My Turn: Pet abandonment is a form of abuse




Published: 06-17-2024 6:02 PM


I live in South Deerfield near the grammar school, and this summer again we are having an influx of cats. My husband saw three 9-month-old kittens next door in a house that is going up for sale. Up 30 feet in a pine tree, two black-and-white kittens chasing a calico kitten. Now my neighbor says she has seen a black-and-white larger tomcat at the end of her driveway, one a house away, and her daughter has seen a white cat which she can’t even get near.

Are folks dropping off their cats because they can’t afford them, can’t get them neutered or spayed or it is because the railroad is scaring them? All I know it this has got to stop. We all have pets here and we cannot afford to take care of those that belong to others. I am calling the animal control officer today to see if there are any missing cats or other pets.

Last summer two cats hung around here that belonged to other residents. Part of the problem was that they were not neutered and their owners either didn’t have the time or the funds to get them fixed. If one gets a pet it is an owner’s responsibility to take care of shots, spaying, feeding, chipping, and making sure the pet is inside at night. Those two cats ended up with a disease or mental condition.

We have bobcats here, foxes, fisher cats, all cats are tasty treats for your animals. Abandonment, which is a form of abuse, should be penalized with one year in prison and a $10,000 fine for each pet. If one cannot afford to help their pet, there are shelters that can help for next to nothing. Never get a pet unless it has been given shots, is neutered and chipped, and you can afford to feed it and get boosters.

We are a throw-away society and it has to stop. An animal can give you years of affection and love but it has to have a decent home and a good start on life. We live in a very high traffic area with buses and cars and plows and lots of activity.

When a pet owner lets a cat go because the cat gets pregnant and then drops it off, that is a death penalty. I don’t quite frankly know how one sleeps at night or can live with themselves. I am tired of hearing poor cats cry at night because they are lost and hungry. Cats and dogs are meant to be kept inside.

I rescued two cats from the tracks that lived a long time and brought us joy. Neglectful pet owners had better hope that me or my neighbors do not see you abandoning your animals because I for one have had enough. We are not rich either, but always found the money to have ours live long, healthy, loving lives.

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So my next step after calling animal control is to go to the police in town and then possibly call ASPCA. Maybe they can arrest abusers and put them in jail. Think about it. I am not kidding. I heard of the jerks who left their dog tied to a tree in the woods with his collar on a branch and was mortified.

And leaving dogs in parking lots and driving away. The pandemic is over, now own up to the pet that got you through it.

Shirley Majewski lives in South Deerfield.