Animals are not trash, don’t put them out like garbage

Katie's Place volunteer says there has been an increase in the number of animals dumped outside in recent months.

Leaving kittens outside the rescue shelter puts them at risk.

Leaving kittens outside the rescue shelter puts them at risk.

In the animal rescue world, there are many things we see that make us shake our heads and roll our eyes.

People give up their animals for all kinds of reasons and we must admit, after years of hearing the excuses, we start to feel less and less sympathetic.

The one thing that we find truly inexcusable is when people literally dump”their animals at our gates.

In the past few months we have seen an increase in the number of animals being left outside our gates to basically fend for themselves until a volunteer arrives.

Because we do not have regular hours, the animals may sit outside for long periods of time, waiting for someone to show up, even during the day.

Yes, we have a waiting list.

Yes, you may have to wait a few weeks before leaving your animals with us.

Yes, this may be an inconvenience.

But is a slight inconvenience not worth the life of a pet?

Leaving animals outside, even if it is in a kennel, puts them at risk.

We are located in a park-like setting and there are many wild animals around us.  Bears, coyotes, and raccoons are abundant in the area.  Every time you leave a defenseless cat outside our gates, you put them in harm’s way.

And if the predators don’t get them, a car probably will.

In the past few months, we’ve had senior cats, as well as tiny kittens, left outside our gates in the middle of the night. Some had notes attached to their cages, some didn’t.  Some didn’t even have a cage at all.

While we have managed to find the majority of them unharmed, there have been a few instances where they were not so lucky.

So while you go home believing your cat is safe, we can’t assure you that it is.

We have found empty carry kennels that have been pried open by something or someone and no cat in sight. We have put out traps in hopes of catching these animals, but chances are whatever freed them from the kennel probably scared them away, if not worse.

We have come in early in the morning to find an empty box with a note asking us to care for a cat. The cat, of course, was long gone.

We have come in to find only a note saying that the cat was set loose just outside our gates, and hopefully we can help him. Needless to say, the cat didn’t think to hang around and wait for us to open.

Leaving them overnight at our gates is horribly stressful for these animals.

Animals are not trash and should not be put out like your garbage.

The loss of their home is devastating enough, but to be left at the curbside for others to pick up is unacceptable.

Call us, leave a message, wait your turn, and we will help you as best as we can.

Try other rescues, put up signs at your vets office, ask your family and friends.

It is your animal and it is your responsibility to ensure that they are safe.

Beyond our gates, in the middle of the night, surrounded by woods, they are not safe.

Unfortunately, you are not the one who loses sleep over this because you don’t even know.

It’s the volunteers who spend hours looking and worrying about these animals.

It is your responsibility to find them a home. Only as a last resort leave them with a rescue group.

Leaving them outside should not be an option.


Magda Romanow is a volunteer at Katie’s Place, an animal shelter in Maple Ridge.