On Monday night, I came to church and was going around the building opening it up for the Ecclesiastical Council ( the UCC final step for ordination where the association votes to affirm the persons call on the condition of receiving a job offer) we were having for our recent seminary graduate. So I am turning on the lights and unlocking the doors and I get to the outside door where people come into the building for the food pantry. As I got to the door, I saw a box and thought someone brought food for our Mission 1 collection. The United Church of Christ is on a mission together to collect food for the hungry, dollars for neighbors in need, an offering of letters to congress and money for African famine relief. We had begun to fill up the windowsill in the sanctuary; I was really hoping for more food. So then I bent down to pick up the box and it meowed at me. Which caused me to actually read the writing on the box which told a story of a person seeking on home for the kitten. The weather was turning cold and while wanting to care for the kitten the person knew that wasn’t possible. The note asked us to please find the kitten a home.
I was torn, knowing I couldn’t afford another pet with two of my own that we had rescued I asked the people to call around and find where we could take the kitten. But while celebrating this beautiful moment for our seminarian whose call from God is to grow a church devoted to earth care many of us were worried about this kitten. I knew myself and didn’t go look or pet it because I would take it home.
· Contact local shelters or rescue groups to locate pet food pantries or to find pet-friendly apartments if you have to move. They can link you with programs that can help with necessary vet care, medications or low-cost spay/neuter. In an increasing number of cities, groups are forming to provide short-term foster care for pets whose owners need a little time to get stable again.
· Go to the home page of the Humane Society of the United States (hsus.org) and click on Pet Tip, which offers a state-by-state, ever-growing list of groups offering free or discounted pet food, medical care or temporary foster care.
· Barter a short-term living arrangement for your pets. You provide free dog-walking or housekeeping or landscaping services for someone who gives your animal a home until your finances improve.
· If you conclude you must give up your pet: See whether responsible pet-loving friends or family can take it. If it's a purebred, contact the breed rescue group in your region. A few will also consider mixed-breed dogs that are primarily a particular breed. Contact no-kill shelters or rescue groups first.