McConnors corner
The Mark Of Civilization
By Sean McConnor
Jun 1, 2008 - 9:00:34 AM

I have three cats: Bandit, Fluffy and Ralph. People at work call them "your children" when I talk about them. I call Ralph my "alarm clock on four paws" because he, without fail, wakes me up 24/7 at the same time every morning. In fact, if I don't get up, he beats me up! Doesn't seem like much until you realize that Ralph weighs in at 19 pounds!

Someone wrote once that the domestication of animals marked the beginning of civilization. I am certain they were talking about edible and non-edible animals alike. It makes sense because when humankind settled down and stopped roaming around, they realized the value of animal companionship, which also entailed protection.

Today, the mortgage crisis is turning neighborhoods into semi-ghost towns. I don't think there is a block in my neighborhood that doesn't have a house for sale or a house that the owner has walked away from. This tragedy is real.

The tragedy is compounded by the abandonment of animals when homeowners walk away from their properties. We have all heard the horror stories of realtors finding animals confined in homes or backyards when the owners have departed.

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) is urging those facing foreclosure to not abandon their furry friends. They have a website at  where you can read frequently asked questions. The site links you to rescue groups that may be able to assist the distressed homeowner. Also, the SPCA and Humane Society of the U.S. can help with a solution on what to do with a pet you cannot take into an apartment you must rent because you are losing your house.

Every year it is estimated that 128,000 dogs and cats are euthanized at animal shelters in the city and county of Los Angeles City. An organization called Pet Orphans of Southern California believes that there are alternatives to euthanizing animals that are adoptable or can become so. An owner who abandons his or her animal is jeopardizing the health of the pet and placing the pet in an untenable position where they may not be adoptable because they are too sick.

The bottom line is this: seek help from the organizations listed above before you abandon your kitty or your dog.  They are members of your family and are like children. You would not just throw out your kids, would you?

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