Animal Rescue

Animal Rescue

My neighbors and I all agree, in an adult and responsible way, that you can't go rescuing every animal. It stands to reason you can't give the rest of the county an incentive to dump all their unwanted animals on our road. These worthy sentiments don't help at all. A good handful of us are confirmed suckers, to the disgust of the more sensible members of our households. My husband complains bitterly that I should put up a "no kill shelter" sign on the road.

One of my neighbors managed to pick up three kittens one day a few months ago, and then a puppy the very next day. We took care of their medical needs and found homes for all of them before too long. This weekend another neighbor brought a starving, lost, friendly little terrier back with him from his bike ride, tucked under one arm. Even better luck this time: the pup has a home already with a more distant neighbor. We try to keep tabs on anyone on the peninsula who's suggested he's getting ready to think about taking in another animal sometime soon, or who might be browbeaten or sandbagged into it. Email newslists help.

Usually whoever makes the find gets stuck with the foster care (there has to be some discipline!), but the rest of us suckers get together and help with the vet work and the effort to find a new home. There's no explaining this compulsion to people who don't share it. Those of us who suffer from the compulsion have long since exchanged the secret handshakes of recognition. We call each other up to confess that we've done it again, and to get moral support as we reassure our suffering spouses that we're really going to find homes for these creatures, not adopt all of them ourselves. Not all of them.

The picture above is of two of my scoundrels when we first took them in seven years ago. Honestly, who could have resisted them?

I'm grateful for my like-minded neighbors. It would be easy to get burned out on this kind of thing if you thought you were alone.

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