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Just feel like ranting.....

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sometimes I feel like people who try to do good things always end up behind the 8-ball. I am trying to take care of my kitties, and yet we have people to complain about so many cats, kitty poo-poos, etc., and yet they think nothing of dumping thei unwanted animals in the trailer park because "someone will take care of them". That someone is usually us. How come we are so "bad" to take care of these animals and yet the animals are "dumped" on us? Sorry about this, I guess I am just having a bad day.
post #2 of 23
Unfortunately that's a all too common problem. We maintain a feral colony at a nearby park and people are dumping their animals there on a regular basis. It's so sad.
post #3 of 23
I think it's really a matter of the value a person puts on other living things

Some people assign cats and dogs no rights at all. To them they are either pets that are there to entertain them and if they don't provide that entertainment, or do anything "wrong" then they are out the door.

Some people look at them as feeling, thinking (on their own level) beings that can hurt just like we do, feel lonely just like we can and of course, show love to those that love them back. And of course some people believe that if something lives and breathes it should have essentially the same rights as people assign to each other.

When I meet those in the first category I try to play to the way that they think. If they don't like cats, don't want to see them running around all over the place, the last thing they should do is dump them at a park or golf course (I remember trapping at one) or just by the side of the road. It means biting my tongue, but the idea is to get them to do something, anything other than dump and run.

After all, If they take them to the local shelter, at least there's a chance they'll find a home with someone who cares.

Hopefully through education fewer and fewer people will take kittens home and toss them when they are no longer "cute", more and more will think that adopting an adult from a shelter that neuters is a better choice for their family.

Jim

p.s. I understand it's pretty common on these message boards to have your own saying, so here's mine and the photo that goes along with it.

Cats are not toys. Toys don't love you back.
LL
post #4 of 23
Hey we're with you and who cares what those other people think? As Mother Thereasa said, do it anyways...do it if it gets put down or your work gets destroyed etc.

Blessings to you for your loving strength caring for those lovely cats!
post #5 of 23
my apologies. I have been having trouble posting and for some reason while on my end it was saying the post wasn't going through apparently if did...twice!
post #6 of 23
Hi KittenKiya and All,

I think about this a lot, too. I've come to the conclusion that in a lot of areas, our idea of the areas where we live change more slowly than the areas themselves do. And also, in general, there is WAY too little honest information about how many animals live in our communities, how many are handled by our shelters or pounds, and what the fate of these animals usually is.

As far as changes in thinking and living situations: there's a fast pace of development (at least, where I live there is) but people don't think of the natural and un-natural dangers faced by animals without owners. Out of sight, out of mind, rules. People think that if they never see a kitten or cat again, then surely that animal is romping (like you see in the commercials) through grassy fields, living it up. And cats CAN, and DO survive in some cases, and if they're really lucky, as we all know, they find a managed colony to join, and a caretaker who will look after them on behalf of her community! But, there are also many more roads, much higher speed limits, human (and non-human predators) today, nearly everywhere. So people are living in a dream-world as far as the fate of an abandoned animal is concerned.

But in terms of the truthful information , well, it is complex to present the reality in a way that will make people want to listen and think about it. If I were to get press about our local animal laws (pet limits, leash laws, shelter hold periods and the consequences of open admissions), I would be seen as attacking the shelter. I'm NOT, but that is the easy reaction people can have -- that geez, the shelter must be full of AWFUL people because they're killing animals. Well, they're killing animals more because the viewer doesn't care, than because they wish to harm an animal. But, how do you help someone to take responsibility? I've seen a lot of ways that DON'T work used here, not many that DO. And, don't get me started on the effects of the bad relations among rescuers and rescue groups and shelters. It doesn't help the animals, that's for sure.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by arizonacatman
my apologies. I have been having trouble posting and for some reason while on my end it was saying the post wasn't going through apparently if did...twice!
Got rid of that double post for you.
post #8 of 23
I understand how you all feel. It's such a cruel world for animals. 10 of my cats were from a feral colony. They would have met the fate of a bullet had I not saved them. One of my cats was a stray. Someones throw away in my old neighborhood. He was a sad little ragamuffin when I first took him in. Thats Simba in the picture below and he is now beautiful. Please check out my post on low cost mobile s/n clinics. Get the word out. Education is the only way to change the sad fate that so many companion animals meet.

I just popped in this morning and posted for the first time. I will be back. I have been online all morning. I gotta get something done today.

