Thursday, June 14, 2012

Duped Again

Once and for all, I'd like to explain why I don't like taking cats from the public.  I hope you can follow this timeline:

Wednesday 7 pm - urgent plea from several rescues for a destitute woman about to surrender her 1 and a half year old cat to Toronto Animal Services where they would immediately euthanize him due to overcrowding.  She's very very poor and out of options.  He hasn't been neutered but is up to date on his shots. Beth, can you take him?

Wednesday 7:05 - Can she contribute $$ to his neuter?  No.  She's very poor. 

Wedneday 7 pm- 9 pm - Received SEVEN phone calls from this girl begging me to save the life of her beloved cat.  I spent TWO freakin' hours trying to return her calls, but she wouldn't pick up.  No voicemail either. 

Thursday 8 am - More urgent voicemails from this woman. 

Thursday 9 am - I finally connected with her.  Cat is really 3 years old (gee, big surprise)but current on his shots.  Not neutered.  (Sounds suspicious.  Since when is a cat taken in for his vaccinations but NOT neutered?) 

Thurday 10 am - 11 am - More phone calls as she has NO transportation to bring me the cat.  She wants me to drive an hour to pick him up.  NO.  I believe if you're going to dump your cat, you need to take SOME responsibility for Chrissake. 

Thursday 11:30 - She's taking the Train where I will pick her up at 1:08 and take her to the vet with me so that she can say good bye and see that I'm not really as bitchy as I sound on the phone.  I was feeling bad at that point because I was so aggravated with all the phone calls.

Thursday 1:08 - Train is on time.  Lucky me!  She has the orange guy with her and seems like a nice young girl.

Thursday 1:30 - We get to the vet where she presents the health records for the cat.  Of course, the cat is NOT up to date on the shots.  The shots were more than 2 years old.  (Ask me if I was surprised.)

Thursday 1:35 - The cat is very sweet and healthy looking.  She didn't lie about that.  (Yes, I was surprised!)  She says her good bye's to the cat (no tears) and we leave him there to be neutered.

Thursday 2:00 - On the way back to the train,  she shows me her sunburned arm where she PROUDLY tells me that she just got back from Cuba where she had taken her Mom as a present for Mother's Day. 

Thursday 2:01  THE Moment where I realized that I will NEVER take another cat from the public again. 


shannon said...


Anonymous said...

Oh, I hope you laid into her... But suspect you didn't.

House of the Discarded said...

Anonymous: I didn't. I was really speechless. Thank heaven for this blog.


Sparkle said...

Darn. I was hoping to hear some really good 4-letter words at 2:02.

ABBY said...

Only for the kitties sake I am glad that you did go through all of that.
Otherwise I completely understand your stand and you are absolutely justified in feeling used. But you did save this kitty and that is a definite win!

Anonymous said...

As someone who also helps rescue cats, I understand your frustration.

However, as the person who got you in contact with this individual, I'm sad to see that you seem unable to look at the bigger picture. Yes, the woman said she had no money and couldn't afford to pay for vetting. Instead of being immediately suspicious like some volunteers would, I took her at her word, was sympathetic to her plight and wanted to help.

Ultimately, the bigger issue is that she had a cat that she could no longer take care of and with no help available, his status looked grim. Whether or not her mother actually had severe allergies is now besides the point. The fact is she no longer could care for this cat (for whatever reason) and decided to do the humane thing by finding a home for it, whether permanent or temporary.

I've also been "burned" before by people who have lied about their financial situation and the physical/behavioural condition of their cat. But after getting past the immediate frustration and anger, I was able to take comfort in the fact that I helped a cat from ending up on the street or in a bag in a morgue. I've worked in clinics and have seen the horrific conditions that owned animals sometimes arrive in while living with "good owners". If this individual decided that she'd rather find a better place for her cat than neglect or abandonment, what's wrong with that?

I think we sometimes get jaded and focus on the perceived slights and the wool being pulled over our eyes, completely missing the fact that we helped an animal. I hope this doesn't taint your view of the public, especially owners surrendering their cats, but I feel it may be too late already.

Debbie said...

I'm surprised you didn't slam on the breaks and make her walk the rest of the way !!!
Your a good woman Beth!!

House of the Discarded said...

Anonymous: No need to be offended by this blog post. We all try to do our best. My blog is a look at MY FEELINGS in cat rescue. This is what happened to ME TODAY. This isn't about you. Like it or not - you were duped too.

Anonymous said...

That was dispicable actions on this girls part she was/is selfish and stupid and probably very proud of herself to have 'conned' an innocent person and rescue. It is peolpe like her who truly jepordize a true in need person/cat - disgusting! I hope the saying what goes around comes around is true and she too will know what deception is all about in her life!

JLi said...

