Disposable Pets

weeziepops 14 January 2010 28

I popped in to the RSPCA today to get some medication for the kittens I am fostering. While I was there I was surprised to see a kitten from a previous litter there. I asked if he had not yet been adopted and the staff told me the person who adopted him had brought him back. Why? He was sneezing. What is happening for him now? Well, colour me surprised – he is being treated and will no doubt be perfectly fine in a week or two. At which point he will go back up for adoption, albeit as an older kitten competing with the arguably cuter babies. The “owner” did not want to take the kitten back and manage its treatment (which the RSPCA would pay for, anyway) or take it back once it is well again. I don’t get it. When you adopt a pet, you are adopting it for its lifetime – or should be, anyway. How is it that so many people feel able to unload their unwanted animals onto someone else to care for? In the case of older pets, how can someone own an animal for years and yet still be able to give that pet away when it becomes inconvenient, knowing that the animal may end up being put to sleep? Am I missing something? Are those Rioters who have given up their pets able to share with me why they came to do it and how it made them feel?


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YourWelcome YourWelcome 10:43 am 10 Feb 10

In response to CHW…

True, there are obviously situations where animals are no longer able to be cared for due to unforseen circumstances surrounding mental health issues or domestic issues etc. However, as has been previously stated, the RSPCA is not able to look after the hundreds of pets which get left there so often due to many reasons, including mental health.

I think the most important thing is that if you are thinking of getting a pet, you should have thought about whether or not you’re ready to have one. If it was only a kitten, you can’t have had it for long. Mental health issues usually take years to culminate, and before deciding to adopt a pet your mental state should have been taken into consideration. This is not descrimination, every single person who decides to adopt a pet should consider whether or not they are prepared to look after it long term and take their mental health into account.

I suppose it is better that it was returned to the RSPCA rather than being tossed to the sidewalk (as some heartless, disgusting people do). I also know that mental health issues can be hard to notice by yourself sometimes. But that’s why I would suggest to future pet owners to go, however trivial it may seem, and make sure there aren’t any underlying health issues that could just pop up.

Don’t get me wrong, I know they’re sometimes unavoidable, but now maybe we see it’s sometimes worth checking?

deejay deejay 8:55 am 17 Jan 10

Regarding the mental health situation discussed above, I agree that there should be some kind of fostering service available for much-loved pets whose owners temporarily cannot look after them.

It isn’t just a compassionate thing, although compassion is itself an important value. It’s been verified that pets are often a reason that people stay in abusive homes – they can’t take their animals to a refuge, and/or the abusive partner threatens the animal if they leave. They’re also a common reason that people don’t submit to necessary in-patient care (mental health and otherwise). Social ills are needlessly, and expensively exacerbated by our society’s inability to provide short-term animal care support.

Tooks Tooks 2:12 pm 16 Jan 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Doesn’t work for driving cars. People who do the right thing will do so regardless of any licensing arrangement, and scumbags will do the wrong thing no matter how many multiple choice tests they’ve done or how many laminated cards you give them.

Mmm, too true!

weeziepops weeziepops 1:06 pm 16 Jan 10

#18 – WTF does my disappoval have to do with anything? I am asking what causes a person to dump their pet, not standing outside the RSPCA berating them for it. Idiot.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 12:33 pm 16 Jan 10

Doesn’t work for driving cars. People who do the right thing will do so regardless of any licensing arrangement, and scumbags will do the wrong thing no matter how many multiple choice tests they’ve done or how many laminated cards you give them.

Tooks Tooks 10:03 am 16 Jan 10

Maybe we need to introducing licencing for owning pets. It’s clear a lot of people shouldn’t be allowed to own any animal.

cleo cleo 2:09 am 16 Jan 10

Maybe the person got sick of their new toy, how could they? Look at the adorable little kitten.

Jacko Jacko 9:37 pm 15 Jan 10

I can’t believe how some people treat animals, maybe it would save the RSPCA and the government lots of money and also not to mention the suffering for the poor animals if they desexed dogs and cats for free fr pensioners and low wage earners. Maybe they could get trainee vets to do it or even train people just to do that? Just a thought!

Dougal Dougal 7:51 pm 15 Jan 10

CHW said :

Stability would be easier to achieve if my cats had been held for me until I got back on my feet. ‘Cause then I would not have the added anguish of explaining to my kids – frequently, even now it is three years on – that their pets were given to other people because mum was sick and couldn’t look after them.

Hey, I still have my kids, and have been supported in my parenting of them by government funded bodies: but the RSPCA decided I should not have my cats returned to me.

I sincerely empathise with your situation, and I truly do not intend any offence by my comment to follow –

Why exactly *should* the rspca be responsible for holding on to your pets while you (or anyone else in a situation where they are unable to care for them temporarily) recover or stabilise yourself? The staffing and daily care costs for animals must be astronomical considering the amount of unowned pets they already care for.

