My mother, despite not thinking she was doing so, raised me with a strong belief in reincarnation. I was raised with chickens. I was raised with geese. I was raised with ducks.
I really, really, really can't stand interacting with the sort of people who see taking an animal that you can't take care of properly to an animal shelter as murder, murder most foul, and then will screech loudly about it to the rooftops. Yes, often the animal will die. Sometimes, someone else can take the animal. Sometimes the animal has a debilitating and painful medical condition. Unless that person was there in person and knows the whole situation inside and out -- there are a lot of grey areas. A lot. Domestic cats and dogs loose on the streets are really not a good thing. Domestic cats and dogs living with people who can't take care of them is not a good thing.
I think spending a hundred dollars or more on a purebred fancy something-or-other when there are cats and dogs just as nice and friendly and pretty at the animal shelter or stray is a really dumb idea. I think leaving your critter reproductively intact if you're not planning to breed it is a pretty dumb idea as well. I think spending money you can't afford on medical treatments for a pet is also a pretty dumb idea. I understand people who have pets who are as beloved as family members spending money they can't afford on medical treatments -- but I do not think that this should be the standard that others are held to.
Honestly, until all the humans in this world are getting a developed-world-acceptable level of healthcare, my first priority is not on animal healthcare, including the situations where someone knows an animal is sick and can't take proper care of them and takes them to a shelter.
I have not had an eye exam for three years, going on four this fall. My school insurance does not cover eye care, nor does it cover reproductive care. I had a pap smear and female exam three years ago. $100+. I haven't been with my job long enough to get their health insurance. I haven't had a general health checkup in at least four years. I saw a doctor in 2001 for a bad case of Swimmer's Ear -- I get this when stressed. I've had flare-ups a few more times in the past three years, but haven't had the cash on hand to see a doctor. Fortunately, the medication left over after the full course of treatment from last time was still effective. Dental care isn't covered by my school insurance either. I'd be in constant pain right now if my parents weren't helping take care of me on that front. Even so, the filling that fell out two years ago hasn't been replaced, and will probably stay not replaced until I can find a dentist that doesn't suck. (I think sorcha007 found one. The last dentist almost left a filling un-filled until I pointed it out, and when it fell out two days later I was too pissed off to go back.)
This is reality. Welcome to it. You, who flame away at "I can't take proper care of my cat, so I'm taking it to the shelter" -- may you take a good deep fresh breath of "I'm in constant pain but I don't have the money to see a doctor so I'll live with it until it goes away or until it gets so bad that I have to go to an urgent care facility and then eat bills I can't afford either." I wouldn't actually wish that you experience this yourself, mind, but be aware, if you're living in a sheltered existence, that this is what happens. My priorities are not your priorities, and for-fucking-give me for not wanting to share the details of my situation and reasoning when I say that something is not possible for me.
If I learned that eris_raven had cancer or some such thing, and the cost of treatment would be $1,000? I'd cry my eyes out, but in our current financial situation, it just wouldn't happen. We'd take the best care of her at home that we could, but when it came time, we'd take her to the vet, and I'd hold her until the end. Hell, I'm crying just thinking about it. She's my raven-girl. She's my Calico. She came back to me. And I'd have to let her go again. I'd have to let her go knowing that there was something I could do to help her, but I couldn't give it to her. But that's reality. That's the world I live in.
Sometimes reality just fucking sucks.