Pet Dumping Crisis With Animals Dumped
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Pets First Casualty of Credit Crunch
A sad indictment on our society is that when things get a bit tight financially our first reaction is to dump our pets. The RSPCA said the number of animals dumped by their owners in 2007 was 23 per cent higher than the year before (a total of 7,346). Already, 2008 has seen 2,621 animals picked up in the first four months.
Soaring fuel, food, energy and tax bills have left pet owners in a position where they can't afford to feed their pets. The rates of dumping dramatically increase in holiday seasons when pet owners can not afford the cost of insuring an animal, paying for vet bills and placing a pet in kennels while travelling.
Almost half of all animals dumped are cats. Living in the country we often find stray cats, chickens, rabbits, and other animals that have all been dumped. It is a sad and cruel fate that most of these animals face, as they are usually ill equipped for survival in this environment. Many fall prey to predators, traffic, and irate farmers who find them poaching "easy meals."
Taking your pet for a drive into the country and dumping them may seem like an easy option, and you may justify it by pretending to "release them into paradise." But the reality is, that you are condemning them to a life on the run. Hunger, disease, and early death is the more likely fate a dumped animal will face.
What is the solution this problem?
How can desperate families who are forced to return to full time work, or are travelling further to get a better paid job, or just cutting back to be able to feed their kids, deal with their pets?
Not all of these families are heartless monsters. Sometimes it simply a choice between the children and the pets. It may be a distressing and highly emotional decision that they have been forced to make.
The first thing to realise is that it is NEVER the right thing to do to dump your pet anywhere!
Perhaps these people should be publicly shamed. I am sure the majority of pet dumpers would not expect to get caught, and would like even less it to be known they abandoned their animals.
The next place to start is with education. Many people do not realise the cost nor the time involved in pet ownership. Pets do not just disappear when vacation season rolls around and you want to go away.
Pets, just like humans, have medical conditions that require treatment. One of the most common elements in animals received by the RSPCA is long-term medical conditions such as cancerous growths. The cost of treating such conditions can easily stretch in to the hundreds of dollars and is often out of the budget for many families.
With the traditional pet dumping season being the months leading up to Christmas, we can expect almost epidemic levels of abandoned pets this year. Take a proactive stand and start trying to combat it today. Many RSPCA facilities are already running at or near capacity.
We can't allow this shameful crime to continue!