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FGS's avatar

Have you ever taken in a stray animal? How was (is) your experience?

Asked by FGS (1927points) May 8th, 2009

I’ve never owned anything other than strays. My cat Frank, pretty much chose me to be his minion after his first owners just left him behind when they moved (cat’s are weird like that you know) He’s one of my bestest buds. I’ve had other experiences that were less than perfect. What are yours?

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32 Answers

Ivan's avatar

When I was really young, my mom brought home a Chihuahua she found on the street. It was a really great dog who lived a long time. Still miss that guy.

goose756's avatar

I actually found a stray cat by my apartment about a month and a half ago, it was still really cold out and I called him over and he immediately started rubbing all over me and letting me pet him and pick him up so I took him home for the night. We put flyers up all over campus and nobody claimed him so we decided to keep him, and I couldn’t be happier. We’ve taken him to the vet to get all of his shots and we’re going to get him fixed soon (he’s less than a year old).

He’s super awesome though, very playful, loves attention, and he pretty much will let you do anything to him.. he’s not one of those cats that doesn’t like to be touched in certain places you can rub his belly, play with his paws, scruff him up a little bit and he could care less as long as he’s getting some lovin’!

So overall my experience has been great, the only thing that might prove to be a bit of a challenge is finding an easy way to move across the country with him, but I’ll figure it out theres no way I’m leaving without him :)

kheredia's avatar

My Gosh… I’ve been picking up strays since I started walking!! Lol!!! My mothers house still has a couple of strays they took in, one of which I took over to them because I couldn’t keep him. He was a tiny little kitten back then and I have two big dogs. My sister has also picked up a couple of dogs but she always manages to either find the owner or re-home them with a new family. i just don’t have the heart to leave a poor animal to be hit by a car or die of hunger. My entire family feels the same way which is why its just become so easy for me to pick up strays. There is just not another option for me.

Dog's avatar

Every animal that has co-habitated with me has been a stray or rescue. All have been loyal and loving companions.
In fact- I myself was a stray. :)

knitfroggy's avatar

My sis found a kitten during a rain storm. He was so tiny. We took him in because my sister was afraid her bull mastiff would play too rough with the kitten and kill or hurt him. the bull mastiff was only about a year old at the time Tabby as he came to be known has been the best cat we’ve ever owned. He is a beautiful pumpkin colored tabby cat. We’ve had him almost 8 years now. I think they know when you save them. Tabby loves everyone in the family like crazy.

crisw's avatar

I’ve brought home innumerable strays over the years, of many species (mostly cats.) All have been great pets.

goose756's avatar

@knitfroggy I absolutely agree that they know when you save them.. I think when they have previously been in a rough situation and realize that you are doing everything you can to allow them to live comfortably.. and sometimes spoiled, they end up being the best pets in the world.

westy81585's avatar

My pet cat back home. Got her when I was in kindergarten…. I’m now 23. Lover her to death.

hearkat's avatar

All our cats over my lifetime have been strays or rescues… except our newest addition, whom her previous owner willed to us (we literally inherited her)... she was a stray prior to that.

justwannaknow's avatar

I live in a rural area and are often the recipent fo cats that are being “relocated” because of whatever reason. Some even brought their food and bedding with them and let it at the end of our driveway. A few were evidently runaways that were hardly old enough to eat on their own. They have all been taken in and loved and returned the love. Some were able to move to better homes and live a good life. the rest stayed thru retirement age or are still living here today. (currently 8)

augustlan's avatar

All my cats have been strays or rescues. Or gifts! Two different boyfriends in my lifetime have given me a pure black kitten. What do you think that says about me? I currently have one rescue and one stray (who is, um, coincidentally all black). Most have been wonderful animals, but I’ve had a few bad experiences. Let’s just say… stray cats are not the same as wild cats. The wilds (feral?) didn’t work out well at all. :(

I’m happy to say that the two that share our home with us currently are the best damn animals I’ve ever had. :D

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve been lucky enough to get my pets before they become strays. My friends know I won’t say no if they ask me to take the pet they no longer want. My dog moved in with me from the neighbor’s house down the street. He didn’t like living at their house.

lisaj89's avatar

At one point it seemed like we were running a kitten mill at our house. I made the mistake of feeding one cat which led to four generations of cats. We were able to get all but four cats adopted. Two had to be put down due to sickness. The other two “strays” are now fixed and living outside.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

All of my animals have been strays, except my first animal, who was a dog named Cowboy. I either outright stole animals from homes I knew to be very abusive, or animals who clearly had no home started to adopt me, so I naturally took them home. I was glad to do it every single time and I’m sure it’s something that I’ll keep doing until I die. :)

cookieman's avatar

Both dogs I had were a rescue and a stray respectively.

The Basset Hound was rescued by my girlfriend (now wife) and given to me. She was a wonderful dog.

The Yorkie was found on the street by my nephew late one night. He had some medical issues, but he was another great pooch.

I’ve enjoyed being dog-free these past three years, but my daughter is itching to get a dog – so here we go again…

electricsky's avatar

My moms been an animal rescuer almost her whole life. So yes, yes, yes.
Since I was born my mom has rescued (strays mostly) a total of 111 animals. Most of them we found on the side of the road, the rest are odd cases. Of course, the thing to keep in mind with strays is that 75% of the time… there’s a reason they were abandoned (obviously there’s never a GOOD reason), for instance we have a pitbull, sweet as can be, but she occasionally bites men, and only men. We’re guessing she was abused by a man, but she bit him a few too many times and he dumped her. We also have a chihuahua… sweetest dog ever, however he was very, very abused. Literally, all you have to do is look at him wrong and he’ll drop onto his back and cry. Most of ours have been abuse cases, so naturally they come with weird hangups or strange quirks. However, one dog we have that was born here in my closet and has never, ever had a hand laid on him, acts like you’re going to beat the shit out of him all the time. Go figure.

casheroo's avatar

Only one cat I had growing up wasn’t a rescue. The other we got at the SPCA. Our family dog, we got at a farm in Michigan (we lived there) he wasn’t a breeder, but his dogs had puppies, and he just wanted to get rid of them, so we got the male beagle.

