Abandoned By Their Owners

I could never abandon this adorable face -- could you?

How many of you would like to be taken from your homes in the middle of the night, driven to a strange location far away from what’s familiar to you, and then abandoned — left without food, water, shelter, or anyone to help you survive?  That would be unimaginable, right?

Yet right now, around the country, that’s exactly what’s happening with a number of animals whose owners, many of whom are facing financial worries, are abandoning them in droves.  It’s estimated that the number of animals at risk of being left without a home may number as high as 500,000 to 1,000,000 in number.

I’ve seen it firsthand — whether it’s been in the stray dogs, many of which look well-groomed and healthy but without collars or tags, who’ve wandered into my own yard, or the stories I’ve heard from my parents, whose own neighborhood has seemingly become a popular drop-off point in the area for dogs and cats (according to my mother, animals have been abandoned in front of their own home in drive-by drop-offs no less than three or four times just in the last month).

In these tougher economic times, caring for a pet is increasingly difficult — something I also have plenty of experience with, owning four dogs of my own (one of which is elderly and has needed a great deal of veterinary care in the last year).  Vet bills, shots and vaccinations, and even pet food are all very expensive, and the bills for my dogs have a tendency to add up.  But even though I can sympathize with those who are finding trouble keeping their finances in check, I couldn’t imagine ever leaving my dogs alone and scared in a strange place.  It’s absolutely inconceivable to me.

Yet, that’s what’s been happening around the country.  My plea is for it to stop, and if anyone reading this has a pet of any type that they can’t afford to take care of anymore — for God’s sake, please look for another home for it first.  Whether it’s a neighbor, a friend, or a family member — there’s no shortage of people around who will be willing to take care of your pet.  And if that fails, there are rescue centers that will take the pet as well.  Don’t leave them out there alone to suffer, to starve, and to die — put yourself in their place, and it’s easy to see that there’s always a better solution.

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