by Paula Hunsaker
Rescue work is hard at times!
Our rescue over the years has seen and been through so much that is heartbreaking and joyful at times. But there are times when you have to stop and question the human race. I have learned over time that there is a huge difference between the mind of the public and the work of rescue. I have found over time that there are some very heartless humans. We get so attached to our rescue pets and some even become forever pets with the rescue. I have had long conversations with other rescue buddies: what will happen to our animals if something should happen to us? It’s something that so many rescues and the public don’t think about until it’s too late.
That’s the sad part. The animals end up at a high-kill shelter, confused and thinking they did something wrong. It’s just not fair! It’s something that doesn’t take hours to discuss with your family—what would you like to happen to forever pets if you should pass away? I saw a rescue CEO/Founder who didn’t make plans for their rescue animals, but other rescues jumped in to try and keep the animals from going back to a shelter. It’s just a simple discussion with your family, however, be sure to write out your wishes. Time and time again I have seen a family member dumping a pet that belonged to their loved one at a high-kill shelter. The animals grieve and do not do well at the shelters. It’s very sad to see this happening to an animal that loved its owner now sitting in a cold, noisy kennel with no warm bed to lay in and sleep or a bowl of their favorite food looking at maybe less than five days to live before being killed.
Our rescue focus is on saving cats mainly from shelters, but there are times we will help cats from the public. It all depends on our space and what is going on with a cat in need of help. For the past few weeks, we have been trying to help four cats named Kit-Kat, Stephanie, Spanky, Doot-Doot and two dogs named Stitch and Smokey. Their outcome wasn’t looking good after their owner passed away. They were looking at being dumped on the streets or at a shelter or left at the house they called home. It was a very stressful heartbreaking time. I wasn’t sure what I could do to help the two senior dogs since our rescue only does cats. So, with my thinking cap on, I had to go to work because I couldn’t bear the thought of the dogs being left behind or dumped at the shelter. We were given a deadline of November 3 to help these animals. The owner who passed away loved his animals. They were healthy and happy and such good pets. It was a very sad time for this family of pets.
On October 31, I was able to get two of the cats Kit-Kat and Doot-Doot out of the house; the ones closest to the person sleeping with him to the end. [Sad] I took them to our vet, and they checked out in good health. Kit-Kat is taking it hard not being with her owner. I had a blanket with his smell on it. I had given it to her when we got to the rescue. She knew the smell, and she sleeps on it every night. Doot-Doot isn’t so bad as Kit-Kat, but these two cats are very bonded. They wrap themselves up in his blanket.
We weren’t sure about the remaining animals inside the house. I worried about the two senior dogs. I knew I couldn’t take them into our rescue because we weren’t set up for dogs at all. I reached out to a rescue buddy, Rhonda Massey-Kacerek, about the dogs. She was going to see if she could find fosters for them. Our November 3 deadline was coming up or the animals would be left behind or dumped someplace unknown. Our communication wasn’t good with the contact person. Their response wasn’t good at the time. On the deadline day, I texted the person that I have rescue stepping up for the two dogs.
Rhonda and I went to the home to get Smokey and Stitch, the two dogs. When we got there, I asked about the two remaining cats, Spanky and Stephanie. I was able to get Spanky, but they said they didn’t know what happen to Stephanie. Rhonda was able to take the two dogs. They were sweet and well taken care of; just so full of life. As Rhonda played with them in the yard, I watched them running around the yard they called home for so long and they had no idea that it was the last time they would run in that yard. As Rhonda loaded them into the crate. I felt sad they were leaving a home that they were so loved in before their owner passed away. Rhonda did update me that she was going to try and keep them together when they are adopted. After they had lost their owner and home, they shouldn’t now lose each other. [Sad]
As I left, I felt hopeless for the last remaining cat in the house. When we left the house, we were told it was the last day to get any of the animals out of the house, but the next day I got a text message that they found Stephanie hiding in a closet. I did want her, of course, so I rushed over and got her. Now all the animals made it out of the house and are going to have a future! Not left behind!!
I want to thank Rhonda for taking the time to help save the dogs being left behind!
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