Dear Editor:

It continues to boggle my mind that people think it is OK to dump animals on the side of the road and expect that they will survive.This is not a humane way of dealing with companions whom you have brought into your home and no longer want or can no longer care for.

Take the case of an unknown number of cats and kittens who were dumped at a rest stop by Canal Flats in mid-December.Those cats were lucky that a caring person saw some of them and knew they shouldnt be where they were.

This man picked up the kittens he could find and drove them to a safe place. Invermere Companion Animal Network (ICAN) was contacted and we took these kitties in. We arranged for them to be neutered and vaccinated and within days, both these kittens were adopted.

ICAN volunteers searched for a week straight to try and find any others who were in the vicinity but found only one male in addition to the two kittens. We later learned that another caring woman had picked up two kittens further down the road.

Dumped from the same individual? A different dump?We will never know and that is the heartbreak we dont know how many!

If you feel overwhelmed, cant afford the cost, dislike the animal or have personal situations happening that dictate you can no longer keep your companion animals, please do not think that leaving them on the side of the road with some food will ensure their wellbeing.Also, please do not think that ending their lives inhumanely is acceptable. There are options out there for you and these companions.

If you find yourselves in any of these situations, please call ICAN at 250-341-7888.We keep the names of people who surrender a companion to us confidential.

There is no risk to you for doing the right thing by these animals.We will help you find a solution!

We thank you for helping us make this valley a compassionate place for animals as we keep working towards a time where there will be no more homeless pets!

Lana Banham

ICAN Volunteer President