Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Abandonment Issues

Sleepy surprise at the barn.

We're located in a very rural part of Mississippi and don't publicize our location. Of course, because we've been in this same location for the last 16 years, most everyone knows where we are. Still we try to maintain a low profile to minimize random animal drop-offs. I say minimize because without fail several times a month we have animals show up that have either been tossed over our fence or abandoned somewhere in the immediate area.

The best case scenario with animals abandoned in the vicinity of Hope Sanctuary is they wander up and we take them in, hoping to get them on a future transport. The worst case is they wander off in another direction and never make it in. We've had more heartbreaking cases than we care to recount over the years of animals abandoned nearby. Sometimes even with animals that wander in to Hope Sanctuary, there's an unhappy ending. A recent example comes to mind of a litter of kittens that someone dumped. A couple of the kittens, maybe 4 weeks old, wandered into runs where dogs were not expecting them, resulting in the death of those kittens before we could help them. Absolutely heartbreaking.

Elizabeth comforts Lotus.

Of course the other problem with someone just abandoning an animal here is we aren't expecting that animal and we have to scramble to find a place for them. This time of the year it's particularly difficult because we are always full, usually with litters of puppies and kittens which demand most of our time.

Still very skittish, but coming around.

This past week, we had a couple of new dogs show up one morning. Obviously abandoned, clearly neglected and malnourished, Jasmine and Lotus are just as sweet as they can be. Of course we're at capacity, so for now they'll stay at the barn where we first discovered them, but we'll get them medical treatment, spayed and they will be well fed, loved and cared for. They've already won over our hearts.


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