Archive for the 'cats' Category

18
Aug
10

In which we post a Worstof that has nothing to do with Craigslist.


Post Text:

WarmFuzzy’s Shelter Sanctuary Just checked our standing in TheAnimalRescueSite.com shelter challenge. Very depressing. Looks like unless darn near everybody votes for WarmFuzzy’s, Drexel, MO we’re nowhere close to winning. Time to start working on shutting the shelter down & deciding who to euthanize first.

First things first: As anyone who reads this blog (yes, all three of you!) knows, I support rescue and have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone whose calling in life involves saving the lives of pets through rescue or shelter work.

Now that that’s out of the way… Are you freaking kidding me?! This organization’s entire fundraising strategy is based on winning a contest on the Internet, without which they can’t stay open? And their strategy FOR winning that contest is to threaten to start killing the pets in their care?

There’s a cliche in the horse rescue world: “The truck is coming!” This implies that horses waiting to be saved will be sent to slaughter if kind-hearted folks don’t open their wallets. But, of course, horses are always being sent to slaughter, you can’t save them all, and if you do have the generosity to save one or several of them, you need to do a lot of research to make sure you’re not doing it through an organization that operates in such a way as to place the horses in a situation potentially worse than death. A rescue that uses last minute guilt trip fundraising is usually low on money to actually feed the animals they already have, and they may be overpaying to bail horses off the slaughter truck and thereby actually propping up the horse slaughter industry.

But this is the first time I’ve ever seen a small animal rescue use the “gun to the animals’ heads” approach, and they’re using it to beg for votes in an online contest. Protip: Maybe everyone is voting for organizations that actually have a comprehensive plan to keep a roof over their animals’ heads even if they don’t get a sudden windfall? Or organizations that when they call themselves “no kill” or a “sanctuary” raise funds to actually not kill the animals? Or organizations whose leadership reacts to a crisis by getting seriously active on fundraising, rather than by leaving passive-aggressive Facebook notes threatening to start killing cats?

Now, apparently the shelter was damaged by a tornado, prompting this funding crisis. My sympathies to all affected by natural disasters, but that’s why you carry insurance. So that you don’t find yourself without an emergency fund, without a building, and without a better plan than “Let’s threaten the cats until people vote for us!”

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25
Jun
10

And now, for something completely irritating

This is a little snippet of WordPress’s list of search terms people used to find this blog. Notice how many of them have to do with wanting to give cats away? There are more, too, but I couldn’t fit them in one screen shot.

A few days ago we added a page on safely rehoming pets through Craigslist, something that should only be an option if everything else is exhausted and the only alternatives are high-kill shelters or putting the pet to sleep at its own vet’s office. I put that up because, despite that this blog is dedicated to mocking people who dump their furry family members on the first taker through ¬†Craigslist, people keep finding it while searching for ways to get rid of their pets. Particularly cats.

So, a cautionary word to those considering adopting a cat: Not all cats are low-maintenance and independent. Cat care may be inexpensive in the prime of life (or it may not be) but it will very likely be expensive in the senior years. Not all cats bond with their owners. Many cats have difficulties using the litterbox at one or another time in life. Spay and neuter your cats–even if they’re only cats and indoor-only. Intact sex organs are a powerful motivation to escape, roam, breed, and possibly be killed. Not all kittens are playful. Not all adult cats are mellow.

There are many, many, many people who have cats already and, for one reason or another, don’t want to keep them. Across the country and the world, shelters euthanize more unwanted cats than dogs and adopt out fewer of those they take in. Cats that wandered away from home are rarely claimed by their owners at shelters.

If you think you might someday become one of the people using a search engine to find information on how to give away your cat, please don’t get a cat. Foster a cat instead. There is a rescue near you that needs foster families desperately. It hurts to give them up, but it stops hurting when a new cat comes along needing you to save its life and help it find a forever home. You can share your home with a cat or several cats without making a lifetime commitment you may not be able to honor. Best of all, you’ll be saving lives.

14
Jun
10

My Child Abuses My Pet, So I’ll Punish the Pet


Ad Text:

I purchased a male Snow Bengal cat in October last year. He is a mix of Asian leopard cat and domestic house cat. He was 1k and I absolutely adore him. He is now a year old but has not yet been neutered because I live in a high rise downtown and he has never been outdoors. Unfortunately my five year old son has become insanely jealous of our pet and has begun to mistreat him. I would love to keep him but I cannot be selfish. He needs a new home where there are no children. I have all of his paperwork. He was born in South Dakota and I bought him from a pet store in Flatirons. He is really cute. He has blue eyes, and ivory fur with spots, resembling a snow leopard. I have a new cat tree, a bed, 2 litter boxes, a bunch of toys, a scratcher and a leash. Bengals can be leash trained and like water. My kitty prefers to drink from a fountain, or the faucet so I will provide a fountain as well. Hopefully I will find him a new home soon! Humaine Society wouldn’t help because he is an exotic cat, so I have to place him myself. There is no rehoming fee. I just want to find him a great, permanent home. He deserves it.

