Tuesday , 12 December 2017

Can you Spare a Dime?

It has come to my attention how many dogs live on the streets of Montreal. It is obvious that we don’t have a stray epidemic, but we do have people that decide to give a dog a life in the streets. I tried to find what is the estimated number of itinerant people roaming the city, but there has been no count since 2006.

Homelessness is a situation of concern. I am not here to judge or condemn people that have the misfortune of not having a roof over their head. What bothers me is that many own an animal. May it be a cat or a dog, these people cannot provide adequate care for them. I’ve seen dogs lying next to their owners sleeping. I’ve seen cats on their shoulder with a “leash” around them getting coins just for looking cute. The one the hurts the most is seeing a dog making a fool of itself with his owner in order to get a few coins in a Tim Horton’s cup. I mean…we are in Canada are we not?

I’ve been to other countries and have seen the same scenario in different situations. Animals work with their owners at traffic lights in Mexico or you see little kids selling Chiclets with their 4-legged pal. I also got the chance to visit Lima, Peru, and I took a picture of an old dog with a man of age asking for money to eat in exchange for a picture of the dog that is dressed funny. I know the economic situation of those countries and I cannot blame them for looking for an honest way to make money…but, in Canada, do people really have the need to succumb these innocent creatures to a life on the streets?

Montreal has many shelters for the homeless, but does it have a place to provide some sort of aid for these condemned strays? I’ve read that in the United States there are shelters that allow homeless people with their animals. The animals get food and roof for the night.Volunteers drop off at the shelters food, toys, blankets, poop bags, leashes that are not used anymore etc. All the donations are collected and given out to animals that most of the times they just get whatever is left of a lunch. How come there is nothing like that here?I would like to know how come I don’t hear on the news the acts of charity that companies do for animals. As far as I know Pedigree food is being sold in Montreal. Has there been a donation done by them to any of the established rescues?

If all that I’m writing is incoherent to reality, could someone please tell me I’m wrong! I know it is said “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” and some people like keeping quiet their donations. Canada is at rising numbers of animal cruelty headlines, more people drop of their animals at (kill, no-kill) shelters and homeless dogs are becoming popular. It is time for true animal lovers to step up and make it known what their part is on making Canada a civilized country for all living things!

A week ago I saw a homeless girl with a kitty on a leash and a dog tied up to a trashcan. I was on my way to buy bunny food, but I could not ignore them. I stopped and I said hello to the girl. She allowed me to pet the kitty and the dog. I asked her if I could buy something for the animals and she gladly accepted. At my arrival at the pet shop told the owner I was also looking for dog and cat food. To his surprise, I told him they were not mine and I was doing it because I really needed to do something for those two little sidewalk angels. He gladly gave me many bags of sample food for the animals. I also got Lisa a tasty bone and Charlie a little mouse to play with. I was lucky to walk into that pet shop and find a person with a good heart. I walked back to give them their things. Lisa wagged her tail and Charlie jumped with joy for the little mouse. I left knowing that both of the animals would be happy for a day or two. It does not take a lot to make a difference in an animal’s life. It just takes a bit of time and kindness in order to do something that the only thing that you get back is the satisfaction of seeing the wag of a tail.

To conclude, I would like to share my favorite quote:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

-Mahatma Gandhi

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One comment

  1. Amazing article! I think you have a big kind heart, keep up the good work!

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