By Elisa Black-Taylor
This is a very distressing story about a cat who died over the weekend in a abandoned house. I call this “Cat Dies In Abandoned House.” But there are many other problems involved in the overall story. At the end, I’d like for the readers at pictures-of-cats.org to comment on whether you would break into a house if necessary to save the life of a cat.
The story made the news on Monday, December 6, 2010 out of Kissimmee, which is located in Osceloa County, Florida. Apparently the cat had been alone in the abandoned house for around a month, perhaps longer. A neighbor, Santiago Sandoval, took a photo of the cat through the door of the home. I won’t show that picture here because it’s too distressing to read the story and see the cat at the same time. The cat is still alive in the photo. It’s just heartbreaking. The entire story can be read and the photo seen here.
This entire situation leaves me angry at the world. At the renter who just moved off and left their cat. At the homeowner who never bothered to check on the place after the renter moved. At the officials who say their hands were tied until it was too late.
Lee Radevaugh, Director of Osceola County Animal Control, said there has to be probable cause to ask a judge for an order to break into a private residence. The police look at breaking and entering for any reason as a crime. I guess where fire or other emergencies are concerned a person may get away with it. But animals aren’t far enough up on their priority list for anyone to help.
The police department has already stated they’re already short-handed on the weekend and other cases took priority. This was reported over the weekend. It was just too little too late.
I don’t know whether to be angry at the neighbor who finally did report this. To be honest, I think I’m very angry. If you read the story linked above, you’ll see this neighbor did keep checking on the cat. At first the cat didn’t seem in distress. My guess is the cat became more vocal over time as it died of starvation. A necropsy (cat autopsy) is being performed to determine the cause of death.
One of my heroes would have done something if he’d known about this. Here’s a story I’d like for you to read about animal activist Hans Peterson from California. And yes, he was arrested for entering an abandoned home to rescue a dog. It’s nice to know some people will go to this extreme to save a life. I follow his animal rescue very closely in the hope I’ll learn a few things from his adventures. Hans is a wonderful role model.
I’m mad at the local laws for not covering something like this. There really needs to be some kind of provision in animal cruelty laws so this NEVER happens again. I don’t know of any animal cruelty provision anywhere that allows a rescue under these circumstances. There should be one.
Unfortunately, with the rate of foreclosures and people moving off abandoning their pets, I’m afraid we’ll read of many more stories like this one.
There have been many comments come into the original news posting of this where people said that cat would still be alive if they had lived in the neighborhood. Maybe so. Maybe not. The risk of being arrested for breaking and entering is one not to be taken lightly.
I hope those reading my story will remember to keep an eye out for this type of situation. I’m not saying to go break into an abandoned property and get yourself arrested. If something seems “off” it needs to be investigated. In other words, if you see an animal who needs help, quit looking the other way and hope someone else will intervene. You may be the only hope that animal has.
I did a story on abandoned dogs on hubpages.com. If it had been a cat story I would have submitted it to pictures-of-cats.org. This does reinforce my belief that animal abandonment is going on everywhere. I don’t remember seeing as many cases of this kind of cruelty 25 years ago. Are people more cruel, more desperate?
So who are YOU, the reader, angriest at? If you had this cat for a neighbor, would it be alive today?