October 4, 2010

Some Thoughts On These Thoughts

All American Mutt Rescue posted this entry on their facebook page today:

"All American Mutt Rescue has many mixed thoughts/emotions re. Mr. Snelling and his 'hoarded' animals. Nice man, good heart, got in over his head, needs help. The 'owners' of the animals have some responsibility here. If they kept ID (esp microchips) on their pets and kept their pets at home, many could not have ended up with Mr. Snelling. Just a thought."

One week ago, Angels of Assisi took in 102 dogs and cats that were seized by Animal Control. It is now our responsibility to provide these animals safe housing, fresh air, fresh food, fresh water, and as much TLC as possible. It's a lot of work, but when we look into the eyes that are depending on us to care for them, it's all worthwhile.

It is not our place to judge Mr. Snelling, that is what the court system is in place to do. It is not our place to comment or speculate on Mr. Snelling and the situation that led up to the seizure last week. It is however, our place to continue to care for the animals that all need medical intervention.

As compassionate beings, it is also our place to listen to and accommodate the people who may have lost a beloved pet. Chances are slim that their cat or dog is in our building, but it's worth a shot for them to come look.

This situation would have a perfect time to launch a “You Must Microchip Your Pet Or This Could Happen To You" campaign, but we felt it would have been very hurtful to people who feel bad enough about losing a family member. Believe me, every person who walked through our front door in hopes of finding a lost pet wished that pet was microchipped.

Things happen, pets get lost. And yes, sometimes even stolen from "owners" who love them. Seems to me that times are hard enough lately- lost jobs, lost homes, a country at war, and for some an uncertain future.

Let's not insinuate that people we don't even know are irresponsible and made the horrifying error of not microchipping their pets. I think they have learned their lesson, and I bet others have picked up on it too. We're all in this crazy thing called life together; my vote is to leave the judging up to the judge, learn from our mistakes, and move forward.


  1. Amen Lisa. Your thoughtfulness in times of pain for many are words well spoken. I have an older dog that has never been microchipped. I am blessed to have a huge fenced in yard but Toby has managed to take his pal Maggie and run the neighborhood when one of us forgot to shut the gate carefully. You can bet I'm going to have him microchipped now. even though I deal with rescue all the time; this one experience has brought home the importance of microchipping more that any other. Thank you Diane

  2. I'm not so certain that microchipping would have been the resolution here. I'm sure it will come out in trial, but one of Mr. Snelling's issues seems to be that he truly believes he can care for the animals better than anyone else. I read one story at about a woman whose cat was found among the animals rescued by Assisi - she was once neighbors with Snelling and he offered to care for her cat when she moved - but then instead of giving it back, told her it was gone, when he had it all along. It does not appear to be a case of a person finding animals and trying to reunite them with their owners ... and if that's true, microchips wouldn't work.

    One could equally say that if every pet owner spayed or neutered their pet, he wouldn't have had over a hundred animals in his home either - the cats likely multiplied rapidly on their own.

    What irks me about this comment from All American Mutt Rescue is that it shows the growing trend of moving blame away from the accused and onto the victim. Accidents happen; we are humans, not robots. But the true crime is when someone else does not do the right thing in response to an accident, like a pet getting loose. Yes, we need to take measures to prevent our pets from getting into the hands of disordered people like Snelling, but he has an obligation to the pets and their owners as well.

  3. In reading about hoarding cases, I came to learn that those who do it are recognized by Psychologists as having a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. They truly believe they can care for the animals, and do not have the ability to recognize the suffering of the animals. This should really be taken into consideration with hoarders. In court, it should really be insisted upon that the hoarder enter into mandatory psychiatric care for the condition before being allowed to have pets again.