{31/07/2012}   Pets as returnable accessories

I can’t imagine how anyone can view their pets as returnable, especially for unnecessary reasons.  A friend of mine posted two stories on Facebook that shocked me about people perceiving their pets as mere accessories, which can only mean they aren’t loved or part of the family.  I couldn’t surrender my cat, she is a huge part of my sense of home.

I find the concept of pets up for adoption/rehoming as terribly sad.  It pains me to walk past a local cat adoption centre and see pictures of homeless cats.  I don’t know how people can volunteer at such places and not end up fostering or adopting huge numbers of cats.  I am getting increasingly sentimental these days, but the number of cats and dogs up for adoption is staggeringly high and statistics or stories about them can render me a teary mess.  I know in part it’s because people are struggling to afford to keep their pets, but a lot of these poor animals are just no longer wanted or, what upsets me most, have been cruelly treated.

My pet rescuing friend, for whom I have the utmost respect for what she does, put up a story about someone who had surrendered their Yorkshire Terrier.  Why?  Because its owners had had a hardwood floor fitted and they didn’t want the dog’s claws damaging their floor.  May they have a flood and their floor be ruined for doing that to their pet.  The other story was of a Siamese cat who was surrendered because it didn’t match the owner’s new décor.  Seriously, pets are not accessories.  I wonder if the cat owners changed their hair colour to match their precious new colour scheme.

I see a fair few people with husky dogs, most of whom look somewhat pudgy.  I suspect few if any of those dogs get the huge amounts of exercise they need, particularly where the advised hour to two hours of running is concerned.  But, hey, what does it matter, they look cute.  I have had the privilege of being pulled by a husky on a sled in Lapland.  Their strength and stamina is incredible but, oh my, does their poo stink, especially when it’s the dog in front that’s just pooped and your sled runs across it.  Seriously wretch-inducing.   Is that really a non-working, home-living pet?

In 2009, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home had to put down about a third of the dogs it took in, of which more than half were healthy.  Apparently a lot of problems arise with dogs that could be dangerous.  I get angry at the amount of irresponsible dog owners who abuse the capabilities of such dogs, making them potentially violent/dangerous.  These dogs are then part of an image; a “tough bloke” can’t be seen with a cutesy, friendly Staffordshire Bull Terrier for example.  It goes back to my pet accessory point.  That is not how a pet should be chosen.  And when the accessory doesn’t perform, it ends up being hard work/expensive/not colour coordinated etc, people get rid of them.  It’s disgusting and I wish such people wouldn’t be able to have the gift of responsibility for a pet.



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