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An Open Letter to People Who Surrender Their Pets to the Shelter

If he's lucky, your cat will find a new home with someone who felt sorry for him, and with that, is a better person than you'll ever be.

 |  Jul 30th 2012  |   280 Contributions


Dear People Who Surrender Their Pets:

Congratulations on your new job, your new marriage, your new baby, or your new apartment. Surely whatever it is that has changed in your life is going to make you extremely happy.

Too bad your lifelong companion and furry friend through thick and thin won't be there to experience it with you.

Cat in cage by Shutterstock

Nope, because you decided to surrender them to a shelter, they'll spend their days alone, cowering in the corner of a cold steel two-by-two-foot cage. While you're cooing at your baby (remember when your cat was your baby?) or cuddling your partner (remember how cute it used to be when your cat shared a pillow with you?), your cat will be huddled in a litter box out of fear and uncertainty, desperately wondering when you'll come back for him.

The shelter workers will pet him a little when they have time, but there are 300 other cats in the same situation and there just isn't enough time to go around. Some people might come in to adopt a cat, but they'll walk right by yours because he's old and scared -– even though he was so sweet in your home, where he felt safe.

Orphan kitten in cage by Shutterstock

Volunteers in the community will work tirelessly to network your cat's picture on Facebook and Twitter, along with his sad story about the person who heartlessly dumped him and how he deserves to get out and have a second chance in life. I'm one of those people. I'll lose sleep over your cat and spend hours trying to get him out of that horrible shelter and offer my own money to help with costs.

Because it's not your cat's fault that he's there. He is a great cat, but even the greatest cats don’t always make it out alive. 

If he's lucky, your cat will find a new home with someone who felt sorry for him, and with that, is a better person than you'll ever be. If your cat is lucky enough to find a new home, it will be his forever home –- unlike the home you gave him, which lasted only until circumstances changed and he wasn't a priority anymore. 

Animal shelter cat by Shutterstock

But if he's not one of the lucky few, he'll never know another home. Or even another day. 

How people like you can live with yourselves is beyond me. How you can take a pet you've supposedly loved for years and suddenly discard it at a shelter where it has a tremendously high chance of being put down is something I'll never understand. 

If I was your friend in real life, and learned that you'd done this to your pet, I'd scratch you right off my friend list. You'd be dead to me, a cliché that mirrors all too clearly how you must feel about the pet your dumped.

But even though I'd consider you the lowest kind of being in the world, I'd still fight to save your cat and find him the new home he deserved. You would have no idea how much effort, time, caring, and selflessness it would take to save your cat, but me and many other animal lovers would join forces to do it.

Sad red cat by Shutterstock

And if we fail to get him out in time, we'll cry as though he were our own. Because we aren't uncaring a-holes like you (don't pardon my French).

Sincerely,  

Everyone who works in rescue

Here's a video that is so perfect and on point. It's about dogs, but applies to all pets. This is a conversation between a shelter worker and someone who wants to surrender his pet.

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