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Abandoning dogs and cats at the Chatham animal shelter

By Karen Pool
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - For those of you in Chatham County that "drop" or "abandon" your animals at the Chatham Shelter before opening or on days that the shelter is closed, I have a few things to say. If you are a resident of Chatham and cannot keep your companion cat or dog, the shelter is there for you to bring them during operating hours Monday-Friday 12-5 pm. If other arrangements have to be made, I am sure in certain circumstances something could be arranged with the staff.

It is not acceptable to leave your pet unattended in a crate outside the shelter. Why would you do this? Guilt? Inconvenience? No compassion for an animal that has probably given you years of happiness?

Do you realize that the chances of having your pet adopted or placed in rescue increase greatly the more info that is provided at the time of drop-off? That is why you MUST come in and fill out the appropriate paperwork and if your animal has had any vet care, always bring ALL medical records with the animal, no matter how outdated they might be.

I imagine some people don't do this because they don't want anyone to know that they have given up their animal in such a manner. If this is the case, cut out or deface your name on any medical records. The shelter just cares about getting as much info as possible in order to help find that animal a good home, if it is adoptable.

Recently, a very nice and adoptable female cat was dropped off outside the shelter door in a crate (during operating hours). The person didn't bother to even come in with the cat or knock on the door and by the time the shelter staff heard her meowing outside, she was completely soaked in urine, scared to death.

Is this how you think you should treat your pet?

In addition, only a hand written note with her name and that she was current on shots was left with her. Hand written notes about an animal's medical history is no good. You MUST bring the formal vet records or at the very least give the name of the vet so they can be contacted. And don't leave them outside for the staff to "find". Come in with the animal and do it right.

Everything had to be completely repeated for this cat in order for her to get placed in a rescue group. She had to have all her shots redone, tested for diseases, and will have to have an additional vet exam at the expense of the rescue go up. I know this cat had to have had a vet because she is declawed and spayed, so why not bring those records and help her chances?

I frequent the shelter often, at least once a week. So, I know what I am talking about. And I know that the staff truly cares about all these animals and they do everything they can to get them homes or rescue placements where appropriate. Time is wasted when medical issues have to be readdressed.

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