Irresponsible Pet Owners the Root of the Problem

Those of you who know me are well aware that I despise the animal shelter system. It’s practices are archaic, and the number of euthanized animals it leaves in it’s wake unacceptable. I have taken many animals out of shelters, but you won’t find me taking them in.

However, not all the problems associated with the shelter system can be placed on their shoulders. They are merely trying to find a way to deal with the large number of animals that irresponsible pet owners abandoned or abuse each and every year. Granted, there is a better way to handle it and NO KILL is possible, but we will get to that later. Right now I want to discuss the irresponsible pet owners that create the problem in the first place.

If you are reading this, you are probably not one of them, but you probably know at least one irresponsible pet owner. They are the people to whom a pet is simply a possession. They have no problem abandoning an animal for their own convenience, after all they can always get another one when their situation changes.They believe animals are primitive creatures incapable of thinking or feeling, and emotional attachment. Some of them see their animal as a status symbol the same way they view their car or their home or that $500.00 pair of shoes.

This past summer I took in a pair of ten year old cats. They had been together since birth, always lived with the same owner. The recession hit their owners hard and they had to sell their home and move into rented lodgings. Sad, but it happens. Most people would be sure to find rental housing that would allow them to have their family pets right? Not this couple, to them the pets they had shared their home with for the past decade were DISPOSABLE. They were that $500.00 pair of shoes, now weathered worn and comfortable but a little shabby. The kind of old shoes you throw away because they are too worn for anyone else to want. These owners did not bother to look for a suitable rental home that would allow them to keep the pets they had shared the past ten years with. They took the first rental that came along which suited their purpose, it did not allow pets.  Their moving date was a month away.

Most of us would want to place our animals in a loving home if we were forced to part with them. We would start looking for that home as soon as we knew we had to part with or pet. The owners of these two ten year old cats did not bother. On their moving day they called me. If I did not take the two cats off their hands they would drop them in a box outside the local shelter. I of course grabbed my car keys and a crate and headed out. No animal was going to end up in a shelter on my watch! Especially not a pair of seniors that had always been together.

I arrived at the home battling my way through boxes and moving men to get to the front door. Upon speaking with the owners I asked why they had not rehomed the cats prior to their move. I was told that wasn’t their job, that was what the shelter was for! I lost no time getting the cats in the crate and putting the crate in the car. On my way home all I could think was “these types of owners are the root of the problem.“  Until humans stop viewing animals as property, nothing will change. Once again I renewed my vow to educate as many people as possible about the worth of animals. I also renewed my resolve to see an animal rights act drafted and passed in Canada. Until animals are given individual rights they will be viewed as possessions. As long as animals are viewed as possessions, people will dispose of them the same way they would an old pair of shoes.

Until Tomorrow Remember