My Story

Life, it happens…

I saw a homeless woman at the park the other day, she had a flatbed cart with several cages each containing one of her pets. I overheard people judging her as we crossed paths…

“…animal abuse!”

I heard them say. However, in spite of her situation, that homeless woman was doing the best she could taking care of her pets.  She could have abandoned them or given them up to a shelter. Depending on shelter policy some have a 50/50 chance of being euthanized. But this woman didn’t do that. She did what she could to standby and protect her pets while she figured out a way to get back on her feet. Although, it may not have been ideal, they had food and water and they were together.  Many family pets are not so lucky.

This is my story…

My name is Cynthia. I once found myself in a predicament where I needed help. Due to family responsibilities and health, I lost everything. Finding a place to live that would accept me, my Rottweiler and my two cats was nearly impossible. My Rottie is considered a “bully breed” and not accepted by most landlords despite his low key, friendly disposition. And well, having three pets didn’t help my case.

Broken promises…

I love my pets. This was the most painful and stressful time of my life.  I’ve had Max (my Rottweiler) since he was eight weeks-old.  Then there’s the twins – Onyx and Onkoku – my beautiful black, male cats. Each with their own quirky and playful personality.

The thought of my life circumstances jeopardizing the livelihood of my pets was unbearable.  All they had ever done was give me unconditional love and bring me joy.

I struggled to find my pets temporary housing. Family and friends weren’t able to help. The humane society, shelters and rescues did not offer temporary solutions. If they were to help, I had to surrender my pets completely. That after hearing that due to the age of my pets, their black color and breed of my dog increased their risk for euthanasia since they weren’t likely adoptable. Imagine my devastation to this news.

I was running out of options and I was running out of time. I was panicked at the thought of what would happen to them if I couldn’t protect them. I was stressed out, I couldn’t sleep. It stopped being about where I was going to live and more about how I was going to keep them safe.

…I refused to give up.

Finally, I found a place for my dog, but not my twins. I was frantically posting ads on Craigslist, calling rescues for Foster referrals, begging everyone who would listen for help.  I learned about horror stories and was warned to stay away from Craigslist.  Finally, I caught a break. A sweet woman answered a bulletin board post and agreed to meet us. She agreed to foster my twins while I got back on my feet.

I was so grateful…

We were the fortunate ones and this story does have a happy ending.  After a couple of months, I managed to get back on my feet and found housing that accepted pets for a small fortune for pet rent, but, I brought us back together again. My Max lost 30 pounds, my twins showed signs of stress; Onyx gained weight, Onkoku lost weight. It was a heavy toll on all of us. It took several months for all of us to recover and once again feel safe and secure. We are all doing great now!

But that’s just one tale…

My experience opened my eyes to a problem that was foreign to me. I’ve lived a pretty good life. Losing everything wasn’t supposed to happen to me. But it did.

There are many animals that have been left abandoned at a shelter, on the streets or worst yet, they end up in the hands of heartless people who take advantage of unsuspecting pet owners who let go of their pets with heavy hearts thinking they’ll be safe but instead they’re used for baiting, animal testing or other cruel and violent acts. Those are the weirdos I was warned about from Craigslist.

I believe there is a solution to this problem. I believe something can be done to ensure that no matter what happens to us, wherever life leads, our pets need not be subjected to the unavoidable stress they will go though or be at risk of losing their life.

Creating change…

As hard as this experience was on me and my pets, I made a commitment to figure out a way to reduce the number of abandoned, relinquished and euthanized pets.

It’s really easy to walk away and pretend that our pets are going to be ok. But if we really care about them, that’s just not good enough. If we really love them it’s our responsibility to ensure they have a good home. All we need is a little help. And that is where pet owners everywhere can bind together for a common goal to raise the best pets we can, build a support network to socialize in, share adventures and have each others back if life hands us lemons.

The idea is quite simple. Isn’t it? If you would like to be a part of this community – pre-register. It takes a community with a common goal for this work.