Animal Rights

SPCA President: Finally a Donation I Didn't Want

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A friend called me dumbfounded.

She was speaking to a person who was planning a vacation, could not find a sitter for the family cats, and did not want to spend the funds to board them.

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She then announced to my friend that she would do the right thing and "donate" them to a local shelter. She and her children would then get new cats upon their return from vacation. Problem solved.

I realize that not everyone is as immersed in or educated about the animal welfare business as those of us directly involved - but - really? 

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We hope that a commitment is made when adopting a pet that is for the life of the pet and includes food, medical care and boarding when necessary. I understand that people don't always choose the correct words when speaking - but - "donate"? 

We seek donations to care for and educate about unwanted and abused pets with the hope that someday we won't have anymore of them. I believe that it's commonly felt that providing children with a pet can be an invaluable experience - but - what is the real message to her kids here?

That pets are disposable and there are always more? In fact - most children witnessing such behavior wonder if they will be turned in should they become too expensive or inconvenient.

Clearly, we have a lot more work to do. And I finally met a donation I didn't want!