A while ago a loose network of animal rescue advocates were buzzing about working to find a placement for "James," a cat you can read more about in my earlier post on the blog.
The secrecy about everything at this pound may never reveal just how it happened, but the amazing thing is that this cat survived as long as he did in the kennel -- because he came in considered "feral," and also because the kennel is noted among area rescue groups for fostering infection in every animal impounded. And further astonishingly, although he might have been examined one time for identifying marks, and none were noted, he was scanned, possibly a second time, for a microchip. And wonder of wonders, that second time, an ID was established.
James was not "James." He was not a feral cat. He was not an abandoned pet either. He was Mr. Whiskey. And his owner had been searching for Mr. Whiskey, only searches for lost pets are never easy and are almost always left entirely to the owner him- or herself, to pursue.
I am told that the PG pound does not search back over a year, to try to identify and reunite pets with owners. This is troubling. Although this is painstaking work, returning a pet to a home where the pet is unquestionnably wanted, brings joy to the owner. It saves the pet's life most of the time. It ALSO reminds animal control and pound staff that yes, people DO love animals "out here" beyond the walls. It tells compassionate animal controls and pounds that not every animal must be confiscated and protected from us awful humans!
The further noteworthy thing about this situation is the tragedy that some number of lost pets must enter pounds and be considered "feral" without resort to any skill or experience in assessing temperament. At PG, the volunteer program and leadership actively discriminate against anyone who shows a love for felines. One prominent volunteer has gone so far as to admit to "hating cats." Yet cat-loving candidates are shown the door, and this dangerous volunteer represents the pound to the public and new volunteers.
Cats are now the most popular pet in America, and because cats enter the PG facility in large numbers, a leader who had a lick of sense would seek out cat-friendly people and encourage them to volunteer and be visible and remain active as volunteers. Have you known anyone who worked or volunteered at this or another facility? What stories do they have to tell? Do they think of any species as lesser, or less deserving of help, than another? What do you think about that? Tell me in the Comments!