By Rachel Garvey
According to research, there are over 10,000 animals abandoned each year and that is just an approximate number. How would we feel if we found out the real number? The people who read this will either own a pet or not, but whether we are pet owners or not, we have a responsibility to protect animals, not behave like them.
I have seen examples of children begging their parents for a puppy that they have seen online, their big beady eyes staring at them through a phone screen, begging to be loved. The majority of parents say no, bringing a pet into the house comes with a list of responsibilities. They are the ones who have their priorities straight and they know they aren’t capable of looking after a pet.
However, the ones who give in to the begging of their children are where the first mistake begins. There is a pent up excitement over how thrilling pet ownership can be. Yes, it can be an experience, but pets are just like us, they need to be looked after. They need their food and water, a place to sleep, medical care when they are sick, walks everyday and of course, plenty attention to make them feel loved.
We fill our Instagram and Facebook feeds with their innocent faces, our eyes greedily taking in the comments of friends and family commenting “How cute, wish I had a dog.” The attention soon dies down and we become tired of sharing our pets with the online world, which has become tired of it too.
The whole novelty of having a new pet is soon forgotten. Taking your dog out for a walk becomes a non-existent hobby, scratching behind their ears and rubbing their soft bellies becomes an annoyance for some people because they are preoccupied with other activities. Your pet soon learns to live in his or her own little world. They walk around the house or the back garden wondering what to do, wondering why their owner isn’t acknowledging them like previous times. Some dogs are lucky and get adopted by families who want them, others are abandoned.
If a dog is unwanted by a family, then the right thing to do is give it to a family who have the time and experience to look after it. Don’t be the person to abandon your pet, to be the reason why your pet fears humans and finds it hard to trust again. It is animal cruelty, and punishment for such human actions should involve jail. Abandon your pet and society abandons you in a cell.
Try walking in their paws, see the scared look in their eyes and their little body shaking as they look around trying to find a familiar surrounding and wondering why you are walking away from them? Any pet who is welcomed into a household should be a permanent member of the family, not a temporary novelty who ends up abandoned and alone.