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El Weekender

No 89

Definition of Stray- part of speech, Verb

By Sahara Thornton, Youth Build Student

To deviate from the direct course, leave the proper place, or go beyond the proper limits, especially without course or purpose; ramble.

Stray, a word commonly used when addressing a lost subject, most commonly domestic animals. Strays are a significant problem in my area of Fort Worth TX; I live on the South-East side of Fort Worth. Strays have been a problem for some time now and from where I’m standing it doesn’t look like much is being done to institute any sort of change. There are various elements contributing to the problem; a lack of space, resources, patience and over all a general lack of concern it seems like from pet owners, city officials, and my community members.

It’s disheartening to walk outside my apartment only to be approached by “Buttercup” the neighborhood stray cat begging for food. Buttercup the neighborhood stray cat has been stray for some time now, I know her well, but I hate seeing her because she is a constant reminder of the evident disregard for animal life. When I had transportation, I would always try to pick up any strays I saw. The humane society doesn’t pick up cats unless they are injured. It saddens me to know that there isn’t much I can do anymore to alleviate the stray crisis in my area. I still try to provide food when I can anyway, because any help is help.

Another pressing issue as it relates to strays is; illegitimate breeders claiming legitimacy to irresponsible future owners; pro t at an expense. These ultimately unwanted puppies and kittens will either end up stray, abused or even dead. Irresponsibility inevitably results in pain for these unwanted animals. We should instill better loss prevention in ourselves when it comes to animal control.

Shelters in my area are usually overcrowded, resulting in animals being euthanized. I feel that euthanasia should only be used in the event that an animal is unwell; not because there’s no room. Stray animals are a problem in all of Fort Worth, some areas are a lot worse than others. The problem starts with people irresponsibly obtaining a domestic animal and then not having the time, dedication and most of all the money to care for that animal.

I’ve also come to realize that poverty stricken communities are a big contributor to the problem also. It’s an issue that should be more closely examined in my community as well as any other community. With less stray animals come better safety and thus a better community. This is an issue that can be helped, people in the community just have to care in the first place about placing needed value on all living creatures.



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