My kids

post #9 of 23
wow, jnhzoo, that first tuxedo kitty looks EXACTLY like my kitty maynard !
post #10 of 23
Jim...I LOVE your saying!!!

Honestly, I think we have tried for sooo long to concetrate on getting animals out of shelters alive...that there really hasn't been a lot of research into why do people "dump" animals and what we can do about it. Certainly there are the heartless...I don't want to have to drive to the shelter and surely someone will feed it and it is just an animal individuals. But then I think about the person who is trying to find a place for the cat..but all the rescues are full and he/she has heard that if the cat is taken to the local shelter it will surely be PTS....so in his/her mind, the cat at least has a "chance" if it is living outdoors. Also...there are areas where there isn't even a shelter to take cats..so unless you rehome them yourself..or find a rescue...then dumping becomes the other option. There may also be a cultural aspect to this that we just aren't aware of...it may be the "norm" in some countries to simply let your cat go.

Anyways...those are just my thoughts on this matter...and it is sad...and that is why I believe no cat or dog should ever leave a shelter or a rescue without being fixed first.

Katie
post #11 of 23


That's my Stripey, he's a big baby. He was a feral baby I took in at 8 weeks with his siblings. He's a big chicken. I tell him he is part chicken/part scaredy cat.

Hey TNR1, haven't I seen you somewhere before?
You are so right. No animals should leave shelters or rescues prior to being altered.
post #12 of 23
You are doing a good thing taking care of these cats that get dumped...don't let these people who complain get to you. You are sweet for helping.
post #13 of 23
Deb, thanks for fixing my double post. I'll be more careful in the future!

You know, I spent some 25 years in various communications positions, 15 of them working directly with the public and news media in one capacity or another. My rescue efforts compared to many are very small, but early on I got the impression that many groups are always trying to wrestle with how to best educate the public and of course, there's always the issue of available funding.

Phoenix has been very lucky, as I'm sure many of you know. Several of the groups were able to work together and get a sizable grant that's been used to staff and fund a separate organization that I believe is entirely devoted to supporting coordinated efforts amongst the groups and to educate the public.

I wasn't involved in the efforts, but I imagine it was very difficult just to get all the various groups together. Included the county animal countrol, which was key, I think. From what I hear, any community that is finding it hard to change a government funded agency's philosopy from one of euthanasia to one of TNR should talk to Maricopa County. At one point officials there were being quoted pretty heavily saying in essence, "we tried trapping and killing them for decades. It just doesn't work."

Clearly there is so much to do on all fronts. For myself, I try to give every person the benefit of the doubt and assume they do care about some things, perhaps just don't care about the same things as I, and that with the right message, the right approach, they may be opent to rethink their opinions on issues such as neuter, dump and run, etc.

It's hard, I know, for anyone who TNRs or who manages a feral colony to take the negative comments, or to wonder where that totally tame cat that's just appeared in the colony came from, but focusing on the task at hand and seeing the progress made on an individual scale, then multiplying it by the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in the world who are doing the same thing should bring encouragement to anyone.

I've heard it said that "it's all about the cats". Well on one level, I agree, but on another I worry about such phrases. After all, the root cause of out of control feral populations are people. Cats are cats and they do what they do. While it's pretty obvious that they're smarter and more capable of learning than some people realize, we're not going to teach cats not to breed!

People are the problem. People are the solution.

Jim
Cats are not toys. Toys Don't Love You Back
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the good words. I'm sorry, I was just beat. I decided that I needed another plant for my yard (you have GOT to be kidding me) and picked myself up a Lilac for my front yard. One of my neighbors came over to help me dig the hole, and we set that three-footer in with about 9 flowers spikes. About 1/2 hour later it started to rain, so my new baby got watered too. I stopped by this morning and already the neighborhood smells like Lilac. My yard is so pretty this time of year. The roses are bursting out all over, the aloe vera are all blooming with the hummers fighting over the Penstemons and aloes and driving the ferals nuts. My Tombstone rose is layered all up the side of the trailer and the big bush out front looked like a lemon-dot cushion. I did have one small altercation. Princess the last feral kitten, I caught her up the tree. See, she's not stupid, she's too small to chase the birds, she climbed the tree to let them come to her. Now mind you, this is in the front yard. I stood there and told her to get down out of the tree. She gave me a disgusted look and started down, slowly. She got halfway down and stopped and looked at me and I told her ALL THE WAY DOWN, PRINCESS! She slithered down and ran off. Sorry for the long post, but I guess I need to remember that I have some beautiful things here that include my babies, and I need to make sure that I have room for one more.
post #15 of 23
KittenKiya...another thing to be grateful is to live in a state where you have such great TNR organizations.

