Sunday, July 05, 2009

An Animal Shelter Calendar You Can Count On

February 14th, Valentine's Day: People seeking to adopt pets as gifts for their new boy/girlfriends or (less often) for their partners/husbands/wives. Pets do not make good gifts, especially as suprises. (Interestingly, while researching this blog, has changed their position and does NOT think that pets as gifts is such a bad experience. They quote a study that says that pets given as gifts are less likely to be relinquished. This is not my experience.

April 1st - November 1st (approximately): Kitten season. This is one of my favorite topics. It's also one of my least favorite topics. I hate kitten season. I cannot mention kitten season without stating that I hate kitten season. Part of my hatred for this time of year is mitigated by the fact that it overlaps with baseball season. How else would I survive without the distraction of baseball? I'm listening to the A's game as I type (though they're getting soundly thumped by the Red Sox, of course.) But it's awful to get to the point where you hate kittens. How can anyone hate kittens, you may ask, if you're not in animal welfare? Well, you live through enough of these kitten seasons, and you might understand. You might not, but scrape enough sloppy, hardened kitten poop off of walls, and see the unbelievable numbers of kittens coming in every day, from 1 day old on up, and I dare you not to resent kittens, at the very least. Obviously, it's not the kittens' fault. But it's easy to forget that.

Easter (date varies): The days after Easter, and sometimes up to a month after Easter means bunnies and chicks/chickens/roosters. You would think we would have evolved past bunnies and chicks in Easter Baskets, but no. My mom reports that they used to be in window displays, but I'm lucky enough to have missed this. One day this year, every night drop box was full of white bunnies and juvenile chickens. I hope I don't have to remind people not to use real live animals in Easter baskets. Seriously. Chocolate tastes better, anyway. Use Peeps if you have to.

July 4th: Fireworks start early in Oakland- like the end of June- but they climax July 3-July 5th. I will never quite understand why people haven't figured it out that their dogs WILL get out during fireworks, but they haven't. One year, when I worked in a shelter on the coast, we literally ran out of room to such an extent that we had dogs stacked in crates at the front counter and dogs tied to the desks. At least most of the dogs there got reclaimed. Some were not so lucky to even make it to the shelter. People go out of town and leave their freaked out dogs in their backyards and then can't figure out why their dogs aren't home when they get back. Just in case: keep your dog safe next year or if fireworks are still going on in your neighborhood (like they are here).

December 25th, Christmas
: see Valentine's Day

365 Days a Year: Days the shelter is closed (i.e. holidays, furlough days, etc). People banging on the door. People tying animals to the front gate or otherwise disposing of them (throwing them over fences, leaving them at the front door like they'll stay there- cats, chickens, bunnies, etc). People leaving irate messages. People showing up 3 hours early the next day and demanding service. People holding employees responsible. People leaving flaming piles of poop on the door (ok I made that one up...)


Valerie said...
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