Neglect of animals takes many forms, but surely abandonment is the most extreme and least excusable. In many cases of neglect it’s not only the pet owner at fault but those who observe what is happening and fail to do anything about it.

A day doesn’t go by when one of our field investigation officers doesn’t respond to a complaint that a dog, a cat or a litter of puppies or kittens has been abandoned in an apartment, back yard or a park.

Spring brings more than pretty flowers. It brings litters of unwanted puppies and kittens who often are left to fend for themselves because a family moves and doesn’t take the pregnant momma cat or dog.

Frequently families move and leave a cat trapped in an apartment or a dog chained in a yard. They must imagine that “someone” will come along and rescue the pet, but this is not always the case.

The pets suffer tremendously if not noticed by a neighbor, landlord or someone who’s aware the owners have moved.

So whose responsibility is to look out for these animals? In the first place, pet owners need to be aware that it is kinder to take a pet to the shelter than to abandon it and hope someone else will take care of it.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is here to house and care for unwanted pets. We feed them, talk to them, exercise them and make it comfortable as possible while they’re here.

A good majority are adopted into new homes where they will live happy, healthy lives instead of wandering the streets until they are injured, killed or die from exposure.

Unfortunately, some pets must be euthanised.

It’s very important to take animals to shelters during working hours; animals cannot be left overnight. We accept animals daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary, or you may call the City’s animal control department at 670-7436.

Neighbors and passers-by must bear some responsibility for neglected pets, too. If you see a stray animal, don’t just ignore it. Do the same if you see a family move out and leave a pet behind.

If you see someone abandoning a pet on the road or in a park, try to get the license number and a description of the car and driver. Then you must be willing to testify in court. It is against the law to abandon an animal.

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