Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Responsibility of a Pet Owner

The Responsibility of a Pet Owner

A man in Frederick County Virginia was sentenced to 6 months in jail for animal cruelty. In a fit or pique, he shot and killed his neighbor’s pet cat. While I applaud the judicial system for holding this individual responsible for his actions, what he did was in reality no crueler than what many irresponsibly thoughtless people do on a daily basis.

My husband and I live in the country at the intersection of two rural roads.  It seems that on a regular basis during kitten season, we find helpless kittens abandoned on our property that somehow make their way up the hill and through the woods to a welcoming bowl of food, clean water, and a safe place to hang out. Some stay permanently. Some eat, sleep and tie up their little belongings in a kerchief and move on down the road.

Today we had another refugee show up, a kitten that is barely six weeks old, scrawny, scared, hungry and looking for love. She approached the other cats in the yard that reacted with indifference, angst, or fear. She sought out Molly Cakes, who seemed to bond with the interloper a bit.

We tempted the kitten with food and captured her with a modicum of difficulty, a few hisses and scratches. We cleaned her face and gave her some canned food. We’ll quarantine her from the other cats for about 10 days. There are no fleas. If she proves healthy, we’ll take her to the vet and have her spade. She’ll have a home at the Harrington Cat Sanctuary. As my husband said, I would be deemed a crazy cat lady, but he is a kindly gentleman with a sanctuary for cats.

Today is his birthday and this kitten is God’s gift. Please, if you take an animal into your home, be prepared to care for it, make sure it does not have kittens, and understand it is a responsibility for the life of the animal. Abandoning a cat or dog or rabbit in the country is just as cruel the actions of the man going to jail for shooting his neighbor’s cat. Animal abuse and abandonment is just unacceptable.

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