When I first started pet sitting I read everything I could on the topic which, at the time, wasn’t very much. One golden rule that has forever stuck with me was to use a Post Office Box for the business mailing address. Why? Because it will reduce the number of unwanted pets dumped on my doorstep. I did as I read and until yesterday I’ve been pretty lucky. Sure, I’ve had stray cats that I’ve found homes for but never a deliberate ‘dump’. What happened yesterday?
This is what happened yesterday:
Someone took it upon themselves to dump their unwanted rooster and hen in my yard. I have chickens so they must have assumed I’d be giddy with delight to receive such a gift, right? WRONG. Not only is this a major burden on me, they have put MY flock’s lives at risk. I can’t let my free ranging girls out until we catch these birds and remove them from the property. You see, chickens can harbor all sorts of parasites and if allowed to interact with my flock it could potentially kill them all. In order to integrate new chickens into a flock they would need to be quarantined for a period of FOUR WEEKS. I do not have the set up to quarantine birds for four weeks nor do I want the burden of doing so.
Did I mention I don’t want a rooster?
I called a neighbor whom I have never met yesterday to ask if maybe they were her chickens (of course they weren’t) and discovered she is big into 4H and would be happy to take them. Unfortunately we have not been able to catch them. We can’t get within 20 feet of them without them running. I’ve called several pest management companies and they say they can’t help. East Greenbush does not have an Animal Control department, just a dog warden so they are no help either. We may have no other option than to dispatch them in another, fatal manner. I have to protect my own flock.
What SHOULD these people have done instead of dumping their chickens?
There are a few things that would have worked.
- They could have posted an ad on Craigs List for free chickens
- They could have called their local 4H contact and offer them for free
- They could have stopped at a farm or two and ASKED if anyone would like them
Please don’t dump your pets on someone else.