Monday, July 30, 2012

When does a rescuer become a hoarder?

By Shiela Rabe

So, when is enough enough?? When we started down this road to develop a means of controlling stray animal proliferation in the Cando area we had the best intentions. Trap feral cats, spay/neuter and vaccinate and attempt to rehabilitate them into feline good citizens, in other words, house cats.Or, if that wasn't achievable, at least find a good farm home where these cats could live in a barn and earn their keep as rodent controllers. Then of course there were also stray dogs, abandoned and wandering the streets and countryside. The Uffda Fund has been challenged numerous times to provide happy solutions for some very emotionally and physically damaged  cats and dogs. With over 200 pets and counting I can recall only two occasions when an animal was too far gone to save and the kindest solution was euthanasia. We have otherwise been fortunate in finding supportive temporary placements and compassionate adopters for  pets that perhaps would be unclaimed in many shelters.
There is a fine line between rescuing and hoarding and its pretty easy for people who have big hearts to cross that line. How can one refuse to take in another cat when the threat is uttered ""Well, if you won't take Spot Iam going to shoot him."  We have heard versions of that threat too many times. That's how some of us end up with a dozen or more animals to house, feed, provide vet care and love. It's hard to say no when someone is threatening to destroy a  dog or cat, so why not take on one more. Then suddenly the population starts to grow. One important difference between being an animal rescuer and morphing into an animal hoarder is this: the basic tenet of rescue is spay/neuter; the critters in a rescue home do not reproduce themselves..."  More 

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