Dear Mr. and Mrs. Average Idiot

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Average Idiot– (A Rescue’s Perspective)

We receive an extremely high volume of inquiries and requests to
accept surrendered animals. To help us expedite your problem as
quickly as possible, please observe the following guidelines:

1. Do not say that you are, “considering finding a good home,”
or, “feel you might be forced to,” or, “really think it would be
better if,” you unloaded the poor beast. Ninety-five percent of you
already have your minds stone-cold made up that the animal will be
out of your life by the weekend or holiday at the latest. Say so. If
you don’t, I’m going to waste a lot of time giving you common-sense,
easy solutions for very fixable problems, and you’re going to waste
a lot of time coming up with fanciful reasons why the solution
couldn’t possibly work for you. For instance, you say the cat claws
the furniture, and I tell you about nail-clipping and scratching
posts and aversion training, and then you go into a long harangue
about how your husband won’t let you put a scratching post in the
family room, and your ADHD daughter cries if you use a squirt bottle
on the cat, and your congenital thumb abnormalities prevent you from
using nail scissors and etc., etc. Just say you’re getting rid of
the cat.

2. Do not waste time trying to convince me how nice and humane you
are. Your co-worker recommended that you contact me because I am nice
to animals, not because I am nice to people, and I don’t like people
who “get rid of” their animals. “Get rid of,” is my least favorite
phrase in any language. I hope someone, “gets rid of” you someday. I
am an animal advocate, not a people therapist. After all, you can
get counsellors, special teachers, doctors, social workers, etc., for
your ADHD daughter. Your pet has only me, and people like me, to
turn to in his or her need, and we are overworked, stressed-out, and
demoralized. So don’t tell me this big long story about how, “We
love this dog so much, and we even bought him a special bed that
cost $50, and it is just killing us to part with him, but honestly,
our maid is just awash in dog hair every time she cleans, and his
breath sometimes just reeks of liver, so you can see how hard we’ve
tried, and how dear he is to us, but we really just can’t … .”

You are not nice, and it is not killing you. It is, in all
probability, literally killing your dog, but you’re going to be just
fine once the beast is out of your sight. Don’t waste my time trying
to make me like you or feel sorry for you in your plight.

3. Do not try to convince me that your pet is exceptional and
deserves special treatment. I don’t care if you taught him to sit. I
don’t care if she’s a beautiful Persian. I have a waiting list of
battered and/or whacked-out animals who really need help, and I have
no room to shelter your pet because you decided you no longer have
time for your 14-year-old Lab. Do not send me long messages
detailing how Fido just l-o-v-e-s blankies and carries his favorite
blankie everywhere, and oh, when he gets all excited and happy, he
spins around in circles, isn’t that cute? He really is darling, so
it wouldn’t be any trouble at all for us to find him a good home.
Listen, we can go down to the pound and count the darling, spinning,
blankie-loving beasts on death row by the dozens, any day of the
week. And, honey, Fido is a six-year-old shepherd-mix weighing 75
pounds. I am not lying when I tell you big, older, mixed-breed,
garden-variety dogs are almost always completely unadoptable, and I
don’t care if they can whistle Dixie or send smoke signals with
their blankies. What you don’t realize, though you’re trying to lie
to me, you’re actually telling the truth: Your pet is a special,
wonderful, amazing creature. But this mean old world does not care.
More importantly, you do not care, and I can’t fix that problem.

All I can do is grieve for all the exceptional animals who live
short, brutal, loveless lives and die without anyone ever
recognizing they were indeed very, very special.

4. Finally, just, for God’ s sake, for the animal’s sake, tell the
truth, and the whole truth. Do you think if you just mumble your cat
is, “high-strung,” I will say, “Okey-doke! No problem!” and take it
into foster care? No, I will start asking questions and uncover the
truth, which is your cat has not used a litter box in the last six
months. Do not tell me you “can’t” crate your dog. I will ask what
happens when you try to crate him, and you will either be forced to
tell me the symptoms of full-blown, severe separation anxiety, or
else you will resort to lying some more, wasting more time.

And, if you succeed in placing your pet in a shelter or foster care,
do not tell yourself the biggest lie of all: “Those nice people will
take him and find him a good home, and everything will be fine.”
those nice people will indeed give the animal every possible chance,
but if we discover serious health or behavior problems, if we find
that your misguided attempts to train or discipline him have driven
him over the edge, we will do what you are too immoral and cowardly
to do: We will hold the animal in our arms, telling him truthfully
he is a good dog or cat, telling him truthfully we are sorry and we
love him, while the vet ends his life. How can we be so heartless as
to kill your pet, you ask?

Do not ever dare to judge us.

At least we tried. At least we stuck with him to the end. At least
we never abandoned him to strangers, as you certainly did, didn’t
you? In short, this little old rescuer/foster momma has reached the
point where she would prefer you tell it like it is:

“We picked up a free pet in a parking lot a couple of years ago. Now
we don’t want it anymore. We’re lazier than we thought. We’ve got no
patience either. We’re starting to suspect the animal is really
smarter than we are, which is giving us self-esteem issues. Clearly,
we can’t possibly keep it. Plus, it might be getting sick; it’s
acting kind of funny.

“We would like you to take it in eagerly, enthusiastically, and
immediately. We hope you’ll realize what a deal you’re getting and
not ask us for a donation to help defray your costs. After all, this
is an (almost) pure-bred animal, and we’ll send the leftover food
along with it. We get it at the discount store, and boy, it’s a
really good deal.

“We are very irritated you haven’t shown pity on us in our great
need and picked the animal up already. We thought you people were
supposed to be humane! Come and get it today. No, we couldn’t
possibly bring it to you; the final episode of ‘Survivor’ is on

Author Unknown