How do you suck? Let me count the ways.

1. You bought a cat from a pet store.
2. You are unable to prevent your five-year-old son from mistreating your cat. Hint: Five-year-olds are small enough to pick up and put in time out.
3. You think it would be “selfish” to honor your commitment to your pet and parent your child in a way that would prevent further conflict. Apparently it’s unselfish to dump your cat on someone else.
4. You think it’s unnecessary to neuter indoor cats. Because he couldn’t possibly get out, right? That only happens to other people who are less special than you.

Here’s a dose of reality for parents whose children don’t behave well around animals: It’s the child’s problem, and as the parent, you’re more than likely the cause. Get some parenting classes and an animal behaviorist to help the kid learn how to respect a pet’s body language. If a pet is being aggressive toward a child without provocation, that’s a problem possibly bad enough to consider rehoming or euthanizing the pet if behavior modification isn’t a realistic option. But a child being aggressive toward a pet isn’t grounds to dump the pet. It’s a wake up call for the parents to step things up and set serious consequences for mistreating the pet.

So, congratulations, Bengal owner. Your unneutered, free to good home Bengal will be snapped up by a backyard kitty breeder and his poorly bred kittens will be sold, probably on Craigslist, to any home willing to take them. Once he’s too old to breed, he’ll be dumped again with some fake sob story–by that point he’ll have numerous health and behavior problems thanks to the conditions present in kitty mills. Meanwhile, your child will have learned at a tender age that if he wants another living creature to disappear, all he has to do is bully it. Good luck if you ever decide to have a second child and your first kid is jealous of his new sibling!

28
May
10

Five People You Meet in Craigslist Pets, AKA Hell

With apologies to Mitch Albom, I’m breaking from the regular format for a moment to mention some of the worst tropes on Craigslist: Pets. I’ve looked all over the country for worstof ads to feature here, and there are some people who seem to live simultaneously in every city and neighborhood that has a Craigslist. How else do you explain seeing these five people in every Craigslist: Pets you visit?

5. The Backyard Breeder

Excruciatingly common and totally infuriating, the backyard breeder (BYB) infests every Craigslist with “non-shedding designer puppies” for a “small rehoming fee” that turns out to be at least $400 when someone calls. In BYB language, they’re “adorable puppies, rare breed, perfect companions, reasonable rehoming!” In normal parlance, they’re “hastily bred mutts, easily located in any shelter, poorly socialized, and will cost you the equivalent of six shelter adoption fees… and that’s before the vet work the breeder didn’t bother to do.”

Particularly aggravating are the BYBs who churn out Pit Bull puppies when most Pit Bulls in shelters are already put to sleep due to overpopulation. Does this BYB really think that the type of people who want a Pit puppy but can’t or won’t go to a shelter are going to provide good homes for her “make an offer” puppies?

4. Morons on the Move

I’ve been a renter my entire adult life. I’ve rented with over a dozen rats, multiple cats, foster dogs, foster kittens, hedgehogs, turtles, you name it. Yet, somehow these typical Craigslist: Pets morons couldn’t find an apartment that would allow the family pet. They’re also usually moving tomorrow and started looking for a new home for this pet today. So, the ad is titled something like “GERMAN SHEPHERD MUST GO TODAY!!!1!!11” while the ad text blabs about what a loyal, wonderful animal this is and how it’s a great sacrifice to let her go ONLY TO A GOOD HOME.

Yep, the animal probably is loyal and wonderful. Too bad it landed in the hands of someone who couldn’t handle paying a few more bucks for a pet-friendly apartment or at least starting to look for a home when they gave 30 days notice at the last place. This moron is getting rid of a dog that’s still lactating, just because he “might” be moving.

Continue reading ‘Five People You Meet in Craigslist Pets, AKA Hell’

26
May
10

I never abuse my cat, except when I do.


Ad Text:

I am writing because I have a cat that, even though she is fine with me, most of the time, I have found her to be incorrigible. Her name is Mustafa. I want to try to find a new home for her because I don’t want her to be put down.

I’ve had her since she was 6 weeks and I have never been abusive or neglectful of her, and she has always had oral fixations with licking and biting. She has bitten more than one of my friends (not playful bites), and becomes “pet cemetery” angry with certain triggers (other cats or animals larger than her) and attacks anyone, including myself. By grabbing her scruff and holding her down, I am able to control her when she gets out of hand. In addition, she is incredibly vocal and will, literally scream, for long stretches, wanting to go outside or have attention. I often use a spray bottle, but it does not always make a difference. She is also a polydactyl, which means that she has a extra toes on her paws. She is incredibly cute.

