Everyone should give pets a chance

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

Animals can steal your hearts, warm them, break them. For some people, they provide the only unconditional love they ever experience on this earth. They become your family. The sad truth is, there are more animals out there than there are people to care for them.

The members of the Butler County Humane Society have worked hard for the past three years to make this a more responsible community and county.

They work to get animals spayed and neutered to help the pet over-population problem.

They try to save as many animals as possible from being euthanized, prolonging the stay of some of the dogs and cats in the hope of finding a loving home for them.

Some need to be put down, to end their suffering and misery.

But others have to be euthanized simply because there are too many unwanted animals to care for and not enough space and people to look after them.

We have a 17-year-old cat, the venerable Ginger.

She is deaf as a stone and doesn't move with the grace and agility of her youth. She's been known to use the fake ficus as a litter box.

However, my dear old girl still purrs with pleasure when cuddled up with one of her favorite humans. She still adores a bit of chicken or the broth from the tuna can. And if old &#8221Gingie“ is a little cranky now and again, well, aren't we all?

We took in Ginger and her late, lamented sister Mary Ann, as strays off the streets of Dayton, Ohio in the late 1980s. I'm so glad we gave them a chance.

Last weekend, I got to meet a lot of new furry friends who greeted me as one of their own. Obviously, they are receiving a great deal of tender loving care from &#8221mama“ Kandys and her helpers.

Those bottle-fed kittens, wide-eyed and trusting, stole my heart. There they were, rifling through my camera bag, trying to climb on my head and succeeding in catching a ride on my back as I changed batteries in the camera.

What comedians!

But there were wonderful older cats, too, beautiful creatures. I gathered one up in my arms, loving the way it began to gently knead my chest as it gazed up into my eyes.

Younger, older, big, little, shy, rambunctious – all these pets deserve good homes. They deserve a chance.

There's a sweet dog at the shelter named Betsy who's missing a leg. My parents had a dog, Beethoven, who also lost a leg due an accident. Once he got well, that little shaggy dog was running almost as fast as he did before the amputation.

I sure hope someone takes Betsy home soon, and Baby, Precious, and those lively bloodhounds from Hazzard.

Consider pet adoption. If you have the facilities, the time and love, consider becoming a foster parents to some of these homeless animals. The rewards, it seems, are great.

To paraphrase the late John Lennon: all I am saying is give pets (particularly the homeless variety) a chance.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.