General Question

ibstubro's avatar

If you caught someone that dumped a house pet out on a country road, what punishment would you consider appropriate?

Asked by ibstubro (18724points) April 26th, 2015

We have the only business is what is otherwise a glorified trailer park. We have neighbors that ‘feed’ cats that are, for all intents and purposes, feral.

A few weeks ago a healthy, well fed orange cat showed up and meowed constantly. I suspected it had been dumped, but as it was mixing in with the neighbor’s cats and hanging out there, I didn’t know for sure. I’ve petted it, and given it a treat once in a while, but can’t really take responsibility because we sometimes go days or a week without being there. The feral cats already hang out at our building and poop under the lean-to shelters because it’s always dry under them.

Fast forward to today. The orange cat’s bones are showing, it no longer ‘talks’, and when I tried to feed it a hot dog, it would nip the end and then cringe – someone is baiting and abusing it. At the same time, the neighbor man says he’s feeding it, and I see them pet it. I vow that the next cat that’s dumped that’s approachable, I’m going to take to the animal shelter.

Sorry for the WOT, but you weren’t required to read it to give an answer. It’s eating away at me, and I needed to vent.

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29 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Community service In a vet.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Your story reminds me of a story I used to read as a kid (sorry I can’t find the link). Basically it’s about a horse that fought alongside with a man for a long time. Then it got old and got blind and the owner dumped it for a newer horse. The dumped horse walked around disoriented as it was blind, and gradually became something similar to your cat. One day it came near a bell and bit the rope thinking it was some kind of grass. The bell caught everyone’s attention. Everyone recognized the horse and force the owner to take it back and raise it for the rest of its life.

I’m thinking if that kind of punishment can be applied here…

chyna's avatar

Jail time.
I really cannot understand anyone dropping a pet.
I was backing out of my garage the other day and had thought I had the garage door between my house and garage closed. As I was backing out I saw my dog standing in the door way. She is a runner. I know that if she gets out, she will run. I threw my car in park (or so I thought) and jumped out to get her. I had thrown my car in drive and it hit the shelving in the front of my garage and also hit my hip.
This is a three month old car. All this to say the lengths I would go to take care of my dog.

People need to not be allowed to own animals unless they pass a test.

Coloma's avatar

Abandonment charges and a heavy fine, 2nd offense, a severe beating and jail time. haha
@ibstubro Oh that breaks my heart, can’t you get the kitty and take him to the shelter. Obviously he is not doing well. No offense but a hot dog isn’t good for the poor thing, I’d try to catch him or look and see if there are any cat rescue groups in your area.

Mack_Martinez's avatar

I would punish him to jump all the day…

cheebdragon's avatar

Death seems somewhat appropriate.

Oh wait, we are talking about cats? I was thinking of those people that let their dogs out of the car on a freeway….those people deserve death. Who cares if someone lets a cat out? Cats adapt to outdoor life pretty quick.

ragingloli's avatar

Jail, and a life-long ban to own pets and children.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We are plagued with that situation all the time. I live next to a wildlife management area. People think it is OK to drop off their pregnant cats, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rabbits, or any other ;animal they consider a nuasance and can trp in a HavAHart trap. They can tell their kids the animals are enjoying the country. BS! It is awful!
One of the kinder, elderly neighbors occasionally takes cats in to add to her “clowder”. I do not. I have IR trail cameras around my property and they will pick up and photograph animals that trip it. It appears that the Eastern Coyote (coywolves) in the neighborhood are controlling the population of feral animals. Sad, but necessary
We have reported people we saw dropping off animals to the police but never heard what happened.

jca's avatar

One year in jail, mandatory sentence.

I am not usually in favor of mandatory sentencing but I see no excuse for dropping off a house pet to fend for itself.

JLeslie's avatar

OMG. I can’t believe some of these stories. How do people sleep at night just dropping their domesticated pets into the streets. I would at minimum fine them and do something so they can never own a pet again.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Drop them off in the wilderness with no clothes or supplies? This is how I ended up with my two dogs. I came home and these two dogs started barking in my back yard and charging towards me. I thought they were Irish Setters at first, they were that skinny. I gave them my leftover steak, which in hindsight was probably way too rich, but I didn’t know their story. They were great dogs, and we had a helluva a good run. A guy had bought them thinking he could breed them and make a ton of money. When that didn’t happen he dumped them.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The amount of time and money that would need to be invested in tracking down the potentially former owners of these pets doesn’t seem like a good use of resources, including monitoring their them after the fact, and especially jail time.

Why the person can’t take the pet to a shelter is beyond me though. Are there not enough animal shelters in our countries? Is it possible that the person thinks that its chance of survival is better being placed in the country than taking it to a shelter where there’s chance of being euthanized?