The two cats we have now were technically strays.

I found an ad on Craigslist for a cat, I believe they sent me pictures and I knew we had to get him. The lady who found him was an obsessed cat lady, her apartment was filled with cats that she takes care of (most of them were usually outside she said) big murals of cats on the wall..it was a trip. She found the cat abandoned, he was very very young, most likely not even 4 weeks old. We didn’t know a lot about the care of a newborn cat so we had to do research quickly. He had a lot of worm problems at first, it took months to get rid of them, but we finally rid of them completely.
Our other cat, Henry, was an outdoor cat in West Virginia, a girl my husband worked with called my husband and said we just had to have one of the cats because they needed homes. So my husband said yes, and she brought us our Henry.
If we ever get any more animals, cats will definitely be from a kill shelter and possibly a shelter dog…depends on how old our children are though.

basp's avatar

We have had many pets over the years and all of them came to us after being “thrown away”.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

at the risk of sounding like i run a zoo, i have about 8 cats, 5 dogs, and a turtle. they are all strays (actually, dogs are former puppies of a stray).

i’d never take in animals another way, simply because i think it’s horrible that we breed animals just to get a certain breed when there are animals all over the streets with nowhere to go.
we haven’t really run into any problems that someone with a puppy/kitty mill sort of pet owner would run into.
however, strays do have a tendency to either be a little more easily spooked than other animals, because they’re not used to receiving friendly treatment. also, they may have bugs or health problems you’ll want to get checked up on at a vet. the occasional stray is more aggressive because of the way they’re usually treated, but if they learn that you’re kind, they’ll respond well over time.

casheroo's avatar

@tiffyandthewall that’s a lot of cats! haha. That’s so true about strays, it took time for Hnery to adjust to being an indoor cat (he was only 6 or so weeks old when we got him) and he got the butt worms from Spencer so it was such a pain dealing with two cats with worms..but it’s so easily treatable, and we had a great vet. He did spook much easier than any cat I’ve had (well, except for the SPCA cat we got, he was soo skittish)

gailcalled's avatar

Milo here; I was rescued from an animal shelter because of my gorgeousness. I wouldn’t dream of being humble, letting anyone pet my belly or trip my nails. I am too delicate for that, and I still find that occasionally nipping Gail keeps her in her place (at the food container, litter box or catnip jar, usually).

Unfortunately she is a really slow learner. However, she did have the decency to plant some fresh catnip plants outside in a convenient place.

jca's avatar

i currently have three cats, two were strays (one was born outside an AIDS shelter and people would go pick up the kittens) one i found in a parking lot on a winter night, and the third, who was not a stray when i got her, was my client’s cat and this cat did not get along with her other cat. most of my cats have been strays, because i never make a conscious decision “i need a cat, i am going to get a cat.” the cats either seem to come into my life by fate (like by being in the parking lot when i found that cat) or someone tells me about some stray cat that seems nice but homeless. i never decide to get a cat and go buy one.

a friend of mine is breeding Siamese, she has two mother Siamese cats and a male and she breeds and sells them, which i think is terrible. i never tell her i think that because i don’t want to start a fight, but it’s terrible to breed more cats (or any animal) when there are already so many unwanted ones. i think by breeding cats it prevents people from going to shelters and getting them, or having a cat find them by fate, like most of my cats have done with me.

gailcalled's avatar

Milo again; edit; “trim.” (Gail’s fault, of course.)

Darwin's avatar

All of my animals have been rescues or strays. All of them have been great additions to the household, no matter what their foibles are. Right now we are down to only 5 dogs and 7 cats, but every single one is a cherished member of the family.

cookieman's avatar

^^ “only” ^^

gailcalled's avatar

How do you deal with pooper scoopers for five dogs and litter boxes (and the emptying therein, or thereout) for 7 cats?

Darwin's avatar

@gailcalled – The dogs poop on daily walks and I carry plastic grocery bags to gather up the results and put them in the trash. They pee in the backyard, which is pretty much theirs, during their forays in and out (and in and out and in and…). And I have one bathroom dedicated to the cats, with light-weight clumping litter scooped daily and changed twice a week.

It is not hard as long as one is systematic about it.

gailcalled's avatar

@Darwin: I call that not only heroic but real love.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

That stray 12 foot alligator I adopted was a bit of a problem, but he did clean up the stray cats in the neighborhood, so I guess it wasn’t all that bad. When I took him for walks, the little old ladies with their pekinese and poodles would cross the street to walk on the far sidewalk, I’m not sure why.

Darwin's avatar

@gailcalled – It’s easier than cleaning up after teenagers, which I also have to do.

gailcalled's avatar

Ah, yes, I remember it well. Every summer for years I had my two and my three steps living together in a summer camp w. no road. To get anywhere we had to go by boat. When they were teen-agers, all at the same time, it got really complicated. They ran one of our boats aground once in the fog and we had to go tow them home.

veronasgirl's avatar

I’ve never gotten an animal from a pet store. When I was growing up, all of the cats we ever had just came trotting onto our farm, so we gave them a home. We also rescued a lot of baby rabbits, birds, and ducks.

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