While millions or even billions of people throughout the world have their health and futures at risk from the pandemic, there are other victims, too.
As people’s budgets are stretched beyond comfort, some can no longer afford to care of their pets. There has been a noticeable increase in stray dogs around town. Just last week someone dropped off a dog at the end of my driveway. It was a very nice dog and seemed to be in good health, though hungry, but he was so sad and positioned himself under a car at the end of the driveway waiting for his person to come back. I made the decision to feed him and accept him into my family, however, a neighbor who did not recognize him as belonging shooed him away and I have not seen him since. I hope he is okay and has found a good home.
A more poignant example is a puppy that I came across just two days ago. It was the most emaciated animal that I have ever seen in real life. You could see every bone and had a huge bloated belly from malnourishment. His neck looked like a stick connecting his head to his skeletal body. Of course I brought him home and gave him food, water, a comfortable bed, and love and attention. Despite my efforts he only made it until the early morning hours of the next day.
I cried my eyes out over this puppy that I had barely met. One, because suffering was all this tiny new life knew, and two, because nobody else cared. How long had he been wandering the neighborhood and no one else helped him? How can people be so cruel?
The most effective and responsible solution to reducing strays and unwanted puppies and kittens is to spay and neuter pets not intended for breeding. And I’m not just talking about the pets you care for in your own home, strays need to be spayed and neutered, too. There are several groups around the bay offering FREE spay and neuter clinics. This week there is a 4-day free clinic running Wednesday through Saturday, and the best part is you can bring up to 5 animals. Even if you don’t have a pet, go grab a stray or two and do your neighborhood a favor and bring them to a clinic. OR offer someone a ride who has pets needing a spay or neuter who does not have transportation. One way or another please take action on this issue and do your part to help solve it so that we do not have unwanted, sick, and starving cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies wandering around hoping someone will care for them.
You can also go to the Cuale free clinic the first Sunday of every month located on Cat Island at the Rio Cuale, on the inland side of all the shops. The SPCA also does occasional free clinics, you can contact them on Facebook for their next offering.