OMG...what a b&%$*@. Sorry...oh these people really piss me off. I don't blame you one bit. She's a fraud.

Renee said...

Dear Ms Person Who Got Beth In Touch... did you read carefully? Did you get the POINT? A "destitute" woman who had no money to contribute to getting the cat neutered - or vaccinated - and undoubtedly didn't make a donation to Beth in gratitude - bragged about the TRIP TO CUBA she just returned from. Do you see the "what the hell" there? Unless she came back from Cuba with a digestive tract full of heroin, she ain't destitute and could have coughed up a few bucks towards HER cat's care.

You might want to tone down the haughty, patronizing superiority, by the way. Tut-tutting at Beth like she's a newbie to this gig? Really?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments from anonymous. Rescue should be about rescuing cats that have no other options. He sounds like he is highly adoptable and it may end up costing you a few extra bucks but at least he is safe. Anyone in rescue should not be in it to make money. As a Rescuer of cats from the shelter you used to rescue from it costs money to medicate and treat the illnesses, whether they be viral, ringworm, broken bones etc. Rescue is a money sucker but saving those precious lives is worth it.

Anonymous said...

ok...take a deep that you've vented and got it off your chest aren't you glad, deep down inside, that you've helped a cat in need? Really, that's the whole point, right?

Cindy said...

Wow... Ms Anonymous-who-got-Beth-get-in-contact, how about you started with saying a big thank you to Beth for stumping up the money for a neuter *and* vaccinations that were apparently not up to date at all, instead of patronising the bejeezus out of her?

Beth stepped up, helped out and when she shares her frustration at this "supposedly" poor woman (then again, she did only have money to fly to Cuba and not Aruba, spare a thought for the poor soul!), Beth gets scolded for "not seeing the bigger picture" as if she's some four year old who's still wet behind the ears. (I have to admit, Renee put it a lot better than I do)

The point was, this woman *lied*. She was not destitute, she was *not* poor, she was just hideously irresponsible! She threatened to take the cat to a high kill shelter *unless* a rescue stepped up Right Now!

Of course "the bigger picture" is that this cat's life was saved but because this owner was irresponsible and Beth will have to fork out money for neuter and vaccinations, it means *that* money will now not be available to pay for the rescue of a shelter cat.

How's that for a bigger picture?

Anonymous said...

Hey to the Anonymous who also rescues cats; why did you not rescue this cat? How come your rescue did not "see the bigger picture"? Why did you put the lying girl in touch with Beth instead of rescuing the cat yourself? Maybe you should step up to the plate before you shit on Beth for sharing HER opinion on HER blog?

On to the next Anonymous who left comments about rescue not being about making money. First off do you read this blog regularly? Beth has been saying for the past little while adoptions are very slow. So if adoptions are slow there is no money coming in. If there in no money coming in how does one pay for vetting of more cats? I never once heard Beth say she in rescue for the money. Nothing could be further from the truth! I can't imagine how much Beth has spent of her OWN money working in rescue. You mention you rescue cats from a high kill shelter; maybe your rescue could use another "highly adoptable" cat?

Just a reminder people. This is Beth's blog to express her opinion. If you don't like it; stop reading her blog! She has every right to express her opinion whether you agree or not. Beth should not have to edit her emotions is anyway!


House of the Discarded said...

To Renee, Cindy and JB: Thank you so much for saying it better than I did!


Cindy said...

To anonymous-who-agreed-with-the-first-anonymous, I'm sorry, but did you just accuse Beth of being in rescue for the money? Because, you know what, it kind of sounded like that when you said "Anyone in rescue should not be in it to make money".

I really don't understand that comment anyway because it has absolutely *nothing* to do with what Beth was saying in the blog.

She was venting about irresponsible owners and not about how much money she's now *not* going to make on this cat (yeah Beth, I can see you laughing all the way to the bank now that you've taken up the lucrative business of cat rescuing...)

As for your "it may end up costing you a few extra bucks" comment...Really? Beth runs a rescue. This cat is not the only cat she has. I'm pretty sure *most* of the cats she rescues end up "costing a few extra bucks". Where are all those "few extra bucks" going to come from?

It seems to some people, Beth is damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. Imagine what those people would have said if she *hadn't* taken the cat.

Anyway, I've now ended up posting twice to remonstrate with anonymous people who clearly didn't get the point of the blog but I haven't actually thanked Beth for stepping up and rescuing this cat. Thank you Beth! You are doing an awesome job and I can totally understand the frustration and the need to vent. I know you will have been diplomatic to that stupid, irresponsible woman and I admire you for that. I don't think I could have been.

Renee said...

