Every day my heart breaks a little more. As much as I love Facebook, I made the mistake of liking several local animal rescues and I am friends with many people who I met through years of animal rescue. After my divorce, I quit working with animal rescues, not because they didn’t need my help, but because I had no time or funds to volunteer – it had to go to my own fur kids. It always made me feel good that I was able to provide assistance to needy animals.
My time and funds are still committed to my own fur kids but every time I read a post of a needy animal it breaks my heart a little more. I’m thankful for all my friends and the volunteers out there who are making a difference for these animals. However, I am furious that attitudes have not changed about animals. When did it become okay to dump the family pet?
My budget is SERIOUSLY challenged and I struggle to provide all the needs for my pets; however, I make it happen. Sometimes it means my grocery budget is smaller or I shop for second hand clothes. It has never crossed my mind to take any of my pets to a shelter or pound and make it someone else’s problem. My parents were not “animal people” but they did teach us that if you make a commitment you make it for a lifetime, even to an animal. AND you never take on more than you can afford – that’s called RESPONSIBLE ownership.
In my lifetime, every pet I have ever owned EXCEPT ONE, has been with me, well cared for, for their lifetime. This also meant the final vet visit with me holding them for humane euthanasia when the time came. Please, if you know of someone considering getting a pet and you know they shouldn’t – say something. Remind them of the huge responsibility that lasts the lifetime of that pet. It isn’t just food, water, and vet costs. It’s providing a home environment that is part of your family, proper training so your pet is a pleasure to be around, and ensuring their safety and well-being.
If you are considering getting a full-time outdoor pet – why are you getting that pet? What are your expectations? Will it be part of your family time when you are outside or are you a family that never goes outside? If you are never outside then what is the outside pet’s purpose? How will you provide for their social needs as well as their well being? Believe it or not, most animals have social needs and consider their humans part of that environment. Even my chickens consider me in their hierarchy.
I watched an interesting show about the American obsession with dogs and learned that 25% of dogs in local pounds are purebreds! 75% of animals going into pounds will never leave the facility alive. There are 1000’s of no kill rescue groups, but unfortunately there are 10’s of 1000’s of people getting dogs and too many of them will think NOTHING of dumping that dog when it no longer meets their expectations. How will rescuers ever keep up? Please if you consider getting any kind of animal, make sure you have thought through the entire commitment. That is your responsibility. Dumping that animal in the future should not be an option.