Katie
post #16 of 23
Don't let those bad comments get to you. You're doing a wonderful job. *hugs*
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by TNR1


Honestly, I think we have tried for sooo long to concetrate on getting animals out of shelters alive...that there really hasn't been a lot of research into why do people "dump" animals and what we can do about it.
I think also, just from the mechanical standpoint, it's hard to find someone who would ADMIT to a survey-taker that he or she had dumped an animal, isn't it? I can't really imagine too many people feeling exactly proud of the fact! I am one of those people who can be pretty calm with someone, (almost) no matter what he or she has done. Come to think of it, we had a caller who called several of the local groups a few years ago, and said "none of you will help me to get rid of this stray that's bothering my cats, so I'm just gonna drive him somewhere and let him go." And I have that person's contact info. AND, we are pretty sure that we ended up taking that cat in to our care. If I can get more info out of them than that when I contact 'em, I'll share.

There is also what they call "loosely owned" animals. (Maybe Katie, this is what you mean about cultural things) I don't think that many of those folks actually see themselves as owning those animals -- they see it as a temporary alliance, maybe. Like, someone is stationed with a job at one place, and starts feeding a stray cat. Maybe he lets the cat come inside once in a while. But then, the job changes or he gets transferred. He won't think of this as dumping, I bet, and yet, the effect is the same, ON THE CAT.

I think some of it is the idea that cats belong more to a place, than to people. And, in some ways, it's TRUE, and that's part of what makes those kind of ideas very hard to alter.

Finally, I think if we had better follow-through on TNR efforts, we would be better able to tell when a cat or kittens is dumped, and we'd have more chance to prosecute abandonment, or whatever we need to do to help. SO many people I am in touch with see it as "if I can take X cats *out* of your area I am gonna." And that doesn't really teach ANYONE much about cats and their care. I'm not a big fan of the idea of exporting problems to other places!
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by arizonacatman

You know, I spent some 25 years in various communications positions, 15 of them working directly with the public and news media in one capacity or another.

. . .
Phoenix has been very lucky, as I'm sure many of you know. Several of the groups were able to work together
Hey Jim,

If you have some tips on PR for animal welfare groups, please don't hesitate to toss 'em our way!! I am sure we all could learn from you!

Our organization used lots of the Maricopa County info with local animal control folks. I don't think that anyone had ever presented that to them before, so I was glad we made the effort. We have a loooong road to go on this issue, but it was a helpful step.

Hey, I have to say, Phoenix was maybe lucky, but more than that, they were smart! It's HARD to work together! I keep trying, and failing, so I know! It's so hard to know when compromise is right, and when you're selling the cats out. Everyone draws that line at a different point. And groups all think that they are in COMPETITION. Phoenix had some very grown-up, smart people, to figure out that working together would let them do more.

You're absolutely right that it is about the cats AND it is about people!!

Linda
post #19 of 23
Quote:
I think also, just from the mechanical standpoint, it's hard to find someone who would ADMIT to a survey-taker that he or she had dumped an animal, isn't it?
That's true Linda...and I guess where I was going with my point is that we are currently second guessing people and I don't know if that is fair. Would it make a difference if there were groups that worked directly with the public to help with rehoming pets? Would it make a difference if there were more community efforts to help with TNR and do follow up tracking?? Would it make a difference if the media got more involved and made a powerful statement not to dump?? I guess I'm just a solutions based person...it's what my job demands and I think that is why I try not to focus on what is wrong..but on how to change things. I like what the Tompkins SPCA is doing...as they get better control on their own shelter numbers...they are reaching out to the community to work on reoccuring issues...like offering free spays for the area where they receive 2 times the number of kittens as other counties. I just wish we could do more of that and stop being in this grey area where we just don't know.

Katie
post #20 of 23
Linda,

I imagine I could generate a list of "tips", but I firmly believe that the real solutions must come from within each group/community, etc.

Some old phrase about leading a horse to water comes to mind.

Like Katie, I'm very solutions oriented, but unlike her, I'm not in any position to give advice to the people who run animal rescue groups. Gaining respect and trust in animal rescue groups may well be harder than taming a feral, and while I've had success at the latter, I've been something of a failure at the former.

