With the academic year winding to a close, most people are focused on getting through these next few weeks. Apartments, houses and bedrooms are being packed. Roommates are discussing tearful goodbyes and money for most is pretty much in the red. Every year when students move out of their college and university ghettos, they leave traces of their time spent like garbage on the curbs and in their rental units. Leftover garbage however is not what I want to talk about, “left over” pets however is.

Now you're probably thinking, “What is this girl talking about?” I'm telling you though, as a student in post secondary education for a total of three years, this is something I have seen year after year. The story usually starts at the beginning of the school year when a group of well meaning roomies decide to get a pet (usually a cat), and if by the end of the year they haven't “lost it” someone is supposed to take this animal home. This is where the problem begins. Now do not misunderstand me, I am quite aware most college students with pets are not mindless uncaring people who abandon their pets. I like to believe that those who do end up leaving animals behind are not evil people just thoughtless. Perhaps they have convinced themselves (especially if the pet is a cat) that it will be o.k. and that someone will take it in or animal control will pick it up.

Unfortunately a person's self-convincing is not the reality of the situation. Every year if you walk around post secondary ghettos you see left over animals that now fend for themselves for varying reasons. I'm tired of hearing excuses for just leaving a pet behind. If you live in a college home where the pet belongs to everyone make sure it is decided that someone WILL be taking the animal with them when they leave. If you have neighbours with a pet, inquire as to what is going to happen with that animal when the time comes to leave the premises; if your not friends with your neighbour talk to someone who is or at the very least keep your eye's open for wandering or leftover animals in your area.

We as human beings are responsible to care for and show compassion towards these abandoned pets. I believe those who leave pets to fend for themselves out of convenience and poor planning are pathetic. If you are a pet owner who cannot take your pet with you simply do one of the following, find it a new home yourself via a Kijiji ad under the “free to good home section” or drop it off at the London Humane Society NOT Animal Control. I say no to Animal Control because they tend to euthanize animals within a very short time period.

If you are one of those people who come across a leftover pet do the right thing and leave out some food and water, find a way to contain the animal and contact someone to collect it hopefully towards a positive, safe well fed happy life.

More recently it has come to my attention that the Humane Society no longer picks up stray pets but they will receive them. If you do not drive the Humane Society will provide you with a list of numbers of private services that in most cases will remove the pet for you free of charge. In the past when I have been faced with left over pets, I have contacted a very reliable caring free of charge service called Pets to the Vet. They offer a wide range of services and the lady will pick up the leftover pet and bring it to the Humane Society for you. If you find yourself faced with a leftover pet I urge you to contact this service and stand up for the rights of those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.