Saturday, March 30, 2024

Abandoned by Eden Monroe


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In Sunrise Interrupted Dr. Beau Remington is a country veterinarian with of course an abiding love for animals. He, like most people, has little comprehension as to why anyone would ever knowingly abandon a pet, an animal that’s part of a family and looks to that family for love and care. Being left somewhere, abandoned in a carrier, a cage, or at the end of a leash is incredibly distressing for the pet.  They don’t understand why it’s happening, why they’ve been discarded.

According to the many sites online I accessed about this issue, all pointed out that it was on the rise – especially post pandemic. But why purposefully abandon an animal when there are humane alternatives such as shelters or rehoming? And it’s not just dogs and cats being left to face the elements and almost certain danger, but also rabbits, birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and farm animals. Being abandoned is not only cruel and abusive, it’s an immediate crisis for the pet in question. They have no idea why they’re being left behind as they watch you drive away or walk away, without a backward glance. They will wait several days for your return, likely frightened, not believing at first that the owner they love so much could do such a thing to them and not care about their suffering.

Tying a dog in a public place, then leaving with the intention of never coming back is a heartbreaking situation, a heartless crime, as is abandoning a pet in the woods or on the side of the road. It’s not unusual for a mother cat and her kittens to be left in a box at roadside in front of a farm. I’ve seen that several times. The mother cat and maybe one or two babies might make it to the barn, the others aren’t so lucky to survive, wandering, bewildered, onto a busy road….

It’s sad that a pet owner could find it within themselves to simply dump their pet. Is it a lack of awareness of available surrender options? Perhaps they think they’ll face judgment for giving up their pet if they do surrender it, so believe they have to find another way. Some may even have remorse for their actions, but a guiding principal when faced with such a difficult decision should be what’s best for the animal, not the owner.

Domesticated animals forced to fend for themselves often fall victim to predators, because they don’t have the necessary skills to survive in the wild or even in cities. They face starvation or severe weather, injury or illness and it usually doesn’t end well. We can only imagine their fear, their sadness at losing their family.

Surrendering a pet is most often a difficult decision made in desperate circumstances. People who love their pets and care for them, sometimes sadly find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to surrender them, but at least it’s being done humanely. At least they’re making a decision based on what’s best for the pet.

Abandoned, surrendered or lost animal numbers are staggering in the US alone, according to PETA ( “On any given day in the United States, there are an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggling to survive.”

And The sets out some startling abandonment statistics in the US:

The following statistics come from DoSomething and TopDogs:

  • Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1.
  • Roughly, 70 million cats are homeless in the United States.
  • Only 10% of dogs born will find a permanent home.
  • Around 3.9 million dogs are abandoned or given up to shelters each year.
  • 74.1% of lost dogs with good identification can be reunited with their owners.
  • Only 25 - 30% of dogs in shelters are purebreds. The rest are mostly mutts!”


I’ve quoted some US statistics in this blog, but the abandonment crisis exists for the most part on a global scale. Let’s choose a country at random, say France. The following appeared in

Thousands of holidaygoers in France are abandoning their pets on the way to the coast or countryside, local shelters say, with one organization already taking in 12,000 animals this summer

·         French animal shelters and officials are raising the alarm over a surge in pet-abandonment cases.

·         About 100,000 pets are abandoned in France each year, Transport Minister ClĂ©ment Beaune said.

·         It gets worse in the summer, when owners dump their pets while eager to get to their vacations….”



To choose another country randomly, in this case, Norway, it seems there is no stray pet issue. Says



“… if you visit Norway, you will notice that there are no stray dogs at all. So what’s the reason behind the lack of Norwegian stray dogs?

“The main reasons why there are no stray dogs in Norway is because the police and wildlife services are quick to pick up any ownerless dog. Puppies in Norway tend to cost 15,000 NOK ($1,500) or more, so people don’t generally just dump them, but rather prefer to sell them if they want to get rid of it….”

Aside from the humanitarian aspect of abandonment, it is in fact a crime to abandon an animal. It’s classified as animal abuse, and those found out face criminal charges. Laws vary throughout the world, but they are in place.

Some countries get very high marks for their treatment of animals. According to, the top five countries in the world highly rated in terms of animal welfare are: Austria, Switzerland, Kenya, India and Tanzania.

With the optimal end goal in mind for the animals themselves, spaying and neutering remains a viable solution. It’s also in the best interests of the owners. As well, donations to pet shelters are always welcome, and necessary, those who are doing their best, often on a volunteer basis, to care for animals who have lost their families.

In the very least, we can be kind.

Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi put it best:

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. 

Roostie the rooster was rehomed to Michael’s farm several years ago.


  1. Abandoned animals do bother me but I'm more into children who are abused and abandoned. Most of my charity money goes to those causes.

  2. I have always judged a person by primarily how they treat their children and secondly how they treat their animals. Neutering and spaying is the logical solution but those who are willing to abandon their pets would not consider going to that trouble.

  3. A good measure of a person's character is found in how they treat those who cannot defend themselves... children, the elderly, and animals. All my pets were rescued. My current cat, Pasha, was abused and shot with a BB gun. I adopted him over a year ago from World's cat Rescue. He was afraid of people. He still hides when strangers come to my home, but in private, he is the cuddliest and warmest purring machine you can imagine. He is full of love. Thanks for sharing. This is an important post.

  4. Horrifying statistics, to be sure. I agree with Vijaya, a person's character is surely demonstrated by how they treat the defenseless.


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