Abandoned dogs, cats, puppies and kittens have (unfortunately) become rather commonplace. It’s not unusual to find these kinds of critters turned out on their home when their owners tire of them.
But the sort of people who get tired of their animals and abandon them are not limited to cat and dog owners.
At one point in my life, I lived at a house that had several acres of open property behind it. There were fruit trees, little marshy areas with water, and lots of plants — so it became a dumping ground.
Over the span of several years, we found and sheltered turtles, guinea pigs, rabbits and kittens. Except for the turtle (since they’re notorious for digging their way out of enclosures), it was pretty clear the others were abandoned.
The guinea pigs had found an old ground squirrel hole to hide in — we only found them because a red-tailed hawk was repeatedly dive-bombing a certain area near a tree.
The rabbits were light-colored, large, and one was floppy-eared — clearly not wild. The kittens were dropped off in a rickety old dog house, where they hid, holding on to a remnant of their former life for security until we caught them and brought them in.
I guess some people think they’re giving animals “a chance” by releasing them into nature. The “chances” you give them are a chance to starve to death, get hit by a car, or be eaten by birds of prey, coyotes, or bobcats.
Jacqueline Panzo encountered a similar scenario with her boyfriend about four months ago. As they walked to a nearby store, they came across an oddly shaped black bag.
A white wire cage top was partially visible, but as she got closer, she saw that the object was a hamster cage. It had been stuffed in a plastic bag and left next to a sidewalk.
Despite the fact that the door had been left open, the cage still had an inhabitant.
“The first thing that came to mind was, ‘There’s no way I can just leave him here,’” Panzo told The Dodo. “I felt so worried about him, and although I wasn’t sure he was going to survive, I knew I had to do whatever I could to make him comfortable and warm again.”
He had some missing hair and appeared cold and scared at first, but he soon warmed up. They named him “Hamtaro” and were surprised by how friendly he was.
Panzo told The Dodo that he’s happy in his new home and they’re happy with him. “He is so sweet, so curious and so relaxed,” she said. “Every time he hears and sees me or the other people he trusts, he perks up and comes to the entrance of his cage because he wants to come out and play.”
Keep your eyes open when you’re out and about — you never know if you might find an animal that needs your help.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.