Written by Dr Lisa Reynolds
As veterinarians we see a great many things over the course of our career and a large part of surviving in this industry is being able to let go of these traumatic moments, otherwise, we would never be able to perform our work.
However, no matter how good at this we might be, there will be some memories that never fade and forever haunt our future.
For me, my story is tragically a common one...
An over-burdened cat shelter.
Being a locum veterinarian in a clinic servicing this shelter.
Being told to euthanise a healthy litter of three-day-old kittens.
Lining them all up on the table waiting for them to stop breathing.
A cat who lost her home.
A friendly cat who loved a chat and desperately wanted some affection.
A situation she never asked for.
A situation that she cannot possibly understand.
It was not her fault she ended up with a flu virus after arriving in the shelter, but because of this, I was asked to take her life.
She stayed in her tiny shelter cage for another seven days.
No one wanted her.
The shelter had no room.
She developed blood in her urine and again I was told to take her life.
Again I refused and explained this was stress related and if someone would just give her a chance in a foster home, she could be a perfect companion for someone.
“She won’t find a home, we have kittens that need homes too”.
I never did find out her fate.
I tried to find her a home and failed.
She never deserved that life.
Why is this story relevant?
Because unfortunately too many people are irresponsible with their pets and too many innocent animals become homeless.
Our not-for-profit animal shelters are the only hope these pets have and they need our help.
- They need resources – food, cleaning supplies, blankets, towels.
- They need foster carers. Do you and your family have the capacity to care for a few small kittens?
- What about offering a shy dog/cat the space to find its feet and begin to trust humans again?
- They need adopters. Would an adult cat/dog be better suited to your home?
- They need volunteers. Would you have one day a fortnight where you could help?
- They REALLY need financial help.
For the price of a cup of coffee you could set up a regular weekly donation, no matter how small, it all adds up.
Please give generously this Christmas and consider regular donations.
Without your help, the shelters become overburdened and under-resourced and eventually healthy pets’ lives are taken.
A duty that haunts us forever.