When you have pets prior to poverty, you might think “adopt them out”. That’s harder said than done. When we were poor we tried to adopt out our pets but couldn’t find them homes. We tried every animal shelter in town and no one would take them “Sorry. We’re full.” Animal shelters are always full.
You might say to use craigslist or online websites. It’s cute that you think we had internet, let alone electricity. Back then, there was no craigslist even if you did have internet. When we did have access, we did post online. We used petfinder before it went “shelters only”.
Put them outside and someone will adopt them… not always. A loving pet will stay at the door and in the yard. When a cop brings you a ticket for letting your pet run loose, you stop putting them outside. We can’t afford tickets more than we can’t afford a pet.
Eventually, we did find homes, but for a few years they lived in poverty with us. When we went shopping, cat and dog food was the first thing we bought. They ate once a day, just like we did. When we couldn’t buy pet food, we gave them people food. Many times, we gave our pets half our plate. I would starve before I let my pets starve. There’s no food pantry for pets.
Despite the hunger and cold, they added joy to our lives. It was very hard to let them go, but it was the right thing to do. Today, we have two cats and we spoil them like a good pet parent should. I am thankful for having pets who light up our lives and I’m thankful that we can afford to spoil them!
(Next is the last edition of Being Poor)