Orphaned Coyote Pup

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An old experience with animal abuse that still stings

One of the cruelest cases(of animal abuse) I have ever seen involved an Albuquerque vet. We, Nancy, Sarah and I, delivered him a little cat on a rainy weekend afternoon, expecting him to euthanize it. It had been hit by a car, was still alive, but not by much. Oh no, he said, we can save this guy. But I will need some money up front. So I gave him $50, pointing out that he was not mine and I didn't have much and that that was a lot at the time. Oh, don't worry, we will find his owner, the good doctor said. I stopped by the next day to see how the patient was doing and the staff let me in to see him, laying still, eyes open, breathing laboringly, a liquid dripping into his leg. A couple of days,maybe a week of this later, they called to tell me that the owner had come to claim her cat and wanted to even up with me. She was in tears in the waiting room when I got there; the vet, bless his benevolent heart, wanted almost $300 from her on top of my $50, the cat still wasn't moving, she was't really even sure it was her cat, and she didn't know what to do. To help things along, the vet was storming in and out of the waiting area mumbling in a too-loud-and-angry voice that he wasn't running a charity operation and he was tired of being taken advantage by people who thought he was, blah, blah, blah. Somehow we made it through this ordeal, firgure out between us how we would pay the vet's bill -- outrageously expensive in my mind for the time -- and my new friend took her cat with her, rushing to her own vet, who immediately said the cat had no chance of living, that its injuries clearly indicated the need for euthanasia, which he did, ending the little cat's misintended misery.

Now this is indeed the worst vet story I have ever run into. Most every other veterinarian I have met has had a wonderful approach to animals and their lives, and, most of the time, their owners, too. With their help I have managed to keep quite a few little furry ones alive and still stay somewhat solvent in the process. As a group, I love them, have a great deal of respect for the profession, wish I were one, and am always happy when I hear that someone I know wants to become one. But this one, and he and I and my late cat friend's owner all know who he is, is something else. Deliberately to maintain the life of an injured animal requiring the grace of death is beyond belief. I certainly felt victimized by this man. I am sure the cat was, too.