During the Holiday Season, pets are a popular "gift" and as a result many will end up at shelters eventually. Pets are for life and should not be thrown away like trash when a person no longer desires to keep them. This is something everyone should think about before taking a new pet into their life.
I was deeply moved to talk about this subject today because of something that happened to me yesterday. I want to vent and I want more people to be aware of this problem. Although, realistically only the people who already realize that pets are not trash will be the ones reading this.
I was asked to help find a family member's stolen dog yesterday. I love this dog and even though she is not "mine" I would still consider her part of my family. The dog was stolen approximately 10 days ago, although I did not know this until yesterday.
Immediately, I was on the case thinking of ways I could locate the dog and reunite her with her dad once again. I was determined that I was going to help with a reunion between loyal dog and loving owner. Within 15 minutes of making a few phone calls, I had a great lead on where the dog was or had been. 10 days. That is how long the dog had been gone, and I had found her in a mere 15 minutes.
|The stolen dog.|
My hopes and dreams of a spectacular reunion were destroyed with what I learned next. The family member I was helping didn't want the dog back. He "wanted his friends to adopt her from where ever she was at"...
There would be no reunion between loyal dog and not-so-loyal owner. And I find it both depressing and infuriating.
I'm not an emotional person. I don't get teary-eyed over things that most people do. Perhaps this is one of the "strengths" that allowed me to become a good veterinary technician. This, however, made me cry.
This dog was adopted from the animal shelter about 3 years ago. After about a year, those people no longer wanted her so my family member took her in. Now, he no longer wants her so someone else will take her. How many more times will she face this same situation? Will she be thrown out like trash again when she's old and sick?
This is a good dog and she deserves so much better than this. All dogs, cats, birds, rats, rabbits, and so on deserve better than this.
So I guess it's up to the people who know better to educate those who don't. If you have a friend or family member that wants to get a new pet, tell them that pets are a lifelong commitment. Ask them if they are prepared to care for that animal during the entire duration of their life.
I do realize situations occur in some peoples' life that don't always permit this. If those situations should arise, we should be prepared to do the very best we can for our pets.
Tell your friends and family. Pets are for life. They are not objects that we can just toss around however we please and throw away when we aren't interested in them anymore. They deserve better than that.