Tuesday 25th February 2020

Pet Rescue. Adopt a Cat in New York

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The Problem

Jack the Cat in Manhattan CenterThere are people sentenced to capital punishment, awaiting their fate on death row, who have not committed any crime, not been accused of anything, not stood any trial, not been found guilty by judge or jury.

If these people, biologically, were members of the human species, the outrage at this earth-shattering injustice would reach the sky and beyond, leaping into the stratosphere.

But because the biological status of these persons, who feel and think like you and me, or at least like you and me when we were little children, happens to be a different one from Homo Sapiens, it is considered ethically acceptable to kill them when they are perfectly healthy and young, only because nobody wants them and very few people care about them.

They live in shelters until the moment of their killing arrives, in cages, scared and sad because they are social animals who need affection.

One of them was Jack, the male ginger cat pictured here, who was only 2 years old when he arrived at the Manhattan Animal Care Center in New York, "surrendered" by his owner who gave as the reason a hoarding problem.

Jack was physically in good health, but read his behavior evaluation by the cat shelter: "No change Posture: Tense Greeting: Remains neutral (0) Cage Opens: Remains motionless (0) Extend Hand: Remains motionless (0) Stroke: Retreats (-1) Total Score: 0."

Jack was so depressed at the shelter that he couldn't even lift his head for a photo. He was alone, afraid, sad, another countless victim of a hoarding situation.

Miraculously, given his past living conditions, Jack was only shy with humans, but the cat shelter did not have much hope for his rehoming just because of his introverted personality: that hardly deserves a death sentence.

Yet he was put on the shelter's "To Be Destroyed" list.

We don't know what happened to Jack since.


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Pet Rescue: Who Helps

Pets Killed at a Shelter and Placed in Bins like Rubbish Awaiting the Incinerator

Pets killed at a shelter and put into bins
like rubbish awaiting the incenerator

There are groups of volunteers who do what they can.

Pets on Death Row (PODR) is a network of volunteers involved in pet rescue, working to save the lives of cats and kittens housed in the shelters of the Animal Care & Control of New York City (NYC AC&C).

NYC AC&C is a not-for-profit organization responsible for the city's municipal shelter system, with facilities operating in all the five boroughs of New York.

If no home is found for the cats in the shelters they are killed. PODR, which is not affiliated with NYC ACC, tries to save them every day, with only hours to spare from the time the cats are listed to the moment they are killed.

Pets on Death Row Facebook page publishes a daily list, with photos and descriptions, of cats and kittens that are due to be "euthanized" the next day, to find someone who wishes to adopt them.

Adopting a cat in these circumstances is no more and no less than saving a life.

The work of Pets on Death Row is vital and requires a lot of time and effort.

Please help them in any way you can.

Another worthy pet rescue group is All Sentient Beings, member of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals. They rescue cats condemned to die from New York shelters and keep them for adoption by members of the public.

The widget on the top left of this page is to send them donations. Click on the ChipIn! button.

If you live in the New York area please get in touch with these groups, also through their ChipIn site and All Sentient Beings Facebook Page.

New York Mayor Bloomberg has been involved in this pet rescue issue, agreeing to contribute to free pet spaying services during economic hard times.

A good idea would be to develop a pet rescue project by which the many jobless people who receive unemployment benefits, and whose number has recently increased due to the current economic situation, helped looking after these creatures. It would be good for the unemployed too, by offering them all the emotional benefits that having a pet brings, giving them a sense of purpose, a sense of doing something useful and of giving something back to the community that supports them.


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Inside Pet Shelters

Pet ShelterAccording to the Humane Society of the United States estimates, no less than 6-8 million cats and dogs are taken by animal shelters in the United States alone every year, and of these animals about as many as 3-4 million are "euthanized" in shelters only because there are no homes for them, so due entirely to lack of space, food and carers.

Throughout this article I've used the word "euthanized" in inverted commas because this is not euthanasia at all.

"Euthanasia" derives from the Greek and literally translated it means "good death". It applies to situations when death is, or is considered to be, a better choice than life only for the individual concerned, not for anybody else.

When animals who have all the physical conditions to live a good, healthy life are put to death only because there is no will to devote enough resources to their continued existence, then the choice of death is obviously not the better one for the animal.

Interestingly, according to a recent poll in the States, "7 in 10 pet owners say they believe animal shelters should be allowed to euthanize animals only when they are too sick to be treated or too aggressive to be adopted" and only 1 in 4 participants "said animal shelters should sometimes be allowed to put animals down as a population control measure."

This tragedy is obviously not limited to the USA.

One thing that all of us can do, and it's a very easy thing, is to always adopt animals from pet shelters rather than buying them from pet shops or breeders.


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