While I love Facebook’s ability to get the word out about animals in need, I often dread looking at my wall due to all the pleas for help. It can be overwhelming and depressing, especially when you read some of the tragic backstories some of these animals have. Take CoCo, pictured above. According to Pet Pardons Facebook page, this beautiful 3-4 year old calico was found a few weeks ago in a dumpster, “strangled with her collar shoved down her throat and emaciated with her tongue rotted off and no teeth.”
Pet Pardons posted a plea to the Facebook community to get CoCo out of the New York City kill shelter she was being held, where she’ll surely be euthanized, and into a foster home. Despite the horrific torture this poor cat endured, she’s, according to Pet Pardons, still incredibly sweet and affectionate.
Initially I was totally rooting for this little girl, but as I continued to read her story I started to have reservations, and of course felt incredibly guilty for not being on team CoCo in the way the rest of the Facebook community seemed to be.
Because CoCo has no teeth and only a partial tongue she needs to either be syringe fed or fed through a feeding tube for the rest of her life. While I know this is doable, what kind of life does this leave a cat who has already been through so much pain? She can’t even drink on her own. While I’ve never cared for a pet with a feeding tube, I have cared for one with a drainage tube in her neck and let me tell you it isn’t easy (for cat or human).
As if to prove my point, yesterday CoCo showed what a pain feeding tubes can be. Since Pet Pardons’ Facebook posting, Another Chance Pet Rescue has taken Coco from the kill shelter she was in, found her a forever home, and are working to get her healthy enough to face surgery to place a permanent feeding tube into her. In the meantime she has a temporary tube in place, which yesterday she managed to pull out of her stomach. She had to endure yet another surgery to correct the situation.
I understand the want to make up for the cruelties this cat had to endure with an abundance of love, but is keeping her alive the best option for her in the long run? Does saving her from the euthanasia list help her or does it help alleviate the guilt we all have that this ever happened to an animal?
Furthermore, and I know this is going to sound incredibly harsh, could the resources donated to keep CoCo alive be better served helping the many, many healthy animals on shelter euthanasia lists?
I’ve been debating this in my head since reading CoCo’s story last week and I don’t know where I stand. I want this poor cat to have a chance at a better life filled with love, belly rubs, and lots of kisses, but I keep wondering if keeping her alive via a feeding tube is the best thing for her in the long run. Sure, she will be much happier than she was in the hands of whoever put her in this state, but at what cost to her quality of life?