Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of April 5, 2023

1 year ago

For the last month we have been feeding a kitty. He has been living under our storage shed outside. Our hearts were breaking for him because there were nights it was minus 22 outside. Setting traps in that cold weather was not an option.

We gave him food and water, plus we purchased an outdoor heated cat house for him. He was scared and had no idea we were trying to help him. We were pretty sure he was from the trailer park next door.

Finally, we received a phone call from someone else who had been trying to catch him. They had caught him and asked if we had room. We said yes and he was brought in. We were told that he was from the trailer and was put outside because he had worms. 

After over a month this sweet boy is in out of the cold, inside where it is warm. He is an un-neutered male and we have named him Livingston. He looks like all of the other black kitties we have taken in from the trailer park.

I have never been one to remain silent when it comes to the life of an animal. We are their voice. If we don’t speak up for them who will? Animals cost money. Neuters and spays cost money. Flea treatments and wormers cost money. If you can’t afford all of the above, then don’t get a pet. To let a cat out in below-zero temps instead of giving it dewormer — well, there are just no words.

Sometimes you have to make decisions and give up things that do not fit into your budget. If you want an animal, you need to be willing to give up something else, maybe your internet or cable, and set that money aside towards vet care. One lady commented that she ate ramen so her pet could get vet care. She melted my heart with that comment — she was willing to eat less expensively in order for her pet to have what it needed. 

These days, yes, vet care is expensive and before getting a pet you need to take that into account. It is not fair for an animal to suffer because you can’t afford it. Love isn’t always enough. But there are programs out there to help with neuter and spays and vaccinations.

We don’t want to take your animals. There are way too many animals sitting in shelters and sanctuaries. What we do want is for owners to step up to the plate and take care of their pets. That requires food, shelter, vet care and medications.

We are on a fixed income just like many people out there. We have no guaranteed income at all. But what we do have is many volunteers working very hard to make a difference in the lives of so many animals. There are no paychecks. We work long hours to make sure each animal that passes through our doors gets what it needs. We give up personal time, time with our families and our own pets. We juggle our finances. Some days there isn’t even time for lunch. Why do we do this? Because we are committed, and as long as there are irresponsible pet owners our buildings will be full. 

If this sounds cold or harsh, then I have gotten your attention. If you are angry, then I am making you think and that is good. Now take some of that anger and turn it into something positive. Can anyone look at the picture of this sweet boy out in the weather and say he deserved that?

Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.