That time of year again…..

When the animal rescue centres are full to bursting with abandoned pets. Whether it is a pup or kitten that was bought as a Christmas present or the older pets being dumped to make way for a new animal. Not only is it rescue centres but Gumtree and Facebook groups are busy too for the same reason

I personally can never imagine giving up a pet until the day they die and cannot understand why others can and do. If you are going to give up a pet, the very least you owe them is to do it responsibly, giving them the best chance at a life after you, by handing them into rescue centres, NOT by listing them on Gumtree or tieing them up somewhere and leaving them.

Having volunteered with animal rescues I have heard a lot of excuses but they still surprise me! A few of the excuses are moving home and new landlord doesn’t allow pets – well why move there? Find somewhere that does. This to me is one of the weakest excuses as I know I would live in a tent to be with my dogs, disability and all. Excuse 2 – I/family member has allergies, you must have known this before taking on the pet, when you and the family went to choose a pet, you didn’t just take the first one you saw so must have been around a few of that type of animal so allergies would have shown before you got one home. One of my friends got her dog as a pup and when the pup grew up his fur changed into his coat and it was then that her allergy showed, she was fine with the pup fur just not the adult coat but by this time she had fell in love with the dog and re homing him was never an option for her. She takes anti histamines when it gets too bad, keeps them off her bed and doesn’t let them lick her face and she is fine for the most part – that is the unconditional love that pets deserve and so freely give. The true allergy is the dander not the fur usually so wiping your pet with a damp towel daily solves the problem. Excuse 3 – I am having a baby. Welcome to being a mature adult, learn to take care of both. You had the animal before the baby so it should be easy enough to train the dog and as long as the baby and dog are supervised at all times and never left alone together, there shouldn’t be a problem. When you got the pet you must have known at some point that you wanted children?! Excuse 4 – I’m too busy to spend time with the dog, but you have time to waste doing pointless things. Spending time with animals is not a chore its a pleasure and if you don’t agree then you should never have got a pet in the first place. Not only is it enjoyable it helps you to unwind and lowers your blood pressure. A lot of people that you talk to throughout the day that don’t deserve your time, your pet does! Excuse 5 – the dog got bigger than I thought! Surely you knew at the time of choosing a dog what normal size is for that breed – a German Shepherd pup will grow into a normal German Shepherd size DOH! Excuse 6 – she’s tearing up our yard, well that is down to boredom, take her a walk every day, make her part of the family, play with her! Why did you get a dog in the first place? Excuse 7 – the dog is sick and I can’t afford to take it to the vet. There is such a thing called insurance and if you can’t afford insurance there are places like the PDSA which you pay a donation as much or as little as you can afford. I am disabled and getting older, should my family abandon me? Excuse 8 – my new boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t like the dog, well the dog was there first and will be there after. Personally if someone doesn’t like my dog, I don’t like them and would certainly never date them. Excuse 9 – my puppy grew up and it’s not cute anymore. So when your baby grows up are you going to get rid of it? Excuse 10 – I’m emigrating tomorrow and can’t take my dog. Again refer to my earlier comment why move somewhere you can’t take your dog but also how long have you known you were moving abroad? It doesn’t happen overnight and also there is a thing called pet passports which mean you could take your dog with you instead of dumping it to probably spend the rest of its life in kennels or being PT.S because the shelter has no room? The excuses go on and on, this list is certainly not exhausted. Or the pet ends up being left outside the rescue Center as the owner is to ashamed to give an excuse. This last one baffles me, how you could drive away seeing your pet in the rear view mirror looking upset and confused, wanting to come with you? It is bad enough leaving mine at the vet when they want to come with me and I know that is for their own good!

Just because you took your pet to a rescue Center rather than dumping it at the side of the road, doesn’t mean your pet with have a lovely life with another family as a lot of the time it won’t get rehomed. It doesn’t matter how nice or well behaved it is, many get overlooked, especially if it’s large, black or a ‘bully’ breed (staffy, pit bull, Rotties, mastiff etc) This isn’t the only issue though dogs suffer from depression being confined to a small kennel and abandonment issues, basically a broken heart. It is stressful for dogs in kennels, they have been taken away from their comfortable home to be left in a small kennel where they eat, sleep and defecate, surrounded by other animals barking and crying for their families. Removed from everything they knew through no fault of their own. If it is not ‘lucky’ enough to be given to a no kill rescue, it has 7 days to find a new home or it is put to sleep, so much for giving it a better life! I couldn’t be a vet and put a healthy animal down, it must be soul destroying as you went into veterinary practice to save animals not destroy them!

What happens when a healthy dog is euthanised? Well it is taken from its kennel on a lead so thinks it is being taken a walk so is full of excitement, wagging their tails until they reach the ‘room’ then they freak out and have to be dragged in, they must smell the death. Then they are restrained by volunteers usually and the needle stuck in their leg. They don’t all just go to sleep sometimes they spasm, gasp for air, defecate themselves, sometimes it can take over an hour for them to die. Then their corpse is taken and burned like garbage, but it’s only an animal and you can just get another one when the fancy takes you! These a living souls not the latest toy on the market and they deserve a whole lot better. We as humans claim to be the superior species but are we really when so many of us can do this?!

Between 9-11 million animals are destroyed every year in shelters worldwide. So if you are going to get an animal, please look at rescuing one rather than buying from a breeder, they may be preloved but they’re not broken and have lots of love to give as they know what it’s like not to be loved and are more grateful. Only we can stop this number of animals dieing needlessly. But before you even get to the stage of looking at animals research what breed would suit your lifestyle best for example greyhounds like short walks and sleeping a lot as they were bred for short bursts of running, staffies are one of only two breeds that the Kennel Club state are good with kids, Huskies need long walks and need their minds stimulated. All the information on dog breeds is available with a quick Google search so there is no excuse for not doing your homework first. You also have to commit to a lifetime with the dog, pets are not meant to be disposable, though modern society has made them this way which is why we are in such a dire situation.



One thought on “That time of year again…..

  1. Well said!! I have cats, but all the same principles apply.
    As an adult I have had rescue cats apart from the 3 we have now, and they make the most amazing pets. They seem to know that you rescued them and there is a’gratefullness’ to them as though they never take your love for granted.
    If I could, I would have a house full of rescue cats because, like you, I find it heartbreaking knowing there are so many without a good home and the love they deserve xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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