The Unwashed Masses Strike Back – Part 1

I’m sure you are all familiar with the evil public:  Irresponsible pet owners who refuse to neuter their pets and callously force kindly shelter workers to spend their work days killing friendly pets.  You know – those people, a.k.a. all of us.

It is the public’s fault that bad things happen to shelter pets.  Which is why it was so shocking to come across these recent stories of members of the public responding to a need in our communities.  Clearly, these are aberrations:

  • A lady in CA who, upon hearing of the increase in surrenders at shelters which serve communities impacted by the BP oil spill, mailed six cans of cat food to a LA shelter.
  • A woman in NC who saw a story on her local news about an area shelter running low on pet food.  She packed up her car with every bag of food she could squeeze in there and drove to the shelter to donate.
  • A pet food salesman in NC who couldn’t stand to see so much perfectly good pet food wasted simply due to things like torn bags or expiration dates while rescue groups and individuals struggled to feed their pets.  He started a non-profit group to keep that pet food from going to waste – and now he has plans to go national.

These are stories of the public responding to pets in need of food.  Surely the wretched public wouldn’t help shelter pets in other ways – would they?  Stay tuned for Part 2.

Leave a comment

13 Comments

  1. Sometimes when you write these type of posts, I get really confused. While I don’t agree that the public is to blame for our continued use of killing as “population control”, I cannot exactly place the blame on shelter workers either, nor can I see a few stories of John Q Public going out of his way to help non-humans in shelters and believe that this represents the majority of the human population of this country.

    Reply
    • My belief is that the majority of pet owners are ordinary people who take good care of their pets. I choose to revisit this belief on the blog regularly because I feel like there is a gross imbalance in the media and on the net. If you look at a story online quoting a shelter director saying something along the lines of “We have to kill pets even though we hate to do it because people just haven’t gotten the message about spay-neuter” – you will find reader comments echoing those sentiments. So many people are misinformed and under the impression that there are too many pets and not enough homes, nobody really cares what happens to pets in shelters, etc. I like to do my part to tip that imbalance a little bit back because I truly do believe MOST pet owners are good folks who want to do right by ALL pets, not just their own. These posts are my way of doing that.

      Reply
      • I’ve noticed this in one of the forums I frequent — post something bemoaning ‘terrible owners’ doing awful things to their pets, and folks will talk about it all day. Post a positive story about someone doing something kind to animals, and you’re lucky if you get one or two replies.

        It’s like people have blinders on sometimes to where they only focus on the worst and act as if the good barely ever happens, or that it’s an anomaly when someone actually loves and cares for their pet.

    • Matt

       /  July 30, 2010

      To be sure, if more human nitwits kept their cats and dogs indoors and had them spayed/neutered, and didnt abandon them, it would make the No Kill mission alot easier.

      But as Nathan Winograd, No Kill Pioneer, put it so well: “The #1 reason why cats and dogs are killed in shelters, is because shelters kill them”.

      Simple. To the point. Truthful.

      If every shelter employee grew a pair of cojones and said “No, I refuse to murder this precious soul”, the murder would end. We would be No Kill tonite.

      Sadly, we have cowards who find murder expedient, or intimidated individuals who dont have the courage to say “No”, because they care more about their paychecks, than they do their fellow living souls.

      What the morons (kill ‘shelter’ operators) dont know is that TNR Programs are CHEAPER than ‘euthanasia’ (murder) ones.

      Here is the proof:

      http://www.guerrillaeconomics.biz/communitycats/

      Try it yourself, print it out, and send it to your Mayor, City Council Members, local animal shelter,local newspaper, etc. and rally your community, telling the officials to implement TNR Programs in your community. I did it the other day and it was in the newspaper. It’ll save millions of dollars, potentially, and more importantly, it’ll save precious souls who deserve to live, love and be loved.

      If everyone who sees this, does this, we will make a difference…plz spread the word. Thanks!

      Reply
  2. Elizabeth

     /  July 29, 2010

    I worked for a pet food company and we did the same thing with ripped/expired bags. Most pet food companies do. Also large companies such as Walmart have been known to donate there ripped/expired bags to local shelters.

    Reply
  3. Anne

     /  July 29, 2010

    we get weekly donations from our local target and walmart stores of pet supplies they can no longer sell

    And as Purina generously feeds all of our animals for free in-shelter, we in turn send these donations to smaller rescue groups that can’t rake in the donations like we can

    In turn, they give us cookies at christmas :-)

    But, in response to Jennie, i think you’ve got it right. No one group is responsible- it’s a COMMUNITY issue- that includes both the public AND the shelter. Both groups have to partner together to make a change and make it stick. if you only address one issue/group, and do nothing about the other, you’ll never make headway

    Reply
  4. They get all of their money and other resources from the same public that they treat this way. They abuse us to make us bleed more money and more stuff. We have a right to bring that to an end and stop rewarding them.

