“OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Copper would shake your hand, speak and even toss you a high-five. A note taped to the mixed-breed’s collar attests to his talents, but these deeds are not verifiable by eyewitness account.
Copper, you see, is dead.
The 30-pound male dog, estimated to be about one-year-old by Kalamazoo County Animal Services and Enforcement officials, was found March 18 lying on the shoulder of an asphalt road in Oshtemo Township. There was a hole in his skull, inflicted when a car hit him.
It was too late to heed the message someone had written on the tape wrapped around his collar: ‘Help me.’” Read the full story here.
Sadly this story is becoming more and more common, as people lose their homes and jobs, and find themselves unable to care for their animals. It’s hard to imagine leaving a pet on it’s own, especially when there are many other options. However, with the cost of proper care and food, it’s not too difficult to understand why a person may have to give up their pet when they are struggling to feed themselves and their family after a job loss. And sadly, a lot of apartment owners don’t allow pets, leaving few options for families affected by foreclosure.
Unfortunately, many of the people in these situations are making horrible choices in how they decide to deal with it, such as letting the animal out to fend for itself, or even just leaving the animal behind in an empty house. The stories are heartbreaking, especially knowing that there are other options.
If you find yourself in this position, please consider the following options:
- Talk with family members and friends about the situation. Someone you know and trust may be able to take your pet permanently, or until your situation improves.
- Call rescue groups in your area. You can find a complete list of rescues by checking Petfinder.com and searching by zip code. Rescues are focused on finding homes for pets of all kinds, and are almost always no-kill.
- Talk to your local Humane Society. They may be able to take your pet in, or even give you information about local resources you might not be aware of.
- Talk to your veterinarian. Our vet offers adoption services in their office, but even if your vet doesn’t, they are usually connected with rescues, and may even be aware of people who are looking to add an animal to the family.
- Take your pet to the local shelter. This may not be anyone’s first choice due to the possibility of it being put down, but it is a far better choice than leaving a pet in an empty home with little to no food and water (where it could starve to death if not found quickly), or letting it loose on the street.
If you are in a position to adopt a new member of the family, please consider doing so. With so many animals being turned over due to economic hardship, there are many amazing pets waiting at local shelters and rescues. If we all do a little to help each other during this time, hopefully there will be fewer stories like Copper’s.