AR-News: (US NY) Collectors don't any animals they adopt an favors
Animalara2003 at aol.com
Animalara2003 at aol.com
Sun Feb 1 14:02:35 EST 2004
Most animal lovers have at least one friend who has several animals. When you
walk into their home, your nose tells you that more than one or two cats are
It may even be you who struggles with or worries about pet odors in the home.
But now imagine walking into the home of a person who had more than 50 cats.
Your nose might sting and your eyes could water.
"How could anyone live like this?" you might think, as you look around and
see animals, their fur or feces, everywhere.
When people take responsibility for more animals than they can reasonably
provide care for, that is called animal collecting. It's kind of like not being
able to resist bringing one more African violet home - except that these are
living, breathing, eating and defecating creatures who require far more love and
attention than a plant.
Another problem with owning too many animals is that the vet costs become
impossible to pay, and owners begin to let spaying and neutering, routine
vaccination and health checks slide. More animals are produced, making the problem
worse and worse.
In most cases, collectors believe that they are doing a good thing by keeping
the animals from a possible death or a home where the animals will be
"mistreated." They don't realize the conditions that they are keeping their animals
in constitute neglect.
"I remember one house I went to, someone commented, 'Isn't this better than
the cats being dead?' After all, they had food," said Lisa Wathne, regional
director for the Humane Society of the United States, who has visited the homes
of several animal collectors.
"My response is 'No.' In this particular house, there was no fresh air. The
ammonia smells were terrible. There was not one soft, clean spot where a cat
could sleep," She said. "That can't be considered humane - there's more to life
than having food to eat."
Some collectors consider themselves to be rescuers, providing homes to
animals that might otherwise be killed or injured outdoors or euthanized at a
Legitimate rescuers, however, are always able to provide care for the animals
in their home.
There may be minor odors, but each animal receives fresh food and clean water
and has urine and feces removed on a daily basis. Rescuers seek and pay for
veterinary care, and all their pets are spayed or neutered or separated by
gender. They also try to find permanent homes for the animals they are caring for.
Collectors are often too overwhelmed to provide this minimum level of care,
cannot afford veterinary care and do not advertise the animals for adoption.
These collectors can be a problem for neighbors, who notice odors and animals
wandering the area.
"The world is a dangerous place,
not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.",
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