By now, I am sure a few of you have read the horrendous story that is circulating through the web- it details the loss of a Sphynx kitten after it is flown via Delta cargo and then stuck within the cargo area for an extra 50 minutes upon landing. The owner is basically handed a hypothermic, near-dead kitten that dies as she rushes her to the emergency hospital...
So you know the story and I'm sure it has made most of you stop and pause and consider your shipping options if you ever want a new kitten, puppy, or critter that you simply cannot obtain locally.
I'm not interested in rehashing the exact details of Snicker's story. I was one of the first people to read about the tragic loss of this kitten and I am a very avid supporter of the owner, who underwent not just a horrific loss, but under the eyes of her two young children as well.
What I'd like to discuss today is why Snicker's story has touched me and why it has also angered me. It has reignited an anger that has laid dormant since my loss of Neala...
It never fails... Whenever I see Snickers' story posted, I always note many sympathetic people, almost in tears over the story and the kitten's death, yet I also always note one or two snide commentators that have to prove that they are superior to the rest of us lowly human beings and they go on a rampage about how 'Good breeders would never have done XYZ' or even, 'I blame the owner for being so selfish as to allow the breeder to ship, etc...'
This attitude of superiority crawls under my skin and I can feel flames starting to shoot out of my eyes every time I read/see it!
We are all human beings! We make mistakes! We learn from those mistakes! As a rescuer- I cannot even detail the number of mistakes I have made that probably cost kittens their lives! From learning how to tube feed to simply knowing that 'this color' poop means 'this bacteria'- we all learn from our experiences. The breeder had always shipped kittens at 12 weeks and had shipped through Delta for twelve years! The owner trusted the breeder- and shouldn't she? If you have a good rapport with a breeder, that's usually a wonderful thing! The owner did not stop to question the breeder's decision to ship and the breeder did not question Delta's rules about shipping in cold weather- both the owner and the breeder believed Delta when they stated that the kitten would be in a climate controlled area!
I challenge anyone who questions this to call Delta cargo and ask them about shipping an animal. I throw this gauntlet down in challenge! Although you may say, "Well, I would never!"- plenty of people trust the PROFESSIONALS.
In fact- you trust the professionals every single day! I trusted a professional veterinarian surgical center to operate on a tiny Sphynx kitten in July. I trusted them to keep her warm, keep her nourished, and that they would do everything within their power for her survival. I was wrong! Neala DIED because I laid my trust, implicitly, with PROFESSIONALS. Yet, no one blamed me for going to the surgical center to save Neala's life! Why not?
Yes, you can say that the breeder chose to ship- so that automatically makes her culpable. But really? I chose the surgeon for Neala! You can say that shipping was optional- so was Neala's surgery! Sure, it gave her the optimum chance of a good life, but the breeder believed shipping this kitten to its new owner would give this kitten the optimum chance of a good life as well!
You can blame the owner- because she allowed the breeder to ship Snickers, but once again- the owner trusted the BREEDER (in her eyes- the professional) who in turn trusted the airlines (in her eyes- the professionals).
When you push the blame of this horrible accident off onto the breeder or the owner, you negate the death of this kitten! You lose the importance of the message being spread- which is that wintertime transport of animals needs to be stricter. Perhaps it's simply the hairless animals that need a more stringent rule for shipping. After all, the brachiocephalic breeds (English Bulldogs, Frenchies, Persians, etc) of pets have stricter laws in place! Maybe there needs to be stricter laws in place for Sphynx, Peterbalds, Rexes, Chinese Cresteds, and the American Hairless Terrier! Yet, how can one go forward with this issue when people are not blaming the airlines, but pushing the blame onto those who trusted the professionals?
Yes! Snickers' Mom would say right now- she made a mistake shipping Snickers in the wintertime. Perhaps even Snickers' breeder would say the same. Yet we all make mistakes and we must live with them. The fact is- the airline failed in their duty to safely deliver that kitten from point A to point B.
I cannot tell you how disheartening it is to see people point the fingers anywhere, but at the airline! DELTA FAILED! DELTA KILLED THE KITTEN! Snickers is dead not because Snickers' Mom allowed her to be shipped nor because the breeder chose to ship during the winter months- the kitten died because Delta had an issue and no contingency plan in place for said issue when it occured!
It sickens me to the pit of my stomach when I read the nasty comments about Snickers' owner as well as her breeder. I don't know either person personally. I still don't know what cattery Snickers came from, but I don't think this knowledge will validate or invalidate the loss of Snickers! This kitten was a valuable life! Her loss should not be in vain!
Unfortunately, as humans, we are prone to trusting the professionals and that is the only MISTAKE Snickers' Mom made.