krankenschwester (mort) wrote,

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I've been volunteering with the Montreal SPCA for a just over a month, photographing animals and composing accompanying profiles for inclusion on So far it's been a wonderful experience. I'm the sort who'd like to adopt every cat and dog myself... failing that, however, I feel the least I can do is help these little souls find loving homes.

Once an animal's ref. number has been input to the system, it's filed under one of four categories: hold (for profiles under construction), adoptable, adoption pending, and adopted. Each time I see a name or face I recognise moved from 'adoptable' to 'adopted' my heart soars. But the sad fact is, I've also seen animals returned mere days after being rescued; placed back into the stainless steel cages and fated to begin the process anew (if they're lucky.) What are people thinking ?

My own dear Elsa was returned to this same shelter less than one week after her initial adoption. She was hardly four months old at the time... and was branded as having a 'behavioural problem' by the idiots who discarded her. Her crime ? Being too playful. Isn't that what kittens do ? Regardless, she was labeled 'hard to adopt' and given to us at no cost because of this. Had Eric and I not taken her, however, I'm sure she'd have found a home quickly; she's cute and young. But what of the older animals, the less 'attractive' ones who are overlooked time and time again ? They languish in cages while other critters come and go... and, eventually, are given a date with the needle.

Obviously, homes cannot be found for every cat, dog, bird, and rodent that comes through the SPCA's doors, and euthanasia is a sad but inevitable reality. However, it doesn't need to happen in these numbers ! If only people would realise that pets are a lifelong commitment, and that responsible pet ownership includes spaying or neutering !

Ironically, when an animal is put down its ref. number is moved into petfinder's 'adopted' category. Today I logged in to write a profile for a stray cat whose picture I'd taken only a few days ago. He was sweet-tempered, handsome, and young. To my untrained eye, he seemed in good health, too, but apparently that wasn't the case. A note was made on his incompleted profile this morning, saying he'd been very ill and had to be euthanised on Valentine's day. This little guy died without so much as a name, and cases like his break my heart. So... if you care to look, behind the cut are the photos that were to appear on his ad. Sometimes putting a face to abstract situations and cold statistics can urge people into taking action: I encourage you to look into what you can do to help abandoned animals in your area.

And give your pets a big hug.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Rest in peace, Howie.
Tags: elsa, montreal, spca
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Gentle journey, little Howie.
Thankfully the Montreal area has at least two major no-kill shelters, including the SPCA Montérégie.
Soooo sad. Howie looked like a wonderful little guy.
sleek and handsome. poor kitty...and so many like him.
Christ, if I worked in an animal shelter I would be taking every last one of the "unwanted" home with me. I curently work in an art store and I can't help performing the same function!
Your post breaks my heart into so may pieces....
I'm happy you're doing something to make the lives of these animals better. Every little bit of effort counts.

I'm sorry Howie couldn't be saved. He looks beautiful in these photos. You really captured the spirit of Howie here. I can tell by looking at him what kind of cat he was.

I understand why you're sad. I don't see you caring "too much" as a bad thing. It's what makes you great, that your heart is open for a cat like Howie to touch it.

Because of you, these animals won't be forgotten. They will either find homes, or they will find you--someone who cared for and remembers them.
I used to vounteer to do that exact thing at my local shelter. Taking the pics, trying to spend a little time with the animals so you could write something about their personalities... I didn't have access to the petfinder files, so I never knew how things turned out for them. When I'd show up on the weekends I never knew if the ones that were no longer there had been adopted or not.

Thanks for doing what you're doing!