Asheville's Humane Society is on the move as Asheville's New Animal Care Campus opens.
Though we are a non pet property here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn, this business decision was made in honoring the desires of many of our clients. Some have serious dog allergies. Some of our guests have pet loves of their own at home but just want a non-pet time on vacation. Gary and I have other considerations that led us to this business decision.
Though there are many responsible, loving pet owners there are also many that do not vaccinate, bathe, treat for parasites and heartworms and of course that would not even take into account the small but most irritating of creatures, the flea.
Now, for those of you having pets you know what I am saying! There are occasions, despite your very best efforts, that fleas take more than a passing interest in your canine friend even with aggressive chemical management to disuade them. They multiply like, well, like fleas so even one flea can soon give way to a stream that becomes a full time job to manage.
The Inn, circa 1902, has lovely, largely original wood floors. Now, one might think that this would ease flea management but alas, NOT. The little spaces allowing said floors to wax and wane in varying temperatures also create a lovely, coveted and sought after new apartment for flea populations. Should there become a problem, I defy you to get that chemical down in those small crevices to address the problem. Some folks are responsible regarding flea treatment of their animals and unfortunately, some are NOT.
In older blog posts some of you might have read about my valiant, humorous, beyond intelligent and insightful dog best friend, Molly. Molly came to me as a patient gift. A young girl I was caring for in my previous job thought me lonely due to the "empty nest" syndrome all Mom's experience when their offspring seek out distant shores. Molly was to be my new child. She was that and more. She died this past October and she is irreplaceable.
Having been a pet owner for much of my life the doing of this job effectively is not an inexpensive proposition. There are vet visits inclusive of innoculations, worming, pest control, spaying/neutering and whatever physical maladies present in your canine companion at any given visit. Physicals take place now just as they are recommended for their humans counterparts. Frankly, at this point in veterinary medicine human vs. vet bills are more alike in all things.....Cost being primary among them which is why when I read about Asheville Humane Society waiving adoption fees I shuttered. The stated reason was not to have to relocate so many animals to another location. While I more than understand this concern, it rang hollow. I understand the rationale but I think someone failed to think this concept through. I wholeheartedly support adoptions of dogs/cats rather than supporting the need for specialized breeding programs when it is estimated that 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized yearly for want of a home. Most of these animals are perfectly healthy creatures and their only crime is being born.
Having a healthy, well cared for pet takes money. The charging of fees for adoption of animals in some way secures their value and also is a kind of means test, albeit insufficient and not thorough enough, to determine a potential owners financial means to support and care for a dog or cat.
Free is always interpreted as good. There is something in our human nature though that is frightening to me. While free is desired, hunted and sought after it does not always follow that it is valued. Therein lies the rub. A pet is a living thing and has requirements. Some are emotional and some are very real and physical. Love will not buy a bag of dog food, a vet visit and care. While I would be delighted for the adoption of any pet by a family with all the means required for their care should this free program, in these challenging economic times, result in these animals being placed at the hands of those with good intentions only, their suffering will be legion. The fault will not be theirs. It will be our own.
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers