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The harsh reality of it all.

February 4, 2011

PatrickNo one loves animals more than I. Very bold statement, and perhaps some would argue that they love animals more than I. After all, I am not a vegetarian, I spent many years as a youngster on a beef cattle ranch, (figure that one out yourself), I am a huge supporter of dairy farms and love cows, and my own baby, a very large steer, has gone to the big farm in the sky (and someone’s plate as well) as we could not afford to keep him anymore. If you think I didn’t cry my eyes out you are sadly mistaken. My own dog is my best friend, seriously, but I am worried that he may need another trip to the vet soon and how on this green white earth am I supposed to afford it?

Why am I telling you this? Short and sweet, a piece on the local news this morning. A couple saw a car pull up in a store parking lot and put 2 cats out of the car. OUCH! Thank goodness the couple that saw it happen scooped up the cats. Although they then found out the harsh reality, they are stuck with the cats. The animal shelters can’t take them. The take from the weatherman reporting the story was one of total disgust, let’s find ’em and string ’em up, who would do such a thing?

This set me to thinking, (which by the way, prompted me to send an email to him, which I have included below). We in real estate industry probably see this on more personal level at homes we list and show, perhaps others are ignorant, or it is easier to point fingers than look at the harsh reality of it all.

Let me play devils advocate here for a moment, and please, remember I am an animal lover…

  • Feed the kids or feed the dog
  • Keep the house warm or take the cats to the vet because they are sick
  • Buy my prescription drugs or buy heartworm medicine for the dog
  • I called the animal shelter, they are full and turned me away…
  • And the biggie, “I lost my home, no one will allow me to take my dog and 2 cats as a tenant. What do I do?”

If nothing else, this economy has taught me to be a lot less judgmental and a whole lot more tolerant of others. It has also shown me that I really can survive on PB&J, that I have wasted too much in the past and I really can do with a lot less, and putting on a few extra layers of clothing in the house and watching TV with a blanket wrapped around me is not so bad after all.

People are truly suffering, I don’t know anyone that hasn’t been affected by the economy. How about you? And if your neighbor was struggling to feed the kids and the dog, would you take on the responsibility of buying a load of groceries or a few bags of dog food? Or are you struggling to foot the bill in your own home. Or perhaps you won’t even know they are struggling with this because your neighbor so overwhelmed and feeling like they have failed that they are unable to reach out for help!

Here is the email I sent to the weatherman:

You asked what would drive someone to do what they did with the cats, I will tell you that it might have been desperation. I see so many people struggling to feed their families, to heat their homes, to pay their mortgages, sometimes the animals have to go. And as the people who saved them found out, the ASPCA is full and cannot take them.

Those of us in real estate across the country know all too well that animals are suffering too. People are making decisions they never thought they could or would. Of course, maybe this was an entirely different scenario, but perhaps the cat owners were desperate themselves.

I remember contacting you a few years back, I was overloaded with cats and struggling to find them homes, a good deed turned into a nightmare for me. No organization would help me. I emailed you, you sent me a contact name and number, they never called me back. I was on my own.

Animals are suffering along with their human counterparts these days, but when faced with the decision to feed their family or feed their animals…. My heart breaks for the animals, and for the families I see on a regular basis who are losing everything, including their beloved 4 legged family members.

(climbing off my soap box….)

Duncan the best dog in the world

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