There is nothing more infuriating than being lied to face to face. It enrages me. To think that people believe they can’t tell that we know they are full of it. To think that they are just oh so clever. On occasion we have a person come in and drop off a “stray”. From their demeanor we can tell that this animal is theirs. It is found in the way they look at the animal, hold it, and are reluctant when we take it out of their arms. They don’t want to attempt it is theirs because that would mean they would have to go through the surrender process. Taking responsibility is too much for them. What people often forget, at least with cats and dogs, is the microchip. If you are going to give up your pet as a “stray,” one should really remember that when we trace the microchip we are going to discover it was your pet and we will call you out on it.
This lack of courage is found not only with the owners of cats and dogs. This past week, I had an 18-year-old girl come in with a huge rat cage saying that she found the rats as strays. When I asked her about it she said, “My friend dropped them off in a box by my house. He was very drunk.” I asked for the friend’s name. “I don’t know.” She said. I asked for a phone number or any information on this person. She couldn’t come up with any. I asked if they were at least Facebook friends. “No.” She said. Although I didn’t say it I thought, “But he knows where you live?” Taking the rats back as she filled out the stray impound card, I was livid. How dare this little cheeky twat think she could lie to me.
Venting to a coworker, I only grew angrier. We aren’t supposed to say anything negative to the customer. We aren’t supposed to question what people tell us. We are supposed to just smile and say okay. But I had had it. I returned to the front, calm and collected. Upon entering the lobby I was horrified to learn that she was visiting with a cat. I turned to her and asked, “Don’t you need that big rat cage back for your rats?” She hesitated. Her eyes darted for just a moment and I knew with all certainty that she was lying. “Oh. No. I just had that one hanging around from an old ferret.” She stammered. “With a water bottle, a rat wheel, and aspen hay in it?” I asked. “Um yes.” I turned away disgusted.
There was no way she was taking home this cat. I got one of my better supervisors who I knew would be as outraged as I was. My supervisor going in to talk to her told her we needed the name of the friend. Until then she could not visit with any other animals. Going out to her car she called several people for 20 minutes. Returning she gave us someone’s first name but not the last name. We allowed her to go back on the visit. In the meantime, my supervisor called this person and found out it was her sister. After 15 minutes of double-talk, the sister confessed it was really both of their rats. Going back into the visitation room with my supervisor I picked up the cat and gave this little girl a hard fixed stare. My supervisor informed her that we would not be adopting out to her because of her dishonesty. With that we walked out without another word, cat and all. The cat merely meowed, having no clue as to his fate or odds.