Yeah, that title was rant-y, and a bit click bait-y, and intentionally so.
Those of us who live “in the country” are getting really tired of being used by “you” as a dumping ground.
You dump your trash out here:
Because I guess you don’t want your wife/ husband/ mom/ dad/ son/ daughter to know that you need a beer every night on the way home so that you can tolerate them?
Because I guess you don’t have trash cans in your house. Or at work. Or at the neighbors house. Or a burn pit. And therefore, the only place you could put your trash was in our yards.
Oh, that was a CORN FIELD you threw it in….. even better! I bet those leftover drops of Bud Light’s Limerita is going to make that corn grow sooooo much better.
And I mean, we are like, 25 miles from the nearest Wendy’s. Twenty from the nearest McDonald’s and 15 from the nearest subway. It took you 25 miles to eat a cup of soup and twenty to eat a sandwich????
Oh, and don’t forget the tobacco habit. I guess there isn’t room in your trash can for those packs/ cans either.
Some people dump things we are afraid to look in- an entire tarp? Hope there isn’t a body in there- though if someone is dumping a body, they have more issues than laziness and rudeness.
We have enough trouble dealing with our own waste out here- we don’t have large item pickup Wednesday like you do in town- if it doesn’t fit in the can, we have to personally load it up and take it to the dump. Now we have to do it with someone else’s big trash too…
You dump your clothes out here:
Or, I guess you forget them after napping in the woods? How do you forget your shoe?
Maybe you were drunk from the beer cans you tossed along the road.
These two were simply too ironic NOT to share- An uneaten fig bar…. we care about nature so we buy the high quality good “natural” stuff and then throw it on the side of the road. And, we worked hard to graduate high school, but missed the do not litter lesson.
No, these things didn’t blow off the back of a trash truck… they were put here. By someone who doesn’t give two hoots about who is going to have to take care of this, or what it does to the environment.
But you want to know the worse thing “you” dump out here in the country…
Your suddenly unwanted pets.
And frankly, those of us “in the country” are getting really sick and tired of taking responsibility for YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES.
You didn’t get your cat or dog spayed, and don’t want that litter of kittens or puppies? That doesn’t mean you need to drop them out here for us to find and figure out what to do with.
You are tired of that cat that you saw at the pet store and it was just soooo darned cute and your two year old loved it so you had to get it… but then it scratched the two year old, and now it “has to go.”? That doesn’t mean you need to drop it off out here for us to find and figure out what to do with.
These are LIVING, BREATHING, LOVING creatures.
Let me tell you what happens to these animals when you dump them off out here:
- They starve. These are DOMESTIC animals. You can say that their instincts will kick in, but they have only ever been in a home. They weren’t taught to hunt. Maybe someone should dump YOU off in the country and let your instincts kick in.
- They get sick. Chances are, if you are dropping them off in the country, they aren’t properly immunized, so there is that danger- Rabies, FIV, heartworm. Not to mention other general illnesses like colds and pneumonia.
- They get hurt. They find some food scraps in someone’s bin, and don’t care if they are supposed to eat it or not, they are so hungry. But they also don’t know that Raccoon Bob has dibs on that bin, and when Raccoon Bob shows up, it’s not pretty.
- They get infections. They are already weak from poor diet, and illness from exposure to elements that, no, they don’t have survival instincts to protect themselves from, and then they are wounded, and in a weakened state, once they are wounded…. their only hope is to crawl up on someone’s porch and hope that someone takes pity on them.
And you know what, us good ole folks in the country DO take pity on them. We put out a little dish of food. We learn how to tend their wounds. We learn how to take a scared, and emotionally scarred animal, and gain their trust. So that we can shave the hair back off their wounds. Apply antibiotics. Bandage them up.
But you know what happens then, they become dependent on us. These animals you drop off into the country become dependent on those of us who live in the country and can’t sit by and watch as your rejected family pet DIES IN OUR FRONT YARD.
And since we already have animals, most from previous drop offs before you, that means we have to vet the animal that you were too irresponsible to care for, to truly LOVE enough to care what happens to it. We have to shell out the money for the spay or neuter you didn’t want to bother with (because you could buy the dog his food, but couldn’t pay the $25 spay and neuter clinic fee so your pet could have basic care). And by the time we find them, they need antibiotic injections, especially cats. And that is more money. And then, we are committed to caring for your rejected pet for the rest of it’s life.
(Find a low cost spay/ neuter clinic somewhere near you here.)
And to be honest, they become great pets. Loving pets. Eternally grateful pets.
The problem is, we only have room for so many.
What brought this on, you might ask? Well, meet my “friend” Grumpy Cat. That is what we call him. This is only the second time he has ever let me get a hold of him, and it takes a lot of work, and often the threat of my adoptee Boots (also a Tom Cat).
Someone at some time has handled him. When I was able to get close enough to pet him and start calming him down, I was able to pick him up- with quite a protest from him, I might add. But once he was in my lap, he sat there fine, no claw extraction. He wasn’t happy, but he was tolerant, and did calm with some gentle words and petting.
It looks like one of the neighbors was able to get a razor to his wound so that it is easier to keep an eye on and to try to prevent infection from matting hair (a very real issue for cats). The problem is the wound is deep. It may not be enough.
What he NEEDS is veterinary care. He needs an antibiotic shot. The problem with deep wounds in cats is that cat skin heals very quickly. VERY QUICKLY, often before there is time to get dirt, debris, and other items out of the wound. This dirt and debris works itself deep down into the wound, and even though the cat looks healed on the outside, he isn’t on the inside. An infection is breeding, and eventually the wound will reopen trying to express the infection. They need routine (at least once, often twice a day) care when they have a wound like this. And, they need an antibiotic before the infection works itself into the blood.
And so, us folks in the country talk among each other. What do we do about Grumpy Cat? Does anyone have room for Grumpy Cat? Susie already has three cats, and her property, while in the country, is really just a sliver of spot. Annie has four cats, and while her property is larger, her community is very set. My husband and I already have two cats, and the “best” kitty cat source of clear running drinking water (well overflow, we are blessed with a very free flowing well). Since we have the water, that means that all 9 cats are on and off our property. There are already three Toms in the “colony”; can the “colony” handle another one? How many fights will there be while they adjust to another interloper. They finally just did settle down from Boot’s arrival. And trust me when I say, cats are not quick adjusters. A new cat in the territory means several months of readjustment. In the meantime, they are moody, don’t eat right, get diarrhea. It’s a headache.
See, Boots arrived a little over a year ago. A middle of the winter kitten dump off (not uncommon, sadly). Poor thing was starving. And while he was a kitten the colony tolerated him. He tended to prefer Annie’s house, so we let it be, even though husband and I had offered to take him (it was our “turn”). But you see Annie already has a Tom. And when Boots’ hormones kicked in, this didn’t go over so well. The girls didn’t want his attention and the Tom was the man of the pack. So, Boots got beat up. Pretty badly, and crawled up on my porch in desperate need of help. (Annie would have helped him, to be clear). And so I learned how to hot pack his wounds twice a day. Where I could and could not apply antibiotic ointment (which is toxic to cats and cannot be applied in any place where they may end up ingesting it, and since cats are frequent cleaners this leaves very few spaces).
I fed and watered him, and he learned to trust my handling him. When it became apparent that he was going to survive, he was taken in and neutered and got an antibiotic shot, and now he is referred to as “Shadow Boots” because he is ALWAYS right there, at my side. He knows what was done for him, and he is forever faithful to me for it. In fact, he is so faithful that if Grumpy Cat needs attention and cries, and I sit down and offer to handle him, Boots cries because I am his, and he doesn’t want to share me. And I love him for that.
What are we going to do with Grumpy Cat? And who is going to pay for it?
Because one thing is obvious, the person who was supposed to be responsible for Grumpy Cat, who was supposed to love and care for him, isn’t going to pay for it. Nope, just drop it off in the country, it will be fine. And with any luck, it will be, because us country folk aren’t heartless.
But the better thing for animals like Grumpy Cat would be if people would THINK long and hard BEFORE ever getting an animal. Are you in a position where you can be committed to it’s care for it’s lifetime? Are you willing to work with it, like you would a child, when behavior issues come up (and they will)? Are you willing to see past “oh it’s cute” to ruined floors from potty accidents, torn up furniture, days off work for vet visits and grooming, time spent exercising or playing with it? If you can’t see that, or see it and decide that you not are willing to accept it, then you don’t belong getting an animal. I don’t care how cute it is. I don’t care how much your toddler, or six year old, or 15 year old likes it and promises to take care of it. If you can’t like it enough to anticipate, and unconditionally accept the work that will come with it, then do the animal a favor, and don’t get it.
And if you ARE willing to accept the work of an animal, check out your local humane society or other animal rescue organization. Dogs often already know basic commands, and cats are often already used to being handled. Find a Humane Society near you by clicking here.
And lastly, if you do have an animal that you can’t get re-homed, contact the humane society, special rescue groups, etc, and see if they can help you place the animal. If you can “foster” it while a new home is found, even better. Better for the animal, better for you, better for the animals next “owner”.
But for the love of all things good, don’t be heartless jerk, and dump your unwanted animals in the country. They, and us good ole folks in the country thank you.