Monday, October 12, 2009

Help Save Coco and Cookie From Their Irresponsible Parents

Every so often I get something via e-mail that makes my blood boil. Last Friday I got an e-mail from an acquaintance with whom I’ve occasionally worked in feral cat rescue; we are usually the recipients of anything relating to animals in need.

But there's a difference between animals in need and animals being abandoned. I've seen pleas similar to this one before, and I don't understand them anymore than if they were written in Sanskrit.
"We are moving overseas in just 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I have still not been able to find a good home for Cookie and Coco. We're not able to take our beloved doggies with us and I've been desperately trying to find a home for both of them together . They were raised together and pine without each other. The Lab rescue [groups] have already said that they would probably separate them, so this is my last resort. Recently I tried to take Coco out in my car alone and she TOTALLY refused to even get into the car without Cookie......!!!! She absolutely pulled back on her haunches until Cookie was by her side.”

Hey, lady, how do you think they're going to react without you? Cookie and Coco look to you as the head of their pack. You don't think they’re going to miss you?

Why in the world would someone adopt two dogs if there was even a modicum of a chance you’d have to leave the country three years later? I keep hoping to hear that there are some sort of extenuating circumstances here, but I can't fathom any (and I haven’t heard back from my acquaintance about this person's circumstances [see update below]).

Many years ago, there was a flyer posted on the door of our then-veterinarian's office. It was a similar plea to adopt a cat. Why? Because the woman had had a baby and they wouldn't be able to pay attention to the cat. I wanted to call them and ask if they were going to give the first baby away when a second one arrived because they wouldn't be able to pay as much attention to it.

I just don't get this. Adopting an animal is a commitment for the animal's lifetime. They're not furniture you turn over to Goodwill because suddenly they don't match the décor. Even in our late Tuxedo's worst days of barfing and spraying, we never considered traipsing him down to the animal shelter and surrendering him. The day we adopted him, we made a commitment to him that he would always be safe and warm and well-fed (we kind of went overboard on that last one). We couldn't have loved him more than we did — and we certainly cherished him more than any piece of furniture or carpeting.

What saddens me most is that animal lovers will read this and understand. And the people who really need to get the message won’t.

Postscript: I learned after posting the real story about Coco and Cookie. They were indeed available for adoption, but back in February. They have been with a new family for quite a while. Their owners were not going overseas -- their house had been foreclosed upon and they were moving into an apartment that didn't accept animals. I can accept these as extenuating circumstances in this case, with regrets. However, my disdain for people who treat animals like furniture remains intact.

1 comment:

  1. It's clear that you have not met my cat. Peach wakes me in the middle of the night because she wants to be fed. Not because she is hungry, but because she wants to be fed. I know this because when she's hungry, she bites my toes.

    We tried shutting the door to the bedroom, but Peach would throw herself against the door. My wife believed the cat would do this until unconscious (curiously, she thought this would be a bad thing).

    Peach is a recidivist furniture scratcher and is entirely anti-social to other cats in the neighborhood.

    I have threatened Peach with banishment to some animal shelter, but she doesn't seem to take my idle threats seriously.

    I am an educated man. I have several meaningful accomplishments and the respect of my peers (well...some of them). But the truth is that I have been reduced to a cat toy. Perhaps knowing one's place in the universe is worth something.