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When one tugs at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world.

- John Muir, Conservationist

More and more often, the staff of MRWC are being called out to help with abandoned, domestic pets. It’s very hard to turn the finders away as often they have few resources to turn to. 

In the past month alone we have been called about cats, roosters, a turtle, and several calls about domestic rabbits. Over the winter we helped with budgies and cockatiels. 

The issue begins with less than responsible pet owners who do not think pet ownership completely through when taking home an animal. To make matters worse, they often think it will be cute to let them breed.

The next issue is legitimate situations where a pet can no longer be cared for and must be surrendered. Pet rescues are receiving increased numbers of animals and are struggling to have enough resources to accept more. 

Unfortunately, if there is no place to surrender a pet, in many cases the desperate owners will simply dump them. These abandoned pets rarely have a "Walt Disney" happy ending. Starvation, infections, weather, disease, acts of human cruelty, vehicle accidents, and predator attacks all can befall these poor creatures.

Just because a cat, for instance, is capable of hunting food does not give it all the tools it needs to live in the wild. What happens to this animal when it gets a tooth infection, heavy parasite load, or damage from other animals? These creatures have been domesticated for so long that they have lost much of their capability to live successfully in the wild.

In the case of 8 dumped roosters, our staff spent several hours catching 5 of them and did find homes for them. Predators took the rest. Of the case of 11 bunnies, 3 found homes, 1 died in care, and 7 were dead on arrival. We have seen numerous cats come in, starved, damaged, and in a sickly condition. 

A very sad situation is evolving in this province, it will take a community to solve it, and it won’t always be easy. The answer will involve education, teamwork, some creative new ideas, and some peaceful euthanasia. We encourage everyone to do their part in resolving this issue. Give some animals a forever home, neuter and spay your pets to reduce numbers, get involved with volunteer work at a rescue organization, or simply help to educate and encourage responsible pet ownership.