    I will donate to no shelter until and unless they advocate the freedom to won any species that you want as a pet, including the tiger. Why draw the line there? Because if I fail to draw it where I want it I have only myself to blame if they draw it somewhere else, or if they draw it exactly where I told them to and then I can’t move it. I’m entitled, just like thousands of Americans who have been denied their rights. This time there will be some heavy duty payback against these suckers. They keep doing this to us over and over again. Pennsylvania freed itself for just about 40 years from the dominance of the SPCA and the SPCA played the same tricks that it did before.

    We have to starve this beast and we have to take away its weapons, and this time we have to remember history.

    Reply
  5. mary frances

     /  July 29, 2010

    Re: YesBiscuit’s comment – and I thank you for providing these posts –

    I used to be confused about the pet overpopulation myth and the constant blame game aimed at the irresponsible public also incorrect – it simply felt wrong but I never had the ability or knowledge to argue against it….

    Word is out now and No Kill will happen on a grand scale.

    Reply
  6. KateH

     /  July 30, 2010

    No, Tom, you should NOT have the ‘right’ to own a tiger, or any other animal you want. Dogs, cats, and most of the ‘pocket’ pets have care requirements that, while they aren’t impossible to meet, are usually things that people need to actually make a decent effort to provide. This is why most of the people who have companion animals – the ones that can live in the same space with people AND give something back in terms of affection – are doing a decent job with that care, they also understand the limits of their ability to provide care. (Hoarders and others with mental issues obviously aren’t in this group.) Those people who think they should be allowed to have any animal they want start out in a different mental and emotional relationship with those animals – one where the needs of the animal are often not met, and, because the relationship with the animal usually becomes one of conflict, not affection, denying the animal’s needs become a way to punish the animal for not being ‘fun’ anymore. The needs of wild animals are difficult for most people, first because they usually require a LOT of money to meet, and they usually require a lot of space, with specialised shelter, veterinary care, and mental enrichment. Do you REALLY think you 1) know enough about the husbandry aspects of these animals that you can keep them physically healthy and mentally happy, and 2) that you understand anything, let alone enough about training and enrichment to keep these animals safely for you, any family or friends, neighbors, and the vet you should have interacting with them to assist you in keeping them healthy? I don’t know who you are, but I’d bet a boatload that you don’t. There isn’t a Constitional right to keep anything you want as yours – and much more importantly, there is no moral right.

    Reply
    • Thanks for this reply. So it’s okay for “average” folks to have a dog or a cat or a pocket pet…we all agree?
      Is it okay for an above average person to have a tiger? Who gets to decide who is above average? Is it a financial distinction? Cuz I’m thinking that money doesn’t buy you love and I know a lot of folks who pay top dollar for a pet and then treat it poorly. (Either out of ignorance, boredom, or just meaness.)
      What about horses? Cows? Pigs? Is it a size/danger issue?
      Is there a moral right for anybody to keep anything?!

      Reply
      • Tigers aren’t pets. They aren’t domesticated animals, and no, they should not be owned by anyone who thinks they’re pets.

        Horses, cows, and pigs are more expensive to keep properly than the average dog or cat, and require more space, but they’re domesticated animals and perfectly capable of having a real, and mutually rewarding, relationship with human beings.

        Tigers (and lions, and bears, oh my!) require a lot more money, but also a lot more specific knowledge outside the realm of what most people do or care to learn, and a recognition that They. Are. Not. Pets.

        Also, dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, etc., are not endangered species, and tigers are. This means that keeping one as “pet,” i.e., a demonstration of how rich and eccentric you are, rather than having that same animal either in the wild, or in a zoo as part of a preservation program, is taking conspicuous consumption to a truly amazing level.

        Tuesday Weld’s sactuary for retired film animals is one thing, and a tiger in your back yard becaus you think it’s Rilly Kewl is another thing entirely.

  7. Matt

     /  July 30, 2010

    Speaking of Lions (and Tigers, and Bears, Oh My) LOL, I am sure you all have seen this, but for those who havent, it is touching and one of the most awesome pieces of footage you will ever see….this is what happened when Christian, a Lion, was visited by his former owners/guardians, a year after being in the wild:

    YouTube – Christian the Lion- Reunion!

    I dont post this to make any particular point.

    (Although at this point I want to make it clear that Lions, Bears, Tigers, etc. belong in the jungle, not in zoos, as pets, in circuses, or in human hands, period, unless they were raised that way and cannot learn to survive on their own in the wild, then a sanctuary is needed.)

    I just wanted to share the video.

    BTW where does that “Lions, and Tigers and Bears oh my” phrase come from again? Is it in “The Wizard Of Oz”? I forgot.(Reaches for the Gingko Biloba supplements).

    Reply

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