Hello! I am alive and (relatively) well!
About two months ago, I started a new job working at an animal hospital. Anyone who knows me at all knows I am the biggest bleeding heart and love animals (more than people, if we’re being completely honest). Aside from working at the hospital, I also spend my Tuesdays volunteering at an animal shelter. Then I come home to my two kitties. My entire life at this moment revolves around animals, and I am so completely okay with that!
With that being said, most of us suck, y’all. The shelter I work at is a “second chance” shelter, meaning all of the animals within our walls are from other city shelters that were about to be euthanized. We have rule when adopting from us: if you can’t take care of your animal in the future, for whatever reason, we will take them back, no questions asked. This is because if they are taken to a city shelter, they will be immediately euthanized. We obviously want to prevent this. People bring their animals back for the most asinine and ridiculous reasons! Some I’ve heard personally:
–She’s not cuddly! I wanted a cuddle buddy! She just hid under the table the whole week! Well, for starters, if you want a cuddle buddy, get a dog. Cats don’t cuddle on anyone’s terms but their own. Do your research before committing to an animal. Furthermore, a week is not a lot of time to adjust to a new environment. They’ll come out, you just have to be patient!!
–They’re too high energy! They’re destroying my furniture! Yes. That’s what happens when you get a German Shepard. They are intelligent and active and get bored easily and when you don’t show then enough attention they entertain themselves by chewing up your furniture. We warned you. You didn’t listen.
–I just can’t deal with him. In regards to this specific dog, he had abandonment issues and separation anxiety. We made it clear that he could not be left alone for long amounts of time, or he would get upset. Don’t worry, you said, I can handle him. We all know what you meant when you said “I can handle him” if you bring him back three days later. He destroyed things when I left him at home for eight hours! He was supposed to be different for me! I’ve had 823472934237 dogs in the past and none of them ever had anxiety! Well, he does. He’s not going to get over it.
Look, I get it. Adopting a furry friend and bringing them home is a huge change in your life! When I brought home my kitten, Caviar, three years ago, it was a horrible adjustment period! I cried every night for weeks! He would keep me up all night! He destroyed my carpet! He would poop two inches next to his litterbox while looking me directly in the eye! He was a little shit! But I made a promise to him when I adopted him, and that was that he would never, ever go back to a shelter. I was his forever home. When I paid that 90-dollar cat adoption fee and loaded him up into my car on that warm October day, he was forever entering my family. No matter what.
My other cat has special needs. She’s not all there mentally. She’s not lovable, she doesn’t know how to meow or contract her claws, she’s clumsy as hell. I understand being frustrated with them because they’re just a cat and you don’t really think of cats as being mentally or physically disabled! But they definitely can be. Realize that that is a risk you take when adopting, just like you run that risk when having children.
Now onto the second part of this rant. Take your pets to the damn vet. Every damn year. Keep their shots current. Keep their nails trimmed. Too expensive to pay 15 dollars a month to get their nails trimmed? Ask the vet to teach you and do it yourself. Bathe them. Keep them groomed. If they’re acting sick or weird or off, take them to the vet. I don’t care if it costs 500 dollars! If you can’t afford to take care of your pet, then don’t buy a pet! Pets are fun! But they’re expensive, and they get sick just like people. If you can’t afford to vaccinate, or fix a surprise broken leg, or get the mats cut out of their fur, you don’t need to be adopting them in the first place. Pets cost much, much more than the adoption fee.
Look, I could keep going on and on about this forever. Rather than write 10 more pages, here are some ending bullet points:
- Animals are living creatures. They feel pain. They have emotions. They have personalities. They are not dolls for you to play with, or dispose of when you get tired of them.
- Don’t be afraid to take your animal to the vet if they’re injured. We won’t assume you’re abusing them. Accidents happen. We can generally tell if you’re abusing your animal.
- Please don’t declaw your cats. It’s more than removing their fingernails, it’s like removing their fingers up to the knuckle. It hurts them. It can change their personalities forever. It can make them aggressive. It should be illegal. I don’t care if they scratch up your furniture. I don’t care if they scratch you. Train them, or don’t get a cat.
- Please look up the breed before you blindly buy them. Some animals are harder to take care of than others. Some breeds have different personalities than others. Some are good with kids, some are not. Please make sure you know what you’re getting into before buying! Stick to easy to take care of, starter breeds if you’re a first-time pet owner.
This has been a rant. Now go give your furry friend a kiss from me.