That was a direct quote from an animal control officer this morning.
(WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD)
My wife Caroline and I are foster parents through the Madison Animal Rescue Foundation (MARF) here in Madison, Alabama. A few months ago we took in a family of eight, a mama kitty with seven kittens, who found themselves on the kill list at a local shelter. MARF has found homes for all but three (we took one to add to the four we already had), and we expect they’ll have homes by the end of the month.
Then last night, our 20-year-old son Matt came home late after work. He marched straight to our bedroom, woke us up, and said, “Mom, Dad, there’s a kitten in the driveway. It doesn’t want to leave.”
We already have a houseful with eight (or is it nine?), so I told him to put some food and water and a litter pan in the garage (that was the Mighty Little Man‘s favorite place in the whole world) and that I would take care of it in the morning.
OMG. As you can see from the picture above, this kitty is a sweetheart. I estimate about ten to eleven weeks old, solid white. Rubs, purrs, and does NOT want to go anywhere but into my lap. Realizing we may wind up fostering this kitten regardless, I called MARF anyway and basically said, “Help!”
They told me to take the kitten to the Madison Animal Control section at the police station. That’s the best bet for the kitten to be reunited with owners should they come looking. After seven days, but probably before, MARF will take the kitten and work to find a foster (likely us) or a permanent home. Sounds like a decent little story.
But there was something the MARF lady said to me on the phone this morning. When I got to animal control with this precious baby, I had to ask.
I turned to the officer and asked, “How often does someone bring in an animal that is already fixed, fat and sassy, healthy, and has obviously been someone’s pet for years?”
What he said shocked me. I’m paraphrasing, but essentially he said, “All the time. But what really pisses me off is when I scan the animal for a chip that leads right back to the person trying to surrender the animal. They’re claiming it’s a stray until I confront them with the chip info. Then it ‘belongs’ to a sister or cousin or some damn body. Yeah, right.”
Gotta tell ya. That pisses me off. The solution is actually simple. And it’s not rocket science: IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE CARE OF AN ANIMAL, DON’T ADOPT ONE!
And that brings me to something else. I am so glad that animal abuse is now a felony offense. There is simply no excuse for any human to abuse a helpless animal.
So let me make this clear. Anyone who tries to pull that shit in my presence will go down for it. Clear? No? Okay, how about this:
If I catch you abusing an animal, my career won’t mean shit to me. My pension won’t mean shit to me. I will personally make you wish you had never looked at an animal with anything but love. And if the cops have a problem with what I’ve done to you, perhaps they’ll lock us up together so the “lesson” can continue – at my leisure.
Clear enough now? Good.
Oh, and I told the animal control officer that if push comes to shove and they list this baby on a kill list to just call me. Nobody’s gonna hurt this baby.
P.S. Just heard from MARF. They already have a foster home for the kitten. Mission accomplished – one animal at a time.