews... Look, chickiepoo, you should be grateful I’m shelling out nearly $200 for said mutt and providing a good, warm, loving home for it, so don’t get up on your socialist high horse. You're full of crap if you're telling me we have to stay in the current county because of a dog! And don’t you dare tell me I have no choice but to keep it indoors. If I wanna adopt a dog to help me in herding the sheep or corralling the cows, it’s going to have a nice doghouse or a spot in the hay barn to sleep. Not all animals are required to live inside. The medieval days of sleeping with the livestock for warmth are over!

Again, I am totally serious about these policies. I can't stand to deal with the county, let alone higher forms of government. Too many brainless officials running a muck.

My mother adopted a cat several years ago. She was told when the adoption was all said and done it would cost her $70. It took ALL afternoon for the paperwork to be completed, and by the time she left with the cat, the shelter had charged my mother $115. She came out of there with tears in her eyes because she had to dip into her emergency money to pay for her new companion.

I was furious. I was told to get in the car....

So, anyway, now shelters are forcing owners (don’t tell me to say pet parent or I will throw up) to take their pets to the vet x amount a times per year—and they check with the pet's vets to verify this then call you and bitch if you’ve missed an appointment. And then these people have the nerve to get on TV and go on and on about how everyone should adopt a shelter animal, how fewer people are adopting, why aren't more people adopting...

First, if I’m gonna have to pay out the butt for a dog or cat I might as well pitch in another couple hundred and buy a purebred with papers, not to mention it’s easier and less time consuming! Oh, and let’s not forget the nosy, nitpicking employees who drive out to your home to inspect it before they’ll even consider allowing you to adopt that beagle/basset/shepard mix that has been waiting for a home for the last 18 months.

I realize the shelters want to stop animal cruelty and they want the pets to have good homes. I feel the same way. But for crying out loud, when it’s so difficult to adopt an animal because of all the rules and regulations, plus the high prices to adopt, these organizations have no room to complain. And don’t even get me started on ‘oh, but the meds, vaccines, and vet bills come out of those fees’. Again, I worked for a veterinarian. Vets make excellent money. Anyone who has had to pay for surgery to be done on their pet knows you need to sell Great Aunt Gertrude’s silverware to pay for the procedure. Yes, some vets donate money and time, but all vets should do this (and human doctors should do the same to say thank you for their BMWs and Porches). Both professions are to help others, not rake in the dough.

Also, what happened to our rights? When someone is tossed into a jail cell because he’s stomped a dog to death—and this is a horrible crime, indeed—but a woman can’t get the law to protect her from a husband who beats the hell out of her and the children, there’s something wrong with this picture. Our local news stations are always looking for something to report, so we hear a lot about abused animals and the perpetrators serving jail time for it. Fine 'em, give ‘em 90 days, but for Heaven’s sake, but what makes that more important than a woman entering a hospital because her boyfriend or spouse broke her jaw or snapped her son's arm?

Society's principles are questionable at best. I’m sorry about the li’l dog, but that woman and her children’s well being is more important. I feel like common sense has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Wow, I’m on a big soap box today...ahem!

So, my daughter wanted a couple of dogs. Her landlord said that was fine and even lets her have them inside. However, there’s a big mouse in their rental they’ve tried everything to catch; it’s a smart, evasive li’l sucker. She asked the landlord if she could adopt a cat and explained it would be a mouser as well as a companion. The cat is a big, beautiful gray fella. After all the trouble she went through to adopt him, after her landlord said she could have an indoor cat, he comes into her home, takes one look at her fat, fuzzy pet, and orders her to get rid of him. And this was after having the cat for nearly a year. Seriously? After she’s had it a year and it’s nothing but a lazy lap cat?

So guess who has the cat now? [shakes head] Yeah, you guessed it. I do.

Why do people have to make everything so difficult? And why does the county government have to be as nosy as the state and federal governments and yet toss people to the curb who need help?

It’s like finding out how many licks it takes to reach the center of the Tootsie Roll Pop. The world may never know.


Robyn M Speed said...

We adopted cats from the SPCA (here in NZ). All we had to do was get them de-sexed when they were old enough, other than that they were ours to care for as we see fit.

They are thoroughly spoiled cats, but they are an important part of our family.

I think the hoops you are all expected to leap through are beyond the bounds of sanity!! If you are a nice person, and you say you will give the animal a good home, that should be enough!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Whoa! That is SOME rant! I suppose I shouldn't tell you about the fish I had (gorgeous swishy blue fins that matched my rug) that disappeared from its bowl... If was totally like "Finding Nemo" at my place. Only it was "Finding Sharky." And we never did find him.

Faith said...

Believe it not, Robyn, that's the way it used to be in most places here in the States, too. When I worked for the animal shelter you paid $20 TO adopt a cat or dog. The person was given a voucher, and the vet signed it when the neutering or spaying was done. Then the owner sent the voucher in and the shelter sent the owner's $20 back to h/her.

