Abandoned and Forgotten

It’s always good to adopt puppies or kittens from a shelter because these animals get a chance to have a long happy life, but what about older pets? The ones missing a leg or an eye? These special needs pets are often neglected and forgotten. I get it, they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing. They’re high maintenance and require special diets which can cost a lot more money, you’re not a bad person for not opting for one, I’m not here to scold you, I’m here to raise awareness towards unconventional adoptable pets and all the  animals with so much love to give, but no one to give it to. They deserve a second chance at a good life, and they’ll be very grateful for all you do for them.

You’ll be saving a life, one that probably doesn’t have much time. An older dog will probably not last very long, but adopting it will give them the best life possible in the short amount of time they have left. Instead of being in a cage all day, with no family and not a lot of attention, you could take it home and let it live comfortably in a place of warmth and love. No matter the age, a rescued pet will love you all the same. “Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized, 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats” (ASPCA, 2019). Out of that number, many are older pets, who just can’t seem to get adopted and the shelter soon runs out of space for new kittens or puppies, so they have to make room. A lot of them are also disabled petsbecause people don’t often take in a dog with 3 legs, even though the dog doesn’t know it’s different, it will love you just like if it had 4. 

These disabled pets might have an awesome backstory. Maybe that one eyed cat survived an attack by another animal, maybe that 3-legged older dog was out in the streets his whole life and got constantly kicked, maybe even abused and only now got rehabilitated. Imagine all the suffering these poor animals go through in their lifetimes; they deserve some love for whatever’s left. Just like you and me, we survive hard times and we still deserve to be loved. We preach about inclusivity, and loving our differences, but we’re neglecting these beautiful creatures. My favorite quote is “we are the voice of the voiceless”. I don’t know who originated the phrase, many songs include it, but the first time I heard it was from a famous Veterinarian on social media called Dr. Matt. I couldn’t agree more with that statement. In many different context situations, us, the lucky ones, we’re the voice of the voiceless, of the one’s who’s voice we can’t hear, but they’re screaming. These animals are no different from the rest, sure they may be older and a little tired, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to die in a cage without knowing what real compassion and love feels like. 

 Even black cats are neglected! “black cats were once dreaded and persecuted… black cat superstition has been a real phenomenon throughout history, and this has led to many misguided notions about them, especially in Medieval Europe” (Lin, 2016). Old superstitions about how black cats bring bad luck into our lives has created rejection to these majestic felines and less adoption of said animals. Puerto Rico tends to be full of superstitions, legends, myths, and you can still hear people claim black cats are a sign of bad luck. I have a fully black cat, her name is Toothless, like the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon, and she’s the sweetest cat ever. I will admit I’m a little superstitious, but even I can tell you this cat doesn’t bring negativity into my life or any bad luck. She was a stray someone rejected, and we took her in. With the amount of love she gives us, you can tell she’s grateful we rescued her. 

The point is that adopting or rescuing animals should always be your number one option when looking for a domestic pet. It’s less expensive, doesn’t support abusive in-breeding or “puppy mills” and gives these animals a fighting chance at being happy. Just because they’re different or a little broken doesn’t mean they don’t deserve happiness, lots of us walk around a little broken, and we still deserve happiness. Make a difference.

 

Here are some no-kill shelters in Puerto Rico:

P.A.W.S. The Puerto Rico Animal Welfare Society (Isabela) - https://www.nokillnetwork.org/d/Puerto-Rico/P.A.W.S.-The-Puerto-Rico-Animal-Welfare-Society-(Isabela)~2234/

Pets Alive Puerto Rico (Utuado) – https://www.nokillnetwork.org/d/Puerto-Rico/Pets-Alive-Puerto-Rico-(Utuado)~2232/

SASFAPR, Santuario de Animales San Francisco de Asís, INC. (San Germán) - https://www.nokillnetwork.org/d/Puerto-Rico/SASFAPR,-Santuario-de-Animales-San-Francisco-de-As%C3%ADs-Animal,-Inc.-(San-Germ%C3%A1n)~2233/

References:

Lin, K. (2019, September 19). Black Cat Superstition: Good and Bad Luck Beliefs. Retrieved from https://www.historicmysteries.com/black-cat-superstition/.

Pet Statistics. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/p....

Top reasons to adopt a pet. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/top-reasons-adopt-pet.