Pets are Not Disposable!
Mom can we keep it?.... But will you keep it?
It all starts with the kids wanting a puppy, the classic cliche' of '' Mom can we keep it?'' that leaves thousands of parents speechless in front of a squirming puppy with the most lovable eyes. Then days go by, the puppy grows older, it starts pulling on the leash, soiling in the home and stealing food from the table. The lovable bundle of joy has transformed into an ill mannered dog with no boundaries. Sooner than later, the question may pop up: ''Is it really worth keeping the dog? Can it perhaps be re-homed to a family perhaps living in a farm that can manage the excess energy and keep the dog outdoors?''
The sad part is that the dog has not turned into a monster over night. Rather its owners have failed to train the dog, provide it guidance and teach it manners. Because the dog has been raised to cater for itself, it has decided to make its own rules only to realize one day that he is no longer wanted. The kids no longer play with him, the parents have giving up walking him and sooner then later, the dog has become more of a nuisance than a pleasure.
The next day the owners take their dog to their local shelter. They talk about re-homing the dog to the shelter personnel without realizing that shelters often have hundreds of other dogs that need re-homed as well and often those are dogs with not much behavior problems. The parents promise their kids that the dog will be happy with a new loving family that will allow the dog to romp around all day. Unfortunately, perhaps as a defensive mechanism, they never give a thought about nobody wanting their dog. They have excluded the chance that their dog may end up unwanted and eventually euthanized. The sad ending perhaps hurts too much to even consider it. The guilt is camouflaged by high hopes.
But did the owners every sit down one day and thought of any alternative options other than disposing of the dog? Like obedience training the dog, taking him on daily walks, enrolling him in agility classes or scheduling play dates with other dogs just to get rid of the pent up energy?
More often than not, sadly no. Or perhaps they have given the thought, but in their mind it was too complicated to accomplish in their already busy lives. So there goes Rover, surrendered to the shelter like an old pair of shoes. The so wanted dog has disappeared andtransformed into the unwanted dog with little or no regrets.
The above scenario happens every day. It could be that owners are moving and do not want to bring their dog along, it could be that the cat has ruined too much furniture or it could be that the puppy plays too rough for their children's taste. Everyday and everywhere there are people disposing their pets. No wonder why the shelters are always overwhelmed! Actually some are so overwhelmed that they have resorted to using a gas chamber so to save time and money. Indeed, pets are the Jews of the 21st century, you would think that modern times would have brought more wisdom to humankind!
If you own a pet that you no longer wish, please find alternatives to disposing him. There are plenty of resources out there from obedience trainers, books, animal behaviorists, rehabilitation services etc. If you are considering to adopt a pet please think it over carefully. Can you afford your pet? Are you willing to take him along if you move? Do you know how to train your pet or can you have him trained for you? These are vital questions to ask. Pets are not disposable, they are animals that deserve living just as me and you. Be responsible, keep your pet!