Tuesday, August 28, 2007


A lot of disabled people don't like being considered "disabled." They simply have different abilities. Child tells me that the deaf community, for example, are very quick to point out that they are just as capable as any hearing person. So when a disabled person tries to use their disability as a crutch, it's not only annoying, but offensive to others with the same disability.

A lady called the animal shelter yesterday, and I answered the phone. The lady had apparently found a cat a few months previous, it had kittens, and now she wanted to get rid of the kittens. "They're tearing up my house," she complained. From the way she was talking, I got the impression she was a lower-income person, so instead of simply telling her she could bring them in and pay a $15 fee per animal to release them, I said, "Well, you can try giving them away; I've frequently seen people sitting on the grass by Walmart with boxes of kittens. Or you can post them for free on ksl.com, and lots of people look there for animals."

I was going to finish with the option of bringing them in and paying the fee just to cover all the bases, but she interrupted me. "What if I just want you to take them?" she asked.

"Well, you can bring them in, and there's a $15 owner release fee for each animal," I said.

There was a short silence, then, "Even if I'm disabled?" she demanded.

There were so many things wrong with her reply that I wasn't sure how to answer. For starters, why would our fee depend on whether she was disabled or not? And plenty of other people seemed to get along just fine being "disabled."

"Um, yes." I said.

There was another silence. "Well, I'm disabled so I can't sit by Walmart with a box of kittens," she snapped.

"It sounds like ksl.com is your best option then," I said.

"I don't have the internet," she said.

"Do you have a a friend with the internet?"


"A friend who has a friend who has the internet?" I said. I was getting irritated by her complete lack of helpfulness, she obviously wanted us to personally drive over to her house and take the kittens off her hands for free.

Anyway, she finally hung up. Ten minutes later, an animal control officer from her town showed up with a cage full of kittens in tow, and he was furious. "This woman is terrible," he said. "She has 20 cats at home, lets them have kittens all the time, then calls us up and expects us to come just take them from her. I've already refused to come get them several times, but she just calls when I'm off duty and the other officers don't know not to go over. She just barely called us, and I finally gave up and decided that the city would just eat the cost (each city pays for each animal their ACOs bring to the shelter). I'm going to check into the law, though, and see if we can refuse to take anything else from her house."

I'm not exactly sure what the point of this story is, except that there is nothing worse than a disabled person who tries to use her disability to take advantage. Grrr.

No comments: