Wednesday, August 11, 2010
...but have you heard of Operation Fuzzy Mice? No, seriously: It's a program in California, put together by a woman named Michelle Lyon, to provide vet care and other pet-related resources -- either by paying for it directly or by referral and networking -- to low-income families who own pets, and who would otherwise have to relinquish, abandon, or euthanize their pets for inability to provide care financially.
We've all heard about families like these who have fallen on hard times due to illness, injury, family disaster, or national economic recession resulting in loss of jobs or homes. Pets are given up tearfully and reluctantly by owners, because families see no other choice. This of course does no justice to the pets, nor to any state's already-struggling economy when the state must support overcrowded shelters as well as euthanize and dispose of so many homeless animals.
Michelle says, "I have only known one case where an owner gave a pet up in coldhearted fashion. All others were tearful and reluctant, not just 'dumping'." Even in abandonment cases, animals are purposefully left in places where someone else might find and care for them, and this happens because the owners can't afford to pay the relinquishment fee at a shelter.
We're all for any program that can help alleviate the suffering of these innocent companion animals whose only transgression is that they must eat and be cared for, which costs money. They're already grieving and bewildered from having been abandoned by their families. Let's support groups who try to find them homes and who, like Operation Fuzzy Mice, try at least to provide a modicum of health care for them during these devastating transitions.
Learn more at Disabled Pets In Need, a great little blog we discovered at HandiPets.com, about how Operation Fuzzy Mice is helping pets like Conan, a kitty who was injured during fostering after being abandoned.