I get off the phone one more time and want to shout, “I’m not your mother!” Neither are the dozens of kind, responsible Patterson citizens who pick up, care for, agonize and cry over, feed and water, make trips to the veterinarians and shelter, and absorb medical and grooming costs for the hundreds of loose, stray and deliberately abandoned dogs and cats in our area.
However, if I am wrong and a little motherly advice is needed, here are the rules I would post on the family refrigerator:
1. Use our community. If you lose a pet, do what people do when they find a dog or cat — notify the animal shelters (558-7387 or 892-3114); call the veterinarians, groomers and kennels; put an ad in the local newspaper (Patterson Irrigator, 892-6187). Go to Craigslist.com, Petfinder.com, Adoptapet.com or Stancounty.com/animalservices — some sites allow you to send out postcards locally for a fee. People can also hand out fliers or walk through the kennels at Stanislaus Animal Services, 3647 Cornucopia Way, in Modesto, at least every other day. Pets can be euthanized in three days.
2. Buy your pet a ticket home. Put identification on the collar or, better yet, microchip and register the chip in your name.
3. Don’t let the dogs out. Your neighbor’s lawn and the public parks are not dog and cat toilets. Please keep your pets confined to your property — it’s a law for dogs and a courtesy to neighbors. Even better, get off the couch and take your dog for a walk on a leash.
4. Treat your pet better than garbage. Don’t shove it out the door, drop it by the side of the road for someone else to pick up or abandon it in your vacant home. If your life situation changes and you can’t keep your pet, find a loving, responsible home. Contact the animal rescues; or take it to the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency. Abandonment is inhumane, selfish and illegal.
Let’s put Patterson on the map as a community known for its humane and enlightened treatment of its animals. At Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, Patterson has a good reputation for the high percentage of our pets that are licensed, compared to other communities. Let’s show the rest that we are the most pet friendly and pet responsible community in the county.
Augusta Farley, Patterson