Now it's like what I ranted about in my post.

Taryn, I know what you mean. Some of those fishies jump out and disappear. We've had it happen several times.

Jessica Subject said...

I used to work at a pet supply store, so I've seen this all the time. We did work with the local SPCA, but also heard the complaints from our customers.

I must say though that when I adopted our rabbit (7 years ago) and ferret (12 years ago), we didn't have those hoops to go through. Things have probably changed since then, or it could just be more complicated for cats and dogs.

Kissa Starling said...

I agree that this is going the wrong way totally. Shelters, aka government, should make it easier for people to adopt pets not harder. I know lots of kids who would love a pet, but can't afford it with these kinds of regulations. I believe this happens every time the government gets too involved in something. Hopefully, things will swing back in the other direction soon. There is nothing sadder than a hungry animal.

Faith said...

Good morning Jessica and Kissa! You're both right. I just don't understand why the govs have to make everything such a pita.

Anthology Authors said...

I haven't adopted an animal for a long time in CA, but when I did, it wasn't nearly this bad. I had to wait until after Halloween to pick up Blackie, which is understandable.

As for the protections offered animals compared to people are amazing, it's unreal.

But, yes, I am tired of the government in my business. Look at NYC. The mayor passed some stupid law saying the stores could no longer sell the Big Gulps-sized soda. O.O Now they are telling us what we can eat.

No surprise there. You can't breathe without the government telling you how to do it.

Valerie Mann said...

I have to tell you, Faith...I completely understand where you're coming from. I went to the ASPCA to adopt a kitten. At our local shelter, kittens are not allowed to be handled. Excuse me? I get it, diseases, fragile babies, etc. But sure as hell, those babies are gonna get handled as soon as they get home. A lot. There was a two-week waiting period during which the shelter runs a background check and validates that you do, in fact, have a job and aren't a criminal. Kittens grow a lot in two weeks, and that's two fewer weeks they don't have a "forever home" with their "pet parents" (yeah, barf).

My solution? I got on Craigslist. Found not one, but two kittens to adopt. For FREE. These cats are disgustingly well-loved. I wasn't going to jump through the hoops put before me, so I found my alternative. But a couple of weeks earlier, that precious kitten at the shelter would have gone home with me if it weren't for those hoops.

Faith said...

Marci, this goes with our phone discussion the other day. We can't do anything in this country without the gov's nose in it.

Valerie, that's the problem...the shelters moan about no one adopting animals but it's so damn difficult an bothersome people give up. I hate to say it but I'll never adopt from a shelter again. It's much easier to welcome a dog into my home whose owners have to move and can't take the dog with them or to get a kitten from one of the farmers around here who always seem to have a litter around the barn somewhere...

Jaime Samms said...

*Sigh* I have long been voicing my disgust at the involvement of government in personal business. My beef has mostly been with building codes (such as the one where I live that you cannot change a light-switch cover without a permit and having it inspected by a licensed electrician.) I'm going out on a limb here to say that one gets ignored pretty often, but there are many silly little things like that that make me steam.

As for animal shelters, I don't know how the rules in Canada compare to those in the States, because I have never adopted from a shelter. All three of our cats were strays that came off the mean streets and into our lives in various ways and have found long (17 years and counting, for one) healthy, happy, vet-enriching lives under our roof. What angers me the most about this situation is that as an adopting rescuer, you are attempting to save an innocent, unburden the system of that innocent's welfare, and as you do this, the system is treating you as though you're motives for doing this are somehow suspect.

No good deed, as they say....

On the other side of that coin, I recognize their mandate to protect the animals in their care. The same goes for building codes, and food inspection codes and the like. Those rules are ostensibly there for our protection, but I resent the government interference to such a degree that smart, honest, good-hearted and responsible citizens are reduced to being regulated to the standards of criminals and dumb-asses. Just sayin'

Faith said...

Amen, Jaime! LOL!

Liza O'Connor said...

And now you've got me riled up. Years ago, Oprah got upset because she gave her pound pup to the housekeeper and mentioned it on her show. The pound took the dog back because Oprah was not allowed to give it to someone else. I got my dog second hand. (She tortured the first owners because they didn't walk her enought). I've no idea if my adoption is legal, but I'll runaway with my dog before I give her up. She's the best hiking dog I've ever had. We hike about 3-5 hours a day. In fact, it's time to take her for her evening hike now.

I'll walk off all the outrage your people cruelty blog has caused.

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Faith,

I don't understand why their making it so hard to adopt. I don't adopt from the animal shelter, all my pets were given to me from someone who found them or their cat had kittens.

Our dog my daughter found running through a graveyard.


Faith said...

Hi ladies.

I don't understand any of it either, but rest assured any time the gov has it's nose in something it gets screwed up and made as difficult and as stupid as they can possibly make it.