Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just Another Miscellaneous Vent

Everybody that I've spoken to seems to be having "one of those weeks". I guess I've been no exception. Although it's been a great rescue week, it's also been full of weirdness (for lack of a better word) and sad moments mixed in with the joy of the rescue. I guess that's part of rescue life, but it certainly bears the need to talk about it here a bit.

Since I've been going to the shelter a lot more lately, I've been running into some of the usual things that happen at an Animal Services location. On a usual rescue run this week, this guy from the Ministry of Health (or whatever the hell) was there. I was skipping around "la-la-la-la" with my empty cat crate in tow getting a cat from the shelter's garage area. When this guy holds up a heavy plastic bag and says, "I have to cut this dead dog's head off, so if you don't want to see it, you might want to leave."

When an animal comes in with suspected rabies, they euthanize the animal and send the head off for testing purposes. It's morbid, but necessary.

I guess it's the same reason that people slow down to look at car accidents. I was grossly curious and ashamed of myself for actually slowing down to see what he was going to do. I couldn't follow through - but I was surprised that I wanted to see it.

On that same day at the shelter, there was a dead calico cat in a clear plastic bag on top of a freezer- obviously brought in after being hit by a car. I wondered if there was a little family grieving over the loss of their cat. Then I thought, "Screw 'em...they shouldn't have let her outside."

Yesterday, I was walking through a dog holding area to visit "Waffles", (my favourite) a fat little cat that can't fit into a cat cage. I spotted two of the cutest little pugs! I stopped to "awwwwwwww" at them. They were wiggling and looked very happy to see me. A staff member told me to "keep walking"...the owners signed them over to be euthanized. They couldn't be rescued. The reason? "They were old".

Cowards. They couldn't take their two "beloved" dogs to the vet and hold them while they passed away? Cowards! Cowards! Cowards!

Today I was leaving with my newly rescued little guys when two women were bringing in two very frightened cats in crates. Should've kept my big mouth shut, but I didn't. When I inquired as to why they were surrendering their cats. Both women caught me totally off guard when they burst into tears. The one woman explained that these cats belonged to her daughter who was now on life support and dying at the hospital. (The other woman was the Aunt)

Oddly enough, my first thought was to comfort the women who were completely shattered. I was too taken back to tell them that their daughter would probably haunt them for dumping her (obviously VERY LOVED) cats at the shelter. Instead, I found myself telling them that I'd try very hard to rescue her cats. Shit. Why did I feel the need to comfort them? They were doing the wrong thing and would regret it later. Those cats were probably going to be a wonderful, loving link to her daughter after she's gone. Those cats just lost *everything* too.

It's only Wednesday night and it's been a crazy few days. I'm going back to the shelter again tomorrow - 4th day in a row. I really need an afternoon to myself to buy my anti-wrinkle crap, hair gunk, and all the other stuff that keeps a 47 year old woman looking 47. Maybe some new shoes too....

Shoes! Gold coloured flats. Something comfy that I can walk around in the shelter in. (Doh!)


ctinz said...

Two things:

1. Sorry your week has been shitty =(. Thats just too much sad/weird/horrible things in a row.

2. I LOVE WAFFLES. That cat makes my heart SO happy. The picture with her tongue out completes meee.

Hope this week gets better for you though!

meredith r. mistletoe said...

wow, hard work you do...
I think you were right to comfort those women though, yeah they were maybe making a mistake but they were obviously going through a whole lot and didn't need more to deal with.

I'm very glad that you do what you do and I think you're very brave!

RHz said...

Who is Waffles, and where can we see a picture of him? He sounds like a fab reason to smile.

whitesocks said...

Beth, I know you don't know me but would it at all be possible for me to talk to you on the phone for just a few minutes? I'm having some serious poop issues with a semi tame stray that was badly injured and have been taking to the vet and now want to try fostering and placing once she is well (I've fostered all my life, but not dealt with this particular issue before). I don't have the heart to put her out again, especially as she seems to be deaf (the people whose house she's been hanging around for some years also say she is deaf). Would you mind? I'm so sorry to impose...but I wondered if you might have some ideas...

House of the Discarded said...

Whitesocks: I'm happy to help! Afterall, I'm the "Cat Poop Guru"! Please send me an email: and I'll send you my contact info :)

RhZ: I'm trying to find Waffle's picture! OMG>'d LOVE her! She's 22 lbs of love-muffin!

Fred said...

I know a lot of people use TAS' low cost euthanasia service and maybe many of them, if not most of them, have to use it because they can't afford a full service vet euth but still, I hate it whenever I hear about it. I'm always suspicious of owners just using some "Oh they're too sick," or "Oh they're too old excuse" to dump their pets but I know that's not a fair judgment.

The last time, I saw a man bring in his old beagle. He had a quiet conversation with the receptionist and then he paid the $38 with his Visa and one of the vet techs was called to reception to get the dog. The man started crying as he handed the dog over and the dog, a little confused, was lead away on his stiff old legs by the vet tech.

That's no way to say goodbye. I'm going to ask someone at TAS tomorrow why they won't allow the owners to be in the room during the euth. Yeah, it's a cruddy, cold, clinic room but at least owner and pet should be allowed to be together for the pet's last moments.

House of the Discarded said...

RhZ: Just posted a picture of my Waffles! I can't think of another name better for her, can you? :) :)

House of the Discarded said...

Fred: I would love to know the answer. Please let me know. It's really been eating at me about those pugs.