A better use of time and money is spending it on educating people about the facts regarding what happens to domestic pets that are dumped in the wild. Not all of them are adopted by humans, despite the plethora of warm and fuzzy stories that crop up in the news. There is a greater risk of rabies, starvation, illness and death. Maybe they rationalize their action by hoping that the pet will live a happier life if set free than going to a shelter.

So, what might be an appropriate punishment if caught? Why not require that they work at an animal shelter for a specified period of time? It should be long enough to understand that animals brought there have a better chance for survival, adoption, and at worst, a more peaceful death by euthanasia. They are spayed or neutered, preventing additional contributions to the domesticated pet problem. They also receive vaccinations.

Mandatory volunteer work seems like it would help address the issue. Maybe even make it a requirement that they write a report after serving their sentence that could be published in order to help educate the public.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like @Pied_Pfeffer ‘s idea. Spay or neuter the owner.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Kidding, but it might work too.

ibstubro's avatar

Thanks, all.
I’m fighting the urge to bring him home. Home probably means and end as roadkill, but that might be preferable to what the cat has now.
Maybe we could require embedding chips along with vaccination. Make the owners easier to identify?

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: Bring the poor thing home.

I think some people might not want to bring the animal to a shelter because the shelter will give them a hard time and shame them, and I also heard that some shelters require money if you’re dropping an animal off. There’s one near where I work, and I hear they not only want money but they want you to live in the town. That’s a deterrent for people to bring their animals there, even stray animals.

Coloma's avatar

@cheebdragon No they don’t. That is a myth that is still perpetuated.
They get hit by cars, picked off by coyotes, ( in my area for sure ) attacked by dogs, abused by humans.
They starve, catch diseases if not vaccinated, reproduce, succumb to internal and external parasites and in general lead short and miserable lives. Yes, a cat may fare better than a dog more often than not, dogs are scavengers not hunters for the most part, but catching a mouse or little bird every few days or finding some little morsel in the trash is not even close to maintaining health.

sahID's avatar

I concur with @ragingloli‘s solution.

Afos22's avatar

There is a double standard here. We’re fine letting some animals die but not others. I say if they abandon an animal to die, they should have to eat it. If you kill an animal you should eat it.

ibstubro's avatar

A meat permit, @Afos22? Once a year, you have to go in and kill a cow, a pig, a chicken and a turkey? Any other animal flesh you will eat in the coming year? I like it!

ibstubro's avatar

Coyotes, fox and coons are also serious threats at my house. Given that I cannot have a cat in the house, how could I best keep the cat safe?
I have a detached shed the size of a 2 car garage, but the coons can get anyplace a cat can.

Jewel10's avatar

It’s illegal to dump pets. If you can get a license plate number, be sure to call your local authorities and give them the info. :)

If the cat looks sickly, then it might have feline leukemia, which is AIDS virus in cats, and is highly contagious, meaning, other cats WILL it if they’re being fed in the same containers.

A cat I adopted turned out having it and the vet had to put it down. :(

Whether humans can acquire the disease is said to be “Not possible”, yet if an armadillo has AIDS, humans can get it. So, be careful.

If you call the local SPCA or animal shelter they can provide you with cat traps. They will bait them & catch the cats without harming them.
When you catch a cat, call them & they will pick them up.

With this tactic, at least you will feel better about yourself having done something to control the problem, rather than let it go & these cats reproduce & you have 20 new kittens suffering on your property.

The SPCA is good about adopting out cats, but shelters may put feral/wild cats down.
Do something though. :)

Jewel10's avatar

Also I wanted to say that many times angry spouses or angry boyfriends or angry neighbors…etc. will take & dump their wife, girlfriend or neighbors pets off to abandon them.

They do this for spite when that significant other has left them or is fighting with them.

Many times the True owners of the animals are Desperately looking for their pets.

So My Wish is that anyone who finds a stray will First seek the True Owner of that pet, Before deciding to Keep it.

I still Miss my cat that was stolen by a neighbor that moved away some yrs ago. :(

Most Newspapers allow you to run a FOUND PET Ad for free. Please do that 1st. :)

Jewel10's avatar

You can take a stray animal to a Veterinarian and they will scan for a microchip for FREE
to find their rightful owner. :)

Watch this a man reunited with his dog after losing him 7 years ago! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxPrzr4ap9Q

A woman & her dog reunite after losing her dog for 9 months! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFkLDSmLouU

A family reunites with their dog after nearly 2 years! :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyWJ6ZRJJhw

You can take a stray animal to a Veterinarian and they will scan for a microchip for FREE
to find their rightful owner. :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Jewel10 Those video clips had me in tears! Now I can’t see my keyboard.

ibstubro's avatar

—I fed him some grilled chicken breast meat today.-

How can you tell if a cat has a chip?

Afos22's avatar

@ibstubro You can’t buy buttured meat anymore. You have to kill your own. I like it.

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro If you take him to any vet or shelter they can scan him for a microchip.

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