It may sound like something of a cop-out, but really, it's for the best that I not revert to type, tempting though it may be. I will try to provide encouragement and a little nudge now and then and If someone wishes to talk with me privately about some specific issue they're trying to resolve, I'll be glad to brainstorm with them. As I once said in a job interview, the biggest advantage I have is that I don't know all that much. Sometimes key players are just too close to the issue and bouncing things off someone not so deeply in the trenches may help.

I will say this. Phoenix's accomplishments have come about not so much because the people involved had some great revelations. It came about because the personalities involved wanted to make it happen. They wanted it badly enough that they kept their eyes on the ball, hard as I know it had to be at times. My hat's off to them for all they've been able to do.

Jim
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by TNR1
I guess I'm just a solutions based person...it's what my job demands and I think that is why I try not to focus on what is wrong..but on how to change things. I like what the Tompkins SPCA is doing...as they get better control on their own shelter numbers...they are reaching out to the community to work on reoccuring issues...like offering free spays for the area where they receive 2 times the number of kittens as other counties. I just wish we could do more of that and stop being in this grey area where we just don't know.

Amen to that! The key here is that Tompkins collected information and took the time to look at that information, remember. You can't "guess" where you're getting double the kittens from and focus efforts there. You need to go about it with intelligence.

We COULD do general surveys, not too expensively, and ask people for information, even on an anonymous basis. That's where the grey area would, it seems to me, resolve to black, white and smaller grey area.

I may not sound it here all the time, but, I am solutions-oriented myself. It's funny to think that I may come across as focussing on the downside -- guess I'd better just stick to my knitting more!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Like Katie, I'm very solutions oriented, but unlike her, I'm not in any position to give advice to the people who run animal rescue groups. Gaining respect and trust in animal rescue groups may well be harder than taming a feral, and while I've had success at the latter, I've been something of a failure at the former.
Jim....I do not have any type of position to tell shelters or rescues to do anything differently....in fact...that is why I primarily focus on areas that do not involve the shelter. If you are referring to my post to Mark...I simply want his feedback. I am not looking to change any of the parties...just get a fresh perspective on how to improve it.

I did recommend microchipping to my rescue and that is now in their "5 year plan"...so I'm happy about that. I have never liked that we can quote that we have a certain "return" rate when we do not know if anyone is dumping one of our dogs/cats at a shelter....contracts are all well and good....but enforcing them is another matter entirely.

I'm all for preadoptive spay/neuter...I think it is the ONLY way we can ensure these dogs and cats aren't going to get pregnant. However, there is a HUGE hole for me which is reaching out to the community and asking if people need assistance with their pets. I wonder how many hoarding situations/how many heartworm+ dogs we could avoid if we simply involved the community more in helping get spay/neuter/vaccines to the people that need it most....but I ramble AGAIN. And I'm sure that if Mark reads this post he will have his own opinions on this.

Katie
post #23 of 23
Quote:
I may not sound it here all the time, but, I am solutions-oriented myself. It's funny to think that I may come across as focussing on the downside
Hey Linda..there is a fine line between making a suggestion and telling someone what they should do differently. The first, gives them the option to incorporate the change or not incorporate it...the seconds has many underlying negatives associated to it...1. it implies they aren't doing a good job 2. it says they weren't proactive enough to think about this change and implement it before and 3. No one likes to be told what to do.

It's very important that we change our perspective to fit the situation and that we are willing to understand another person's point of view...even if we disagree with them.

I like the analogy of a person who notices that their neighbor isn't keeping up their yard...instead of telling the person.."hey your yard needs mowing"....perhaps the best approach is to make your yard the one that is the envy of the neighborhood....not only mow it...but give it great fertilizer, plant wonderful flowers, hang a few birdfeeders...have people NOTICE it. Once people notice it..they will come asking you how you did it...and then they too will go home and have a wonderful yard...and maybe, just maybe your neighbor will decide that he is tired of being the eye soar and start mowing his yard. Tompkins County is a role model to other communities, not because Nathan decided to take on the country...but because Nathan decided to clean up his own "yard" so to speak.

We can have opinions on how we would like things to be...we can work towards implementing those ideas in our own programs. I think that is the way to enact change. In our own "yard".

Katie

P.S. Turning a negative into a positive is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Yes...there is a lot that is still "negative" out there....but we cannot focus solely on that or we will not be able to see and enjoy the positives that are happening around us...small as they may be.
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