Throughout this post, I’ve included descriptions of some of the families we serve. By sharing their stories, we hope to paint a picture of some of the amazing people that have become a part of our community. Though our “Rainy Day Fund” we provide supplies to families in need such as pet food, treats, leashes, collars, toys and anything else we have that can help! Of course, names and some details have been changed for privacy purposes.
When I moved from Los Angeles back to the Antelope Valley 8 years ago, one of the first things I noticed was the drastic number of people needing help to care for the pets they already owned. These weren’t irresponsible breeders or animal collectors in over their heads. The people I met loved their pets, but for a variety of reasons, found themselves short on cash and resources and needed temporary help.
There are also people that need help for longer periods of time due to their age, disability or income restrictions. They have no hope for an increase in income, yet they had a pet they could no longer care for the way they could before.
Should they have to give up the cat they’ve had for 10 years because they can’t afford cat food this month? Best case scenario, the cat will have to deal with stress, anxiety and possible illness. Worst case, she will lose her life. How is that fair to anyone – the cat, the human or the shelter that takes her in?
John has had several spine surgeries and deals with chronic pain on a daily basis. Yet he scrapes by to ensure each of his 5 dogs has enough to eat. In addition, one of his dogs is diabetic and requires constant monitoring, insulin, and regular meals.
Over my many years working in animal rescue, I’ve often heard the opinion that "if you can’t afford a pet, you shouldn’t have one." Perhaps you are one of the people that has had that very thought. I know I have said it myself in the past. In most situations, I agree with that statement. We would never knowingly adopt a pet to someone that doesn’t have the resources to care for them. That’s a no-brainer. But when someone has a pet and then find themselves down on their luck, is the situation that clean-cut?
Barbara and Greg almost lost their house in the Tick fire. It was badly damaged and unlivable. They are living in an RV with their 2 children and 5 cats while they get back on their feet.
For many people I know, the concern is over someone getting a “free handout.” I understand where that feeling comes from. But what is so wrong about helping someone down on their luck to keep a pet that makes their life better? Also, the cost of keeping a pet in a shelter or rescue and rehoming it is typically much more than keeping it with its owner.