Well said, Cindy. Beth, like all rescues, has finite funds and spaces. If Ms Liar Von Went to Cuba had coughed up fifty bucks - you know, one round of Mai Tais on the beach - Beth wouldnt have written this post. Because yes, crap happens and sometimes someone simply has to rehome a pet. And yes, sometimes people are so impoverished that they can't keep up with the basics. Ms Liar may have been the former, but not the latter. She stole another abandoned cat's chance for rescue. Finite funds, remember? So, Ms Got Beth Involved and friend, here's what you need to post: "Thank you so much, Beth, for bailing out that stupid girl when we wouldn't. We're going to PayPal you a little contribution, since we dragged you into this"

T said...

Beth - I love your blog, and I love when you post a personal one like this, because that's what blogs are for. If I could add an entry to the timeline: 2:20 - thinking about how to blog this. Thanks for keeping your blogging honest, and thanks for rescuing the orange fellow who deserves a better owner than Miss Sunburn, and thanks to the young woman for at least calling around to rescues to look for a solution that seemed nicer than dumping him at Animal Services. Some day, Miss Sunburn, you will be required to return the act of unselfish kindness. Be prepared! And to Anonymous. Sigh.

~*Connie*~ said...

I was speechless until I saw the reply from "As someone who also helps rescue cats,"


People who 'don't have money to care for their cats' for the most part CHOOSE not to have money to care for their cats. Yes, a lot of the time they choose to put food on their table and clothes on their back, but when that food is lobster and those clothes are designer, you have to wonder why on earth HER cat is someone else's responsibility because she chose to go to Cuba. or because her mother is allergic, or what ever reason that came up.

owning a pet is a financial burden. it is part of the deal. You own a pet it costs money. if you want to stop owning a pet it should cost money.

It isn't like the cat simply stops needing to be cared for simply because she wants to stop caring for it (but doesn't want it to die)

She is an ass. It is people like her that ruin it for people who are facing choices of ramen noodles for food or not eating and need serious help.

and saying such callous things AFTER THE FACT is of absolutely no help to anyone. If you want to be of help, step up and help this poor cat out. Heck even go out of your way and find this young girl and help her because she is so financially strapped. I mean she had to go to Cuba and didn't go to Monaco.

Caroline said...

Beth, despite the circumstances surrounding this cat, he is a very lucky boy right now being in your care even though he is now missing 2 of his boys and might not feel so lucky! Please post pics of this guy when he recovers. You saved him and any future litters he may have fathered. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone, as the friend of anonymous who was in touch with Beth about the case, I know her heart was in the right place wanting to help this cat who was called in on another rescue hotline. I think she doesnt want to admit she was conned as well, since anonymous spent many hours with liar liar pants on fire and it is hard to think that you allowed someone to take advantage of you like that. All being said though, I applaud Beth for her efforts in this case and all of her other instances where she steps up to the plate. If I had been you, the passenger would have been walking to the train after I drove her further out to a remote field! Thanks for everything Beth. This was truly a labour of love to get him out of there.
Jennie Birnbaum.

Lisa Brost said...

I volunteer for another rescue. My primary role is interacting with the public. It sickens me that this lady defrauded a charity and then was stupid/arrogant enough to basically boast about it. I take calls from many people who are in tears because horrible things have happened to them and they are financially unable to continue to care for their much loved pet.In many cases, they are still willing to give what little they have to try to help their pet. This chick took money FROM A CHARITY through deceit so that she could save a few bucks and drink a few more mojitos. Those funds could have gone to helping truly needy folks find a new home for their cat or otherwise help abandoned cats. I really hope that karma comes along and bites this girl in her sunburned little...

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I haven't been away on a vacation since my honeymoon. We'll be celebrating 30 years this year ... and we have adopted two of your cats this year (so far) to add to the rest of our gang.

selkie said...

what a cow. I hope she reads here how despicable most of us find her. Beth was duped. Plain and simple. She is an honourable rescuer who ALWAYS ensure HER responsiblities are taken care of this - this selfish brat has taken advantage of that. I KNOW people like that brat. A woman I work with I can barely talk to lately (luckily only see her when I'md oing OT) Same CRAP. She has THREE- yes THREE, unspayed females (2 are the first one's kittens)- her "mother" cat has had THREE litters - ALL of which (with the exception of the two kittens) were dumped at HAMILTON ANIMAL CONTROL. I todl her bluntly they were DEAD and she was like, of really? I said DONT YOU DO RESEARCH ... she was like "oh, we have no money" - this AFTER having JUST showed me two kitchen appliances which cost the better part of $1000 that she had bought for her "business" - she makes cakes as a sideline, maybe one a month AND has a kitchen aid mixer ALREADY. Then last week she tells me about the NEW pool they just got and the NEW windows they just put in. BITCH. Priorities ... this girl is exaclty like that