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Do you ever feel guilty for not taking in an animal?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
On Facebook, I am part of two NB SPCA groups. A few days ago they had sent out a notice saying they were in desperate need of a home for a poor Terrier mix named Lady who has had a rough life and wont live much longer. She was part of 60 dogs that were seized from a senior’s home that had passed away. She is 12 years old and had her last litter a few months ago, she has a tumor in her mouth and mammary gland tumors and is missing most of her teeth. They say she will live another year or two before her tumors cause her to stop eating all together and she will have to be put down.

Of course my heart went out to her and I asked my boyfriend if we could consider taking her in. To my irritation he didn’t even acknowledge it and it seemed like he acted like I didn’t even ask. I didn’t push it because as annoyed as I was at his reaction I can’t complain much since we have four animals when he didn’t even want one. A part of me was panicking that something bad would happen, I contributed that to my OCD’ishness and still didn’t say a word. I really felt like I should have pushed it, and I started to feel upset and stressed, but like I said I didn’t want to complain much because I appreciate the fact the we have the four we have and my boyfriend understands how much I love animals.

Anyway, as usual here I am writing a story. I did not check my email all weekend. I checked it last night as saw there was an urgent email for the SPCA claiming that Lady was put into foster care and escaped. They were pleading for help because Lady was missing since Friday. She is afraid of noises, people and other animals and has no teeth, she is also 12 years old and cant fend for herself. They were asking everyone to look for her because they feel it will be impossible to find her due to all her issues. Its been 4 days… I have a feeling she wont be found.

As soon as I read this email I felt horrible. I felt like it was my fault, I knew something bad would happen but I didn’t push it. As soon as my boyfriend went to bed I spent a good hour in the bathroom crying. I have a feeling she wont survive, or she may have died already.

Am I being over emotional to cry so hard and long for a dog I never knew or am not sure if she’s alive or dead? I just feel so bad, I feel like I could have made this old girls retirement wonderful to make up for 12 hard years. Even if it was for only 1-2 years.

Sorry for the long story.
post #2 of 10
As sad as it is, don't be too hard on yourself. We would all like to save all the animals but it is impossible. We each can only do so much and I believe in karma. In my honest opinion, Lady was in such a bad way that with 59 other dogs from that home, the kindest thing they could have done for her at her age and in her condition healthwise would have been to euthanize her. That may sound harsh but it would have been the kindest and most gentle way to ease her probable pain.

I think it's OK to cry for her and worry about what may have happened to her but don't blame yourself.
post #3 of 10
Yes I do feel guilty. But I know my limits and if I can help in other ways I will. Unless you are single or as a couple you both have agreed to help out animals or be foster family, then its very difficult to work out when one wants to do it and the other really doesn't.

I commend those that are willing to go the extra mile for these animals.
post #4 of 10
I felt really guilty about not adopting a little tuxedo kitten that showed up in my garden... he was scared, dirty, sick, and super sweet, a real heartbreaker.

I was so guilty that I changed my mind, and that's how we got Zero.
post #5 of 10
Oh, yes, I have felt guilty, but hard as it is, I know I can't save them all. Even when you're single, you still have to be realistic about finances, space and how the resident animals would react to a newcomer. It can be very tough emotionally and I sometimes wonder 'what if'.
post #6 of 10
I have been there. I think we all need to find our limit on what number of animals we are able to bring in to our families, and when you are sharing your home with a SO that means some compromises. I have been through major conflicts in my marriage about taking in needy animals, because my DH's personal limit is lower than mine. I had to come to the realization that if I want to help needy animals, I need to find ways to accomplish that goal that do not involve me bringing each one that captures my heart into our household, so right now I am looking for a shelter to volunteer at. Perhaps you could look into ways you could contribute that do not involve fostering or adopting more animals.

In the past several months I have begun to appreciate the fact that my DH's limits are actually helpful to me in being realistic about how many animals I can take on. His heartstrings are not pulled as tightly as mine, so he is a good barometer for me to look to. I hope you two can find a middle ground you are both content with!
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
As sad as it is, don't be too hard on yourself. We would all like to save all the animals but it is impossible. We each can only do so much and I believe in karma. In my honest opinion, Lady was in such a bad way that with 59 other dogs from that home, the kindest thing they could have done for her at her age and in her condition healthwise would have been to euthanize her. That may sound harsh but it would have been the kindest and most gentle way to ease her probable pain.

I think it's OK to cry for her and worry about what may have happened to her but don't blame yourself.
Linda said it very eloquently... I have taken in a few "lost causes "and thou each gave me more than I gave them , each would have been better let over the bridge rather than with me ...
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. They still have not found her and I fear the worse. I don’t see how she could have survived this long… It’s just so sad. I agree with euthanizing her. I think they did not put her down because she was pregnant… but I am not sure of this. I know this SPCA puts down a lot of animals due to the fact that they are tiny, and funded solely on donations in a small town that doesn’t care about animals.

My boyfriend and I had the discussion about our “Limitsâ€. We had never discussed this before and after reading this thread I decided it was time. I told him my limit was 1.5 more. Meaning one more dog for Bruney to play with and a spot open for foster dog/cats who need some care. He said we were one over his limit and he only wanted 2 cats and a dog. I think we compromised that we would get one more dog just because poor Bruno has no one to play with and scratch the fostering. We did discuss maybe fostering a pregnant cat to experience birth giving once since I have always wanted to do something like that. All this when we move.

I still hope Lady is doing OK and hopefully someone took her in. If she did pass on at least people knew about her and she will not become just some sad dog that died after a horrible life no one knew about.

Thanks guys, you guys are great.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
As sad as it is, don't be too hard on yourself. We would all like to save all the animals but it is impossible. We each can only do so much and I believe in karma. In my honest opinion, Lady was in such a bad way that with 59 other dogs from that home, the kindest thing they could have done for her at her age and in her condition healthwise would have been to euthanize her. That may sound harsh but it would have been the kindest and most gentle way to ease her probable pain.

I think it's OK to cry for her and worry about what may have happened to her but don't blame yourself.
This.

I don't feel guilty that I can't adopt/foster an animal. I feel sad sometimes, but I know I'm not in a position to help by fostering right now. You have to know what you can handle, and help based on that. It can be hard to turn away animals, but if you try to take them all, you will quickly get in over your head. You gotta do what you can, when you can.
post #10 of 10
I feel guilty all the time. But I know that i cant afford more than i have. What life would it be like if i had 10 cats, they would be miserable, couldnt afford vet bills, or food daily so they would be better off without me. As sad as it is we cant save every animal, even though i wish i could. I try every day to make my cats/dog and horses lives as good as I can, so that they are happy. Im sorry to hear about Lady, I hope she is not in pain. I just cant see an elderly women having 60 dogs?? That just sounds like too much, for them to all get adequate treatment to me. And dont beat yourself up on this, it is not your fault this happened to her!!
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