Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Happens After You Leave Your Pets Behind?

URGENT Appeal to Animal Lovers or Folks Who Know Animal Lovers,

Important and Urgent Need to Find Good Home(s) for Two Loving Cats ( may be separated ),


Little One

 “Little One “ a sweet, quiet purring lover  “ Frankie” – timid, quiet, equally loving 
On January 2, 2014,  my brother, Mark, fell asleep in the Lord in his home in Maryland. Though his Golden Retriever, Andy, now has a loving home here with our Golden, Brady, one of my sons as well as I have respiratory allergy to cats. We are so sad we unable to provide that same love and protection for “Little One” – a white, pointed 5 yr. old cat and “Frankie” – a mixed older Siamese cat.  Each cat’s disposition is very good  - both raised as inside cats – “Frankie” is very timid though loving, and needs tons of petting, while “Little One “ purrs closely in your ear as she gives you all the love and attention you’d ever desire. Both cats are up to date with all medicals, since they have been boarded and cared for by the most compassionate veterinary clinic on the planet, Jarrettsville Veterinary Center.     www.jarrettsvillevet.com
Dr. Magnifico and all her extraordinary staff are assisting us during this difficult time in the expectation that collectively we can network this message expediently to find each cat a loving, secure, permanent new home.  Mark’s hope was that each catcontinue to receive the love his home provided, as both cats were brought into their household by Mark’s wife Rita, who also passed in the Lord just six months earlier this past summer. Our family will additionally arrange and provide for the transportation associated with transitioning either cat to a new home, as they may live separately. Should you be, or know of a household seeking more information on adopting these cats,please reach out to us via my Facebook page.
             KINDLY help us by swiftly networking this appeal to your contacts.  

The above pleas was written by Claudia, the sister of one of our long time clients the Rabiecki's.

When your practice has been in the community for over 50 years you are a part of the landscape. We are tied to our community and feel proud to serve as both a caretaker for their family whether it be to share the crazy antics of the new puppy or to be a shoulder to lean on through the dark days of losing your pet. But there are a few roles we play behind the scenes that the community rarely hears about.

When we lose a human member of our family we are there to help with the transition of their pets. For the Rubiecki's it was a terrible sequence of events that left a family of three cats and a two year old Golden Retriever orphaned and homeless. 

Like so many of us our family is a close knit interdependent group of individuals all sharing a common home with adults who provide food, shelter, veterinary care, and love. The days weave themselves into years and few of us stop to think that our pets might outlive us. This winter we have had three separate families die in their homes without anyone knowing. Days went by and the pets had to fend for themselves. When the deceased were found Animal Control was called in to take the pets to the shelter where they were fed and cared for. But shelters are scary places for pets to go. There is the constant inescapable threat of illness and the real possibility of not being adopted, or losing your spot in the cage due to overcrowding or a "more adoptable" pet.

When I received a call from our clients family that the pets had been taken to the shelter we immediately called and asked that all of their pets be either transferred to the clinic, or held until the families next of kin could arrive to claim them. I was assured that the pets would be kept safely allowing the family to arrive from New England. A few days later the sister of our client, Claudia, called. She was trying to find homes for the three cats due to her severe allergies. I explained to her that we would be happy to help her with this. We went to pick up the brood and brought them all to stay with us while she made her brothers funeral arrangements.

Of the three cats, Sylvester was the most fragile. He had been dealing with a serious illness while his dad was alive, but the stress of being left alone for days, being kept in the shelter, and then moved to the clinic, proved to be too much for his aged self. He died in our care about a week after he arrived. He was not alone, and although he received every medical treatment option available he just didn't have the strength or reserves to pull through. 

Little One, the youngest, and the most outgoing was placed easily after a few Facebook postings and an incredible word of mouth effort from his aunt and newly adopted JVC family. He lives a few miles away and his new mom sends us photos every few weeks. 

Frankie, at 16, and already a shy introverted soul took about three months to place. She was adopted by a client who only adopts the "older and harder to place" cats. I met her on Friday. She is a kind, patient, soft spoken woman who understands Frankie's needs and requirements. I am sure that there is no better home for Frankie.

As for that two year old Golden puppy Andy, well, his story was a bit shorter, but no less dramatic. We knew Andy from the time that he was an 8 week old puppy. His parents loved him immensely and he was always with them. Claudia wanted to bring him to her home and keep him. He would join her family of two boys and her Golden. He stayed with us at the clinic for the few days that it took for her to bury her brother, settle his estate, and close up their home. I was speaking to Claudia every few days, giving her updates on the cats and Andy, and helping her in whatever small way that we could. 

On the day that Andy was to be picked up and head back to Massachusetts with Claudia I was summoned to the front desk. There was a small woman demanding Andy. Seems she was the breeder who had co-owned Andy with his dad, our client, and now she was demanding I surrender him to her. Without much of a chance of introducing myself, she became irritable and boisterous. I asked her to step into one of the exam rooms with me to try to diffuse her anger. Seems she was angry with Andy's aunt and came to me to try to assert and demand that I surrender what she believed to be "her property." If any of you know me you know that I am not afraid of a loud demanding person. There is no amount if screaming, harassing, swearing, belittling, or grief that you can throw at me that will get me to bend. In fact it is quite the opposite. I let her dump her accusations, beliefs and opinions. When she finished she handed me a folder. Well, I should clarify, she tried to hand me a folder. 

"I'm sorry," I said, but you are not my client. You can demand anything that you want, but unless you are the client listed on Andy's medical record, or the state/county Animal Control, I will not allow you to see or take Andy." 

"I will sue you!" she screamed!

"Well, we live in the United States Of America, you can sue anyone you want to. It's still not going to change what I am telling you right now. Andy is in my care as placed here by my clients next of kin and I am only surrendering him to her or the state as requested by the formal documentation that they are required to give me should he be deemed a danger to the public."

After her scare/screaming tactics failed she tried to coerce me to review the legal paperwork she had that clearly stated Andy was hers. Once again I refused to touch or look at it. That paperwork was hers and if she had a case for Andy she could take Andy's aunt to court.

"Well, I believe that Andy's aunt is unfit for his care and I just wanted to take Andy so that I could see how he behaves around her. If he's OK with her I will give him to her," she quietly tried.

"I am an exceptional judge of character. I have no doubt that that is a total bold faced lie. You have no intention of doing anything for Andy's aunt who is the only person that has stepped forward to help all of the Rubiecki's pets." I said.

"You're right," she chirped. She gave up and I escorted her out the front door.

Claudia arrived ten minuted later and we smuggled Andy out the back. 

Two days later the breeder and Claudia reached a settlement for the half of Andy that the breeder felt was hers.

Andy, happy to be heading home to live with aunt Claudia.

Life isn't always fair, and it certainly isn't always predictable, but if you have pets please take a few moments to think about where they would go should you become incapable of caring for them, and be good to your sister, friends, siblings, etc..they just might be your pets saving grace!

All of us at JVC wish the Rabiecki clan a very long happy life in their new homes!

Estate Planning for Pets Information

If you have any pet related questions, comments, or just want to share your pet stories with me, you can find me on Pawbly.com. Or you can follow me on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, or I'm always available at the vet clinic, Jarrettsville Vet.

With love from my pups, Jekyll and Charlie

1 comment:

  1. thank you for that link. i co-own Ripley with my breeder, and while i don't believe she would fight my fiance' for ownership should i pass away unexpectedly, i do want to ensure she goes to the proper people should something happen.