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Marissa Raymo will discuss everything about horses, including horse health care tips, training tips, equestrian friendly trails, horse buying info and much more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Few Words on Pet Dumping...and Cute Baby Animal Pics!

Sometimes it seems that the farm life is a magnet for abused, neglected, injured and otherwise homeless animals. There are always the natural catastrophes - a baby fawn separated from its mother or a nest of turtles buried too far from the water (like the one buried in our horse pasture this spring). But from time to time, a desperate pet owner will dump their unwanted animals down the back roads in hopes that a goodhearted ol' farmer will be kind enough to add another one to the herd.  

Over the years I have learned that there is only so much you can do. My overzealous attempts to save all of the animals were eventually met by the reality of personal and financial responsibilities. And sometimes the risks that you may bring to your family or current pets may outweigh the potential benefits of rescuing a needy animal.

As the no-kill rescues overflow with abandoned animals and the number of pet ads has come to exceed the number of prospective new owners, it is important for pet owners to weigh out all of the options before choosing to leave pets out in the wild. Sometimes a humane euthanasia is better than the alternative.  
  • Though from time to time a back road good Samaritan may be able to take in a needy animal to become a part of their farm, quite often these abandoned pets will just end up as another sad story on the side of the road. 
  • Indoor pets are often desensitized to the dangers that wild animals face on a day to day basis. Natural instincts like predator awareness, hunting for food and fight vs. flight may not come so easily to an animal that has spent its life indoors. 
  • Feral cats and stray dogs can pose a danger to a farmer's poultry and livestock. These animals are sometimes trapped and/or killed to protect the others.
  • Pets are also susceptible to many dangerous diseases that might not have been included in their standard yearly vaccinations. For example, Leptospirosis is a deadly disease that can be transmitted from simply drinking contaminated water than an infected raccoon has urinated in. 
 So if you happen to know someone who is thinking about dumping their unwanted animals, please urge them to consider the risks it may pose to their pet.  
On a more positive note, here are some of adorable baby animals that we have been able to help (so far) in 2010:

 These week old raccoon babies and their ninja-like mother were recently relocated after the barn cats' food was mysteriously disappearing. Though these fuzzy little babies look harmless now, raccoons are known to carry a multitude of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to pets and sometimes even humans (such as rabies, distemper, raccoon parvoviralenteritis, & canine hepatitis).
I wrangled this sweet little fawn in the horse pasture this weekend after she caused quite a commotion trying to find the exit. After about 20 minutes of stumbling & launching herself at the fence, she finally settled down long enough to let me carry her to the local vet. Once we determined that her limp was due to a healed past injury, she was released back into the wild to be reunited with her anxious mother. 
Mama kitty and her three little babies came to me a few weeks back, just hours before they were to become homeless. Though the little ones quickly adopted out to good homes, young Mama kitty is still waiting to find her forever home.

And last but certainly not least is little baby Moe, a Romeldale lamb born at the farm this spring. Although he was not one of our spring rescues, he just didn't want to be left off of the adorable baby animals page, so here he is learning to take his first steps.


Anonymous Cindie said...

Absolutely adorable animals! Thank you for the compassionate and realistic advice you give to people about dropping unwanted pets off on dirt roads. My husband and I live back on a dirt road and we see stray animals all the time. The cats that don't starve to death go feral and wreak havoc on the native birds and animals. The dogs wander off and probably don't survive. We don't take them in because we can't take in every pet that someone doesn't want and take a chance of infecting our pets.

June 15, 2010 at 12:41 PM 
Anonymous Natural Balance Food said...

Ahhh the doe looks so cute along with the cats. Animals always place a major part of my heart.

July 28, 2010 at 3:41 AM 
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