Have You Enabled An Animal Hoarder?

When you find a stray dog or cat, do you search for the original family by placing ads, flyers, etc.? Do you start contacting shelters? Or do you hand the pet over to the person down the street who always rescues strays?

If someone doesn’t pick up a stray or help you with a lost or hurt animal – do purposely try make that person feel guilty? Even if he already have 3 pets, 3 kids and 2 jobs?

You know your friend has a soft spot for Bichons. Every time you see a Bichon in a shelter or a Bichon in need, do you call your friend? Even though he is already at his legal limit for pets?

Do you hand stray cats over to the town cat lady? Because “Well, even though she is caring for 100 cats by herself, it’s better than letting this cat die at a shelter.” Or “She already has 100; what’s one more?”

Do you have a dedicated volunteer at your shelter? One who comes in 30 hours a week for free at the shelter and takes in fosters. When he adopts special needs dogs that no one else wants, how do you thank him? Do you use your contacts to get him free or low cost medical or training help? Or do you ask him to adopt even more hard to place dogs or cats?

If you are in a bind with your pets and you need free boarding, do you ask a neighbor who is petless or only has one pet? Or do you ask the person who has 6 dogs because you know that she can’t say no when a neighbor asks for help?

When someone drops everything to assist you with an animal in need how do you thank her? Do you buy her dinner or do you tell all your friends, “Betty will drop everything to help people. If you have an animal in need, call Betty.”

Many animal hoarders start out with the best intentions but they get overwhelmed. Try not to contribute to that. Try not to overburden those who are already doing so much.

When we ask for help, think about ways we can provide help. We can’t take in every animal in need. But when he hand over a dog to rescuer, follow up. Call and ask how you can help her care for the dog she took off your hands. Walking, grooming, ferrying to the vet for spay/neuter?. Next time you are at the the pet store, pick up an extra bag of food for the friend with too many Bichons. Doing laundry and find an extra 20 dollars that you didn’t know you had? Give it to the town cat lady.


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