It's hard to say really one way or another. Some days I'll see stuff that makes me lose faith in humanity..others I'll see a good example of a good person. I'd say it's about 50/50..
There are countless stories I could go on and on about regarding people mistreating cats, abandoning cats, and all of that. My sister, who worked at a no-kill shelter I'm sure has tons of them too. I couldn't work at a place like that... I'd love to....but I'd end up knocking someone out if I had to hear some of the things my sister heard from owners dumping their cats at that shelter.
So many people seem to think of cats as disposable pets that they can toss away when they aren't interested in them anymore. And a good chunk of people seem to think of cats as something they can mistreat. I even had a police officer tell me "It's just a cat" while I was arguing with him over an incident several months ago.
That said, I'll give the most recent example I can think of...which actually involves a dog, not a cat. Sorry it's kind of a long story..but it still really bugs me..
The most recent example of a "bad person" who should never have pets came when I was at the vet with one of my cats who had developed conjunctivitis seemingly out of nowhere. I took her to the emergency vet (she's all better now thanks to her ready-whip with clavamox topping) and while I was in the waiting room I overheard the receptionist trying to convince a lady on the phone that her dog did NOT have rabies, and did NOT need to be put down. If she was really worried about the dog having rabies, they could quarantine it for 10 days for cheaper than it would cost to have the dog put down.
Basically what had happened was the lady put a friends kid next to her 2 year old boxer. The kid must've grabbed the dog or done something to make the dog upset. The dog bit the kid on the arm lightly in response. It did not break the skin, and the parent of the kid wasn't even worried about it enough to take the kid to the doctor.
The owner of the dog on the other hand apparently wanted revenge since this dog had embarrassed her in front of a friend... so she wanted the dog euthanized, and was claiming that it was rabid.
I've done quite a bit of research on the danger of rabies in the U.S. since I spent a fair amount of time trying to catch a couple possible feral kittens and their mother mostly by hand (and some other very odd methods) last summer. I also have one very large feral colony almost in my back yard that a neighbor manages very well (they participate in the TNR). I live in the trees with all sorts of neat little critters roaming around too. If you have the animal that bit someone, there's no reason to kill it. You can simply have it quarantined if you really are worried about it, and if it shows no signs after 10 days, its no big deal. The changes of a domesticated animal in the US giving rabies to someone is nearly non-existent.
So, I was sitting in the waiting room listening to this unfold on the phone (just one end of the conversation though) and just thinking to myself, their dog is just a couple of years old, had it's rabies shot when they got it, there's no way in **** that dog has rabies. I was hoping the receptionist (plus the vet giving her some info) would talk the lady out of killing her dog.
So the phone call ends, my cat gets her eyes checked out, and a prescription. I head out into the waiting room to pay, and I see a lady walking up to the vet door outside with her husband, a 10-ish year old kid, and a dog who isn't on a leash. The lady sees me in the waiting room and goes into super-drama mode. She storms inside demanding someone give her a leash for her rabid dog...even though the dog had followed her family to the vets door without a leash, and without incident. It was obvious the lady wasn't really worried her dog was rabid, she was just putting on a show at this point.
So she drags the poor dog inside...hands the leash to her lump of a husband and proceeds to lecture the receptionist on how she knows this dog has rabies. The dog sees me and starts wagging it's little tail since it's someone new to sniff. The dog walks over to me, and I'm usually pretty good at determining if an animal has bad intentions or not...this one was not a threat at all. The lady flips out and yells at her husband to "Get that dog away from him!". After that she proceeds to argue with the receptionist and vet about rabies some more, and how she "looked it up on the internet" and this dog definitely has rabies. It was a disgusting display right there in front of her young kid... she was insisting that her dog be put down, beheaded and then the head shipped off to be tested for rabies... right in front of her kid, while ignoring what the head vet and owner of the biggest vet office in our city had to say.
When I got home that night it was bugging the **** out of me. The dogs eyes and the look it gave me when it was just coming over to sniff me was stuck in my head. I finally thought of something I could do to try to help this poor dog. I called the vet and asked them to tell that lady that I would pay for the boarding of the dog, and take the dog off of her hands so she didn't have to deal with it any more or pay any money for anything involving the dog. It was really hard not to offer to also pay to have the owner euthanized instead... I'm sure the receptionist would've cracked up about that.
I called the vets office back the next day to see if they'd heard back from the lady or not. Unfortunately the last thing they heard from the lady was after she talked to the vet again that night. She came back and picked up her dog, and did not schedule to have it euthanized (at least not at that vet). It was kind of out of their hands at that point. My hope is she calmed down finally or her kid talked some sense into her and they decided to let the dog live.
I remember that night talking to my sister about this, who worked at a no-kill shelter and has seen her fair share of human nastiness... I believe I said something along the lines of "sometimes I really hate humans...". It still bugs me that I don't know for sure what happened to that poor dog... The look that dog gave me when it tried to sniff me is kind of burned into my memory
Sorry for the long rant/story.. I know there are a lot of good people out there too who would never mistreat an animal... look at this message board for example! The bad ones always stick out in my mind though...there seem to be so many of them out there...