Abandoned dogs

Many people coming to the vet clinics when they find abandoned or lost dogs or cats is usual. The first thing we do is to check if the animal is identified, so we can contact its owner, what is usual, but sometimes, we have animals that do not have any identification, so we do not know anything about their precedence and sometimes they have some pathologies that need vet assistance. On the other hand, the person who brings us the animal almost always thinks that we have the “obligation” to adopt all the weak animals in the world just because we are vets. We usually take and give “free” assistance to those animals that although are not identified, the seriousness of their situation needs it so. So we always have the dilemma of what to do after the recovering of the animal. The hosts in the area are full and there is no local kennel. What to do then? We almost always try to look for a responsible owner through ads or clients, and so many times we haven’t had a place to hospitalise an animal just because its place was occupied by any of these “without owner” animal.

Taking only ill animals, with vital risk, is a fact we are obliged to by professional ethics. However, many people do not understand that a vet clinic is not a host or a NGO, but a business some families are living of and we cannot take any animal wandering in the street. However, and in spite of it, we make the mistake of taking these healthy animals, waiting for someone to pick them up. About three weeks ago, we were told about a dog which had suffered an accident in Alamillo beach. We took it in our clinic for 10 days and nobody asked for it. Also, we hosted a group of kittens abandoned inside a rubbish container until we found an owner. And we had a Caniche dog completely healthy for 19 days, waiting for someone to ask for it. The animal, although it was very quiet, did not hold to be inside a jail, so we had to give it tranquillisers at night. The situation became unbearable, so we decided leave it at the same place where the clients, who brought it us, found it.

In my opinion, the presence of a free animal wandering in the street is a problem and a responsibility, firstly for the owner, since he/she has the obligation of taking care of his/her animal, perfectly identified with a chip (this is obligatory is some towns), and secondly, for the Town Council, who must avoid the presence of errant animals in the streets by means of a permanent service of local kennel, and also, they must make people obey the law on possession pet animals, demanding identification and vaccination against rabies of all the dogs. It is useless that people try to get vets involved in forced adoption of animals just because we are vets. Although my name is Francisco, I consider myself a professional living of his job and not as the Asis Saint. Our profession obliges us to heal with all the means in our hands, although we do not always get it, and of course, I do not have any moral obligation of adopting all the abandoned animals in the town. If we do numbers, I could estimate that 4-5 abandoned animals are brought to our clinic each month, number that is increased in summer months.

Av. Costa Cálida Nº 31 - CP 30860 Puerto de Mazarrón (Murcia)