by Jim Randolph
Reprinted with permission from “The Pet Doctor,” The Philadelphia Inquirer.
People who dump kittens in the woods or in the country are lowlife scum, lower than whale droppings at the bottom of the sea. People sometimes think these kittens will wander around until they find a home. The sad part is that most kittens who are dropped off die.
And, they die a horrible death-usually, of starvation. Sometimes, though, they get lucky. Sometimes they die a quick death under the wheels of a passing automobile. Why were they that close to the road? Because they were trying to eat roadkill that would have kept them from starving. Sometimes the speed of their death is in between, not as quick as being crushed by speeding wheels, or as slow as starvation. Many of them are killed and eaten by wild or stray dogs, who are also trying to keep from starving to death. If one of those things don’t get them, disease will. The kittens usually aren’t vaccinated, and often the mother hasn’t been, so she has no immunity to pass on. If another cat comes along with feline leukemia virus or feline infectious peritonitis, feline immunodeficiency virus, or all of the above, that can infect the kittens, and they are doomed. Meanwhile, they spread disease to other strays, and the cycle continues.
Some people never have their pets spayed or neutered. So they breed uncontrollably. Every time the pets have puppies or kittens, instead of getting the parents spayed or finding homes for the babies, these people “drop them off.” Those that survive disease, starvation and injury do what nature tells them to do – breed! And breed they do. Like the miracle of compound interest, their offspring add to the miserable mass of wild and stray dogs and cats. And the cycle goes on.
Please spay and neuter your pets. But if they have babies before you can do it, take the babies to a humane shelter where they at least have a chance to be adopted. If they’re not, they can be humanely put to sleep-instead of dying a horrible death.