I find abandoned kittens and cats all the time at the barns. ALL the TIME! Pet abandonment is real and it happens far more frequently than anyone can even guess.
Just this week, I rescued two of the sweetest, fluffiest teenage kittens you ever met who were just dumped out here at the barns.
It seems normal for some people to just dump unwanted kittens off at places they think would care for them instead of simply getting their cat fixed. Or they dump unwanted puppies off in sealed boxes in front of shelters, instead of going through the proper channels to surrender their animals.
I’m going to be frank here: there is NO excuse for abandoning your pet or unwanted litters of kittens and puppies. Unless you are in a domestic abuse situation or being kidnapped, you do NOT have an excuse for this horrible act. No excuse, especially here in the United States where spay and neuter clinics and services are everywhere. Including here in rural Louisiana.
However, there are reasons behind the activity that I’m going to address here.
Abandoned Pets Die!
I’m sure you’ve seen the stories about puppies left in a box outside of a shelter or dumped in dumpsters that someone found and brought to a rescue to save.
How many kittens, puppies, and unwanted pets do you think die? A LOT more of them die than are saved.
It is simply not reported as often when a farmer finds dead kittens on his land, or there are no bodies because coyotes ate an entire litter of puppies left alone in the woods, or no one found the newborn kittens left in a dumpster that ended up traveling to the dump with the rest of the trash.
Most of the time it is not reported at all, simply because the dumpsite wasn’t monitored by cameras and no one saw who abandoned those poor innocent babies.
When you chose to dump litters of kittens or puppies or the unwanted cat, you are literally killing them. Just a lot more slowly and in a much more cruel fashion than euthanizing would be. These animals are dumped in a scary, unfamiliar place. They don’t know where they are, they don’t know the dangers, they don’t understand why it happened, and a lot of pets dumped have absolutely no survival skills.
They’re terrified, cold, hungry and have no clue how to survive.
They get hit by cars, eaten by coyotes or mountain lions, get stepped on by horses in the barns, freeze to death, and starve. It is NOT a good life. At least being surrendered to a shelter gives them a CHANCE to find a loving home.
Pet abandonment is nearly always a slow death sentence. Unless someone finds them and is able to catch them, and then do what YOU should have done: get them fixed and find them a loving home.
Pet Abandonment is Illegal!
Abandoning a pet is included in all animal cruelty laws.
For example, here in Louisiana, according to Stray Pet Advocacy, animal cruelty is defined as:
“intentionally or with criminal negligence Overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, or overworks a living animal; torments, cruelly beats, or unjustifiably injures any living animal; unjustifiably fails to provide it with proper food, proper drink, proper shelter; abandons any animal; Carries, or causes to be carried, a living animal in or upon a vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhumane manner; unjustifiably administers any poisonous or noxious drug or substance to any domestic animal; injures any animal belonging to another person without legal privilege or consent of the owner; mistreats any living animal; causes or procures to be done by any person any act enumerated.”
I implore anyone who finds an abandoned animal to report it to the police, even if you didn’t see anything or have cameras. Report it, even if you think the police don’t care. Maybe if enough people report the crime, the more awareness this horrible act can get and maybe these people will consider other options instead of pet abandonment.
Especially if more people are caught and required to pay for this crime.
No Money for Spay or Neuter?
If you live in the United States, there ARE services available everywhere. Low-cost spay and neuter clinics, including mobile vans, are run all over the country. I am currently in rural Louisiana and the nearest one is a 20-minute drive away, but right now a free spay and neuter clinic for cats is being run in our little town on February 13, 14, and 15th!
They also have ways to get it done for fairly cheap or free, even if you can’t afford the low cost. There are programs you can apply for locally and nationally to get help to fix your pets. Most spay and neuter clinics offer financial assistance to people who truly cannot afford it.
To find spay and neuter clinics near you, try PetSmart’s Charities Store and Clinic locator!
Or you can reach out to SpayUSA to find more options! Or call them at 1-800-248-SPAY (1-800-248-7729)
Related Post: Why is Spay and Neuter Important in 2019?
No Longer Able to Care For a Pet?
If you can no longer care for a pet, the humane option is to surrender your pet to a shelter, rescue or try to rehome him or her yourself.
Simply use Google to find a shelter or rescue near you, OR you can use Adopt-A-Pet to rehome your own pet.
Pet Abandonment IS Animal Cruelty
Anyone who abandons a pet should never be allowed to own animals again. Unless there are extreme circumstances, like domestic abuse or kidnapping, that requires someone to abandon their beloved pet to save his life, there really is NO excuse.
None. There are options available and Google IS your friend. There are even grants available for people needing medical care for emergency situations you can apply for online! Shelters and Humane Societies offer help for seniors and low-income people unable to afford their pets, too. Spay and neuter IS available for free or nearly free if you truly do have a limited income in most areas.
Spay and neuter is a vital part of pet ownership. It is an absolute MUST in today’s world with pets dying by the millions in shelters every year. Even more animals are dying without homes in the streets and countryside.
Pet Abandonment: It a Selfish, Horrible Act
People who abandon their pets, whether on the side of a freeway or at someone’s barn out in the country, often have the same result: a dead pet.
If they’re lucky and smart, they may adapt enough to not starve to death and avoid the typical dangers, for a few months or a couple of years. All the while continuing to contribute to the overpopulation of companion animals in the United States.
But is abandoning a cat at a barn really that bad?
Yes! Let’s not forget that the owner of that barn does not NEED or want another cat, unfixed, on his property. If he’s responsible, he has gotten all of his barn cats fixed, feeds them, and lets them live in relative safety while they hunt mice.
Having ONE unfixed female show up screws up the ENTIRE population of cats. One unfixed female draws males from miles around, who spray urine everywhere, fight with the resident cats, and yowl all night trying to get the female’s attention. That one female can have THREE litters that very first year!
So you just dumped off your pet, unfixed, for some other person to deal with. Ultimate selfish act. Total POS move.
That’s IF the poor cat survives coyotes, tractors, horses, mountain lions, cars, and whatever else he or she may encounter on the farm. IF the other cats accept that new cat, which will NOT happen if he is an unfixed male. IF the cat is not so traumatized by the experience he lives the rest of his short life hiding from humans, cats, cars, and everything else until he slowly starves to death.
That’s a lot of IFs.
If you abandon a pet, you are basically a shit human being. Just saying.
I can also say this because I am the one picking up these poor cats that other people dump like trash. I am the one saving them with almost no help or resources because I DO live in rural Louisiana and the rescues and shelters are swamped. I do this with my own time, my own money, and all for these poor kitties left to die.
Meet Luke and Leia
The two kittens I am now caring for with resources I don’t have were dumped at the barns this week. They are the sweetest, fluffiest tabby kitties I have ever seen! So freaking cute!
These two beautiful, young teenage kittens did not deserve to be dumped, scared and alone, at the barns.
They love people.
They’re scared of horses, cars, and tractors.
They’re playful and cuddly.
They’re nearly identical and very bonded! Look for their story in a future post!