I’ve determined that I need to either let her go to someone else, or allow her to be put down, which would make me very sad. I don’t know what would be for the best considering my decision to let her go. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t have another cat who can find love in their heart for mine?

First of all, I sympathize–just a little bit–with this owner. It sucks when someone who is unequipped to handle aggression winds up with an animal prone to that behavior.

However, all three authors of this blog are pet lovers who have either currently or in the past operated a business that involves addressing behavior problems, including aggression. You know what a good owner does when they realize that the status quo is unsustainable and they can’t fix their animal? They call someone who can–an Animal Behaviorist, veterinary behaviorist, or a highly recommended trainer specializing in the behavior that animal is exhibiting. Then they spend the money and time it takes to fix the problem.

Let’s play long-distance diagnostician. This cat…

  • Was separated from its litter at six weeks of age–much too early for an ideal grounding in appropriate cat behavior toward either humans or other cats. Never adopt a cat or dog under eight weeks of age. Nine weeks is better. They need to tussle with their siblings and discover bite inhibition.
  • Has an oral fixation, indicating early weaning, possibly even before six weeks.
  • Has been repeatedly scruffed (painful and dangerous for an adult cat) and held down when already displaying severely reactive behaviors. Inflicting pain on a reactive animal makes it more reactive, not less.
  • Gets water squirted at her when she vocalizes. Using aversives to address a pet’s vocalization is likely to make the problem worse and make the pet more prone to anxiety and, yes, aggression. Additionally, persistent yowling often indicates an underlying health problem in cats.
  • Has not been evaluated by a qualified professional prior to her owners decision to either get rid of her or have her killed.
  • Has probably not seen a veterinarian to rule out any of the dozens of health problems that can cause aggression.

I could go on, but you get the picture. This “incorrigible” cat is suffering from a blame-deflecting, defeatist owner who refuses to acknowledge his or her own role in the cat’s behavioral problems.

Here’s a tip: If you have an animal from weaning throughout its life and it develops a serious behavioral problem, nine times out of ten the underlying problem is either a medical condition or you. There’s no shame in having been an uneducated owner, if you take the correct steps to help your pet when a behavior problem appears. There is, on the other hand, a great deal of shame in assuming that a pet you’ve had since the age of six weeks is just “made wrong” and failing to even summon professional help before pawning it off on someone else or putting it to sleep.

“Cantankerous” and “incorrigible” are cute words, but they don’t describe this cat. “Suffering” and “from the owner’s incompetence” do.

Poor kitty:

21
May
10

Let’s hope this isn’t meant literally!


Ad Text:

Arvid is an adorable black kitten with a tiny bit of white just below her chin. She is a master at playing with her mouse toy and making it spin in circles. She loves her two siblings and other cats and kittens, but especially she loves to be held and played with by people.

Arvid is currently living in a foster home with her siblings, Beck and Aren. If you would like to meet her, please email adopt@atailatatime.org.

Adoption fee includes spay neuter, fiv felv testing, vaccinations, microchip and an optional 30 days health insurance. Kittens must be adopted to a cat or dog household or with another cat or kitten. This is for socializing and safety reasons.

A 501(c)(3) not for profit organization that saves animals from the city’s kill shelters and the streets of NYC. Volunteers and fosters always needed.

Great ad overall, looks like a great organization, but DELICIOUS KITTEN?! Well it got my attention, anyway!

Haven’t censored the email address for this one because it’s a nonprofit and I encourage anyone who fell in love (and not because the kitten is advertised as tasting good…) to go adopt. Don’t send any nasty notes, please, this is probably just a volunteer experimenting with eye-catching ads… this one’s just a little eye-catching in a way that makes me hope this kitten isn’t going to have chefs lining up around the block to adopt.

Oh, and the kitten looks a little bit like Lindsay Lohan here, ifyagetmydrift… still cute, though:

19
May
10

Are we playing that three truths and a lie game? Because I think you put too many lies in.


Ad Text:

Kitten Needs a Good Home. It is found abandon. It is about 3? weeks old, gray white color medium thick fur coat. Cute, sweet, and smart. Very obedient, could follow simple commands like stay and sit. Its shampooed, no fleas, problem free. Not named yet. Using cat litter box, eating solid food. I will give extra food, litter box supply, and shampoo which I bought. It is FREE to a good home. I am at SW Houston, [redacted] area. This kitten would be a pleasure to any new owner.

There’s something just not right about this ad. Let’s see, could it be that cats don’t just automatically learn to obey commands? If your cat is sitting and staying on command, it’s probably either because you spent several weeks working with it using clicker training or because it was already staying/sitting when you told it to stay/sit.

Or is it that this kitten is more like three months old? Scammer or clueless? You decide.