The problem of overcrowded shelters is sadly unsurprising. The debates over shelter issues such as kill vs. no-kill, adoption requirements, and the care of the animals are all well documented, and have been heavily discussed. What is often overlooked is the why. Why do so many animals end up in shelters? Around 7 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year, about half of which are believed to be abandoned, and according to a study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners after arriving in shelters. These poor animals are at a higher risk of euthanasia, and often suffer from separation anxiety and other, similar issues. It’s hard to imagine what type of monsters would simply cast aside their animals, but sadly, it happens. This video is a heartbreaking look at what abandonment really is.
What makes the issue of animal abandonment so tough to process is the “why” of it. What makes someone leave someone they are meant to protect and love in the street? Some are abandoned for becoming too “difficult” to care for, some because they aren’t allowed to stay in a new apartment or city, and various other “reasons” that they feel justify leaving their animals in the cold. 2.7 million of these animals end up being euthanized in shelters, essentially condemning your pet to death.
While the majority of abandonment stories end badly (a sad but true reality), the capacity for love that many animal lovers show can also save the day. Sometimes a kind heart can overcome the most disgusting abuse.
The Animal Rescue Site has written about a number of pet abandonments over the years, not all of them up lifting. Take the story of Butterbean. The German Shepherd mix was caught on camera at a Louisiana gas station, chasing after the truck that unceremoniously dumped him at the scene.
Butterbean’s “owners” where tracked down, but they claimed he was a “neighborhood” dog, and only came to them occasionally for food. Police are investigating charges on those that care for Butterbean, but that is still outstanding.
This is one of the most gut wrenching images of abandonment. It is obvious that Butterbean is confused and anxious to get back to his humans. Imagine how many dogs and cats have looked on in confusion as their owners drove away, stranding them in a strange place.
CB, short of Charlie Bravo, is another story that will make you both question humanity, and believe in the generosity of mankind.
During a trip through the country on their motorcycles, Bret Winingar and his son Zach noticed what looked like an animal crate in a field off the road. Upon investigation, they found CB, locked up, starving and dehydrated. She had chewed holes into the crate, indicating that she had been there for a very long time.
They raced to get food for her, and gave her water, which she gratefully accepted. Her immediate trust and relief made the two men fall in love immediately. CB came home with them, and after a shower she was taken to the vet. Her nails had grown back into her paws, she had been massively starved, and her paws had been stained white by the filth she had been sleeping in. If Bret and Zach hadn’t stumbled upon her, she would have died in the most horrific way imaginable. Thankfully she found a loving home and was able to recover from her ordeal.
Tracy Parisi of Staten Island was shocked to receive a phone call from a friend telling her that she had come across 13, yes 13, kitten abandoned in cardboard boxes and a busy intersection. The kittens were about 7 weeks old at the time.
Amazingly enough, Tracy received a deluge of correspondence from people ready and willing to adopt these stranded babies. Despite being one of the most disgusting example of animal abandonment, it’s uplifting to know that the kittens will be given veterinary treatment and move to a loving home.
Even if you can’t take home any more shelter animals, you can always help contribute to shelters so we can protect as many pets as possible. Just because some pet owners can’t be responsible for the animals they claimed to care for doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t step up to help.
Infuriatingly humble web nerd. Hipster-friendly bacon trailblazer. SJW. Organizer. Professional communicator. Subtly charming writer.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →