By Jackie Kellum
All of us will be busy in the next few weeks with holiday activities - going places, gathering with friends, eating delicious food, buying gifts, and hopefully pausing long enough to appreciate what we have in our lives. During this time, do think about those who may not be as fortunate as we are. Although many of us are retired and living on a fixed income with a budget, there are others who have less than us. Please consider making a donation to a charitable organization of your choice in the name of a friend or relative in lieu of buying that person a gift. This is a win-win-win proposition for all concerned.
This is a reminder that rescuing an animal may appear to be ‘a good thing’. However, you need to keep several things in mind. First – the question: are you removing an animal from the street that is not homeless or does not really have an owner? Do due diligence to see if you can find its owner before going further with your ‘rescue plan.’ Second, you now have the animal – what are YOU going to with it? Once you take the animal, you are solely responsible for its care until you find a home for it. That may involve Vet care, care of it in your home, etc. Do not assume that there is room in the local animal shelters to take in ‘your’ rescued animal. The reality is that each of the local shelters have been operating at full capacity for several years now, many with a long waiting list. So your rescue plan, and it must be a plan, has to include where will the animal go, as if going into a shelter is not an available option.
The last several months some of our community ex-pats have died, some unexpectedly, leaving their animals behind with no plans in place for the care of their pets after their [owners] demise. Friends and neighbors have had to scramble to take care of this task not dealt with by the pet owner. Despite wishful thinking, we are all going to die. If you really do love your pet(s), as you say you do, take and make the time to prepare for this situation. On Anita’s website there is a tab called: Pet Godparents. It has a form which can be completed and printed to help organize your plan for your pet’s care in the event you can no longer care for your pet or in the event of [your] death.
Also on Anita’s website is some additional helpful information. One tab: Should I rescue? offers guidelines to help you distinguish between a ‘street dog’ versus a ‘dog in crisis’ that may need an intervention and what you can do if you get involved. There are other tabs: Lost Pet Procedure – describes timely action to take to help you organize a search for your pet that has gotten out and is lost. The other tab: Found Pet Procedure – provides steps you should take in trying to find the owner of a pet before declaring you have rescued this animal.
Anita and her volunteers wish to acknowledge and say THANK YOU! to our community for their support, The Cat Shelter, The Ranch, and Lucky Dog, individuals who are in the background doing foster care and rescue work, donors who support our local animal organizations, those Vets who provide vet care at discounted fees to animal rescuers, LFA, Operacion Amor and Operacion Compasion. Wishing you ALL a Healthy, Happy and Joyous New Year to come. www.anitasanimals.com - PayPal available.
Column: Anita’s Animals
Born and lived for 24 years in New York City. She became a Registered Nurse and then moved to San Francisco, CA. Her life and nursing career continued there for forty-one years before retiring to Lakeside in 2006. She and her husband live in San Juan Cosala with their eight dogs, and several cats. Shortly after arriving, Jackie began fostering infant motherless kittens and puppies, some as young as a few days old. She volunteers with Anita’s Animals, including the weekly Aijic tianguis, monthly Pet Food Drive, and other charitable events for humans as well as animals.