Mr. Pickle Has 3 Days To Live

I belong to a group called Fullcircles (previously Freecycle), which offers items to our local community Free. The idea is to keep things, which are still reusable to others, out of the landfills. There is no charge for the items, and all one has to do is offer for the things they want. We have a Pet Advisor on the site as well, who tries to help foster, home, and adopt pets who are no longer wanted for a variety of reasons. It was on Fullcircles that I was destined to meet Mr. P (Pickle). The call for adoption came in an unusual way, and I got on it right away. The Subject Line read: MR. PICKLE HAS 3 DAYS TO LIVE, 2 year old, male tabby, neutered and declawed. If interested in giving Mr. Pickle a forever home, please call……..

It was the subject that got me, and I was very curious as to why Mr. P had 3 days to live, so I made the call, even though my hubby and I presently have two cats – Kali and KoKo, one dog-Kita, a cockatiel-Pretty Bird and a budgie-Sweetie Bird. We are both retired, and the last thing hubby wanted was another animal to take care of, so he gave me the token warning. I in turn, said "Don't worry, I just want to find out what they mean by 3 days to live."

Well, I made the call, and spoke with the lady who put out the advertisement on Fullcircles…..It goes like this:

Mr. P was abandoned by someone in the Qu'Appelle area of our province. A very pretty area with hills and lots of trees, with a little town set right in the middle of it all, called Fort Qu'Appelle. I don't know how long Mr. P had been abandoned, but somewhere along the line he was picked up while trying to fend for himself, and taken to the local animal shelter, hopefully to be adopted by someone in the very near future (and I mean very near), or the owner called and claimed him….that didn't happen.

Now normally I would think about adopting, but in the back of my mind I told myself that I already had my furry, feathery pets, and I shouldn't take this extra one (but that was before I asked about the 3 days to live thing.) Apparently, the Qu'Appelle District has a rule about strays, no matter what shape they are in. If they are picked up and brought to the shelter, the Bylaw of the town/shelter states that they will only keep the animals for a 3 day period, and after that it's (to say this nicely) Lights Out! for that animal. Pretty short notice on life for any animal who ends up in this shelter. I was still undecided about Mr. P, until I asked exactly what that meant and here is the answer. No matter what the health of the cat, no matter if it was an unclaimed pet, or an abandoned pet left to fend for himself (as in Mr. P's case), if they were in the shelter, they could only be there for 3 days and after that were taken out of the shelter and put down. Okay, I understand that, and mentioned that it was a pretty short time for an animal to have a chance to be claimed, and if not they are euthanized. I suppose normally over population would be when euthanization was done, however, in the case of the bylaw, euthanization isn't the way Mr. P would go. He would be taken out and shot! Yes, that's what I said – Shot! It was at that point I told this lady I wouldn't stand to see any animal shot and that I would take him and give him a forever home. The kids here will get used to him (and they did). Mr. P was delivered to me a couple of days later by the lady who put out the ad; and I am so glad I didn't listen to my husband. He is the sweetest, most docile, lovable cat I have ever had the pleasure of bringing to my home. He is playful, always looks surprised when you call him, sleeps on the bed between the pillows, and sometimes under the covers at the foot of the bed, plays with the dog. He is a great addition to the family, and never causes a problem. I know he is happy here, as he is everywhere we are, and even likes to be outside on a harness and leash. He'll never have to worry again, and he will have his forever home with us and I am happy to give this to him for the return of his love and trust.

Dr. Debra, I will never understand people who turn their back on the most faithful of all beings on the face of this earth. How can people declaw their pets, then dump them to leave them fend for themselves. When I see this kind of cruelty – the abandonment, the torture, the mistreatment of any animal, I often think of one of the 10 commandments – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Some days I wish someone would do the same to these heartless people and then perhaps they would learn that pets are the most true loves, the most faithful companions, who would do anything for you without question. I wish I had a larger home, and I'd be taking in strays from all over the place, but I don't. There are too many animals to care for and not enough people who are committed to caring for them for their entire life. I don't know why – Animals are committed to us for life – why can't we do the same.

Thank you for listening.


Saskatchewan, Canada