How long should be allowed for somebody to get back on their feet – days, weeks, months?The RSPCA is not a government agency, and should not be expected to be able to perform the same sort of duties as an agency with a seemingly bottomless pit of money.

If my comment makes readers angry, don’t direct your anger at me – why not direct your anger more constructively toward the government and the allied health services who do not seem to understand that being forced to give up a beloved pet in times of trouble is likely traumatic, and in no way conducive to recovery. You would not be expected to give up a child, so why another family member?

Don’t blame the rspca for finding a home for your pets, just be thankful that they could.

Pandy Pandy 7:47 pm 15 Jan 10

Sufferin’ succotash!!!

Dat pus haz no ears.

loosebrown loosebrown 4:27 pm 15 Jan 10

I agree Weezie – best make people feel bad about bringing pets back. That way they will tie them to a post and stove their heads in with a cricket bat rather than endure your disapproval.

CHW CHW 4:21 pm 15 Jan 10

@ niftydog…

Oh really? So offering temp accomodation for them until I sorted myself out is too … what, hard?

@MSG…

Indeed, my GP supported me until the Mental Health Crisis team could get there. Thankyou for your concern.

Quick Thread Hijack:

I recommend that if others are feeling wobbly, call your GP, explain to the receptionist it would be a good idea to see your GP immediately, and then reveal how you are feeling to them. Feeling fragile is an indicator that you may need to share “where you really are” with someone trained to help.

End Hijack, Continue Rant:

Stability would be easier to achieve if my cats had been held for me until I got back on my feet. ‘Cause then I would not have the added anguish of explaining to my kids – frequently, even now it is three years on – that their pets were given to other people because mum was sick and couldn’t look after them.

Hey, I still have my kids, and have been supported in my parenting of them by government funded bodies: but the RSPCA decided I should not have my cats returned to me.

threepaws threepaws 12:09 pm 15 Jan 10

DodgyBoys said :

And I have to say I never saw my cat as disposable…something to be returned if she wasn’t ‘right’. I would never have given her up, but I would liked to have known about the health problem.

Someone will undoubtably come back in this forum and say that the RSPCA couldn’t have known she was sick – but she was sick from the time I got her. And I believe they can test for the disease. And the disease is highly transmissible to other cats. Not good folks.

They test cats for the disease, not kittens under 6 months of age.

weeziepops weeziepops 10:09 am 15 Jan 10

I have had several cats with feline aids. I know this can severely foreshorten their lives but it is in no way predicatble. One of my FIV positive cats lived to age 16 with minimal health problems and another is about 12 and just starting to show signs of poor health. Just as HIV is not a death sentence, neither is FIV and it is a shame that the RSPCA is in a position which makes it difficult for them to save all cats, even those with FIV.

niftydog niftydog 9:17 am 15 Jan 10

CHW said :

…if someone at the RSPCA had maybe gone into the why of my decision to surrender my beloved cats… then who knows what a little offer to help might have done in the right place.

It’s absolutely not the RSPCA’s job to do anything like you’re suggesting and most people would be offended if RSPCA staff started prying into their personal lives.

NoAddedMSG NoAddedMSG 9:12 am 15 Jan 10

Hey CHW, I hope you did eventually get some support.

If you go to http://cmhr.anu.edu.au/ and look under “community resources” there are a range of online support programs for people experiencing mental health problems, they may be useful to you.

DodgyBoys DodgyBoys 8:39 am 15 Jan 10

And I have to say I never saw my cat as disposable…something to be returned if she wasn’t ‘right’. I would never have given her up, but I would liked to have known about the health problem.

Someone will undoubtably come back in this forum and say that the RSPCA couldn’t have known she was sick – but she was sick from the time I got her. And I believe they can test for the disease. And the disease is highly transmissible to other cats. Not good folks.

DodgyBoys DodgyBoys 8:10 am 15 Jan 10

I got a young cat from the RSPCA (about 4 months old) and she had the runs constantly. I have to say the RSPCA was very helpful, took her back for a few days and assured me she was fine. She still had the runs when she came home.

Fast forward 18 months, constant vet visits and I found that she had feline aids and she died before she was 2 years old. Broke my heart. Would I get a kitten cat from the RSPCA again? Absolutely. Would I be careful about the health of the cat/kitten I chose? You better believe it.

This doesn’t make what this person who returned a kitten any better – nor would I condone it, but sometimes…….

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 7:48 am 15 Jan 10

MrPC said :

IMHO better that pets have a chance at a loving home than be neglected by someone that doesn’t want them.

Trouble is, these people/person probably swapped it over for a “better model”…

MrPC MrPC 12:37 am 15 Jan 10

IMHO better that pets have a chance at a loving home than be neglected by someone that doesn’t want them.

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