Where I live seems to be sort of a "dump zone." People drive out to the butt-end of the county, think whatever it is that animal-dumpers think, and dump their unwanted animals-mostly dogs, but we've had some cats dumped off too.
I was in the middle of such a gawdawful depressive funk that my wife wouldn't leave me alone, and she wanted a soda. When we went up to the Shell station, there was this black lab who I could tell was just...horribly terrified.
I just wanted to comfort him.
Inside we asked about him. Apparently he'd been there for four days and wouldn't eat the food the kindhearted counter-ladies had put out.
Nobody could touch him.
Well, I sat down on the curb. I smelled of wet dog. Tornado, to be exact.
Tornado was dumped in the middle of a heatwave and drought. He was about a month old then. I didn't feel like letting a tiny puppy die of heatstroke in my driveway.
He is now my crazy, energetic dog. Named Tornado for his tendency to dance around in cicles and create random pinpoint destruction.
I was going to find a home for him, but my chronic health issues got in the way...
And if I find a better home for him I will give him up, but I love him. He's all heart.
Admittedly, not much brain, but all heart.
So the lab let me pet him. He had on a collar, but no tags. I tried tieing him to a rope and leading him...but in the end had to pick the fifty-pound dog up like an infant.
He's at our house now, and he's doing okay. I don't know if he was abused or not, or is just really high strung, it's hard to tell...he's certainly very nervous. But I think I know why they might have dumped him. He cries when frustrated, as if he's in pain.
Other than that he's about run-of-the-mill. He chews up stuff-he's an adolescent dog. He's housebroken well enough, so that's not it. He'll run away if I try to catch him when he's gotten loose, but if I refuse to play and go inside...he pretty much turns around and follows me. He's eager-to-please.
He joins our old man dog-that we found dumped when we lived in the city...and the aforementioned crazy dog. Yes we put out found dog signs, and nobody called. Besides that, he's managed to get loose-and the boy doesn't run off.
So he'll probably need to start going to the rescue group days in the weekend afternoons, to see if they can rehome him for us. Because we currently have eight cats...yep, you guessed it, some of them were dumped.
One we rescued because he was an abandoned cat-and stuck on an apartment roof. They were going to let him die up there. We are totally stuck with him, because he likes to spray things with pee...and gets to be a mostly outside cat because of it, except for one room that's been sort-of cat-proofed. Nobody's going to put up with a cat that likes to tag their stuff...and yeah, he came pre-neutered, too...
I call him Squirt.
I do have to admit three of the current cat crop are my fault, though, and not that of my wife's.
One of my neighbors doesn't spay (GRR). A kitten they had walked up to me to say hi. When I patted her I realized she was very sick and crawling in fleas.
They weren't going to do anything about that. She was sick enough to have to be force fed by dropper...and when you drag an animal back from the brink of death...you kinda get to liking them.
Besides that, she's super-lovey.
Yep, I'm a total sucker.
I also seem to have a knack for spotting kittens who have gotten themselves up freeway bridges. How they manage to get onto overpasses that they can't then find their way down from is beyond me, but they do. And I drive a compact-enough car that I can pull into the breakdown lane. Two kittens (one's a cat now) that way...and I do want to rehome those two...but cat rehoming is hard.
Cats reproduce like a xerox industrial model. The world does not need any more cats.
People, please spay and neuter your freaking animals.
And if you get a pet, realize even if it ends up not working out, you have a responsibility to either work with the animal to manage the behavioral problems, or find it a new place to live that's safe...not just go somewhere more rural and toss the dog or cat out to fend for itself, or leave it behind when you move.
Because I've also seen both cats and dogs that looked more like balding, walking skeletons out here...that hobbled away from me when I called to them...and it's those animals, the ones that are obviously dumped, terrified, and starving to death, that really bother me for a long time after I've seen them.
Or the little lumps on the side of the road that's left of them.