Let me tell you a story about adopting my cat

Here’s a picture of my cat, Harper.

I love this cat, let me tell you. I couldn’t have a cat for a long time when I lived in an awful apartment building run by a sadistic hell beast wrapped in cheap synthetic clothes. She didn’t allow pets. Not even hamsters.

When I finally managed to move out of that pit of despair and hatred, I insisted upon adopting a cat as quickly as possible. As quickly as possible ended up being awhile.

First, I had to scratch up the $100 adoption fee. Then, I had to go through the truly long list of requirements my local Humane Society has for pet adoptions.

  • My husband and I had to fill out a survey about how we intended to care for and raise our cat. This included questions about how we would discipline her, what sort of food we intended to feed her, and what situations would cause us to abandon her. We had to promise to bring her back to the Humane Society if we couldn’t care for her.
  • We also had to provide personal references. And they actually called my references! I’ve gotten jobs where they didn’t call my references.
  • Everyone who lived with us had to go meet Harper twice. My husband and the kids met her once, and we all went the second time. The second time had to be a certain period of days after the first time. We had to go back a third time because I had only met her once. And when I say everyone in the house had to meet her, I mean everyone. If we had owned another cat or dog, they would have had to come meet her as well.

When we first had to go through this whole mess, I was not thrilled. It was a huge pain in the ass and a lot of time out of our schedule to adopt a cat. But over time, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a lot of the people who work at the Humane Society, and they’ve explained to me why they have such strict policies regarding pet adoption.

Like the fact that they had cats and dogs returned to them all the time because they weren’t compatible with another pet in the house.

Or the number of pets who were brought back because someone changed their minds, and didn’t really have the time to devote to a dog.

Or the times they’ve called people’s references and were told horror stories about the person.

Or the number of people who visited with the animals once and never came back.

Or my least favorite reason, as told by a volunteer who I won’t name for her protection. “We were literally turning away animals we knew because we just didn’t have room for them to come back.”

What it comes down to is this; the Humane Society saw a situation in which innocent animals were suffering. And so, they had to take drastic steps to keep these animals safe. So that’s what they did. While it is a pain in the ass for a responsible pet owner like me, I get it. Not everyone is a responsible pet owner.

Now, let me tell you what you must do to buy a gun in Pennsylvania.

  • Walk into a gun show.
  • Have money.

Now, I’m fully aware that the laws are different if you want to buy a gun from a licensed dealer. You must fill out a form and do a full background check. That is, if you are buying a gun from a reputable dealer, not if you’re buying from a gun show. There is also no waiting period for a long gun or handgun in PA, no matter where you buy it.

So, what I’m wondering is this. The Humane Society saw that animals were suffering and put common sense if not fully convenient policies in place to protect them. And it worked. Why can’t we have similar policies in place to protect our school kids from gun violence?

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