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Article supporting the reason why stupid people shouldn’t have pets…

Many pet owners don’t deserve them

By Stu Bykofsky

IN RECENT WEEKS I’ve reported on the callousness and chaos, which is both frightening and systemic, at the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association.

I stand by every word I have written.

However, the PACCA horror show is in part the result of brainless, soul-less, self-absorbed pet owners who “manufacture” vast numbers of homeless pets.

In the fiscal year ending June 30, PACCA received 34,800 animals and was forced to put down some 22,500 dogs and cats, including 13,000 that were considered “not adoptable.”

No shelter in the world can house 34,800 animals.

The chain of death

Most animal shelters provide only temporary shelter because there’s an endless line of animals arriving, yet a finite amount of shelter space. When an animal comes through the shelter’s front door, it usually sends another animal through the back door to the euthanasia room.

Euthanasia sounds so musical, but the death by lethal injection is no aria as the doomed animal is muzzled and injected. Killed for no crime, no sin, just for a lack of space. This is how we treat our four-legged friends.

The exception to this lethal rule are “no-kill” shelters, but they are few and far between. (See box below.)

The pet population problem rests with irresponsible owners who have no regard for their pet as a living, breathing, thinking being. If you can’t believe dogs and cats think - and I do mean reason to solve problems - ask someone who lives with one.

You’ll have your eyes opened.

I can understand why people working at shelters receiving surrendered animals sometimes flip out. Half the time they’re working to save animals; half the time they’re killing them. It is not a happy job, especially when they hear the lame reasons some people give for turning in a pet, which many of us think of as a member of the family. Others have no more love for them than they do a throw pillow.

Pitiless people

Drawn from several shelter sources, here are some trivial reasons given when some pitiless people surrender their pets to face death:

This cat/dog is too old. I want a younger one.

She had kittens and I want one of them, not her.

He eats too much.

It needs medicine.

Starting school, no time.

We’re getting new furniture.

My new boyfriend doesn’t like my cat.

My new girlfriend doesn’t like my dog.

I got a new job and don’t want cat hair on me.

I want a meaner dog to protect me.

He doesn’t win dogfights.

I’m moving.

He doesn’t listen.

The dog is too small/too big.

Dog did not match the furniture.

Child will not take care of animal. (Child is 4 years old and the animal is turned in in front of the child as a “punishment.” How’s that for caring parenting?)

The cat doesn’t catch mice.

The dog isn’t housebroken.

Dog barks.

We’re going to have a baby.

My cat has fleas/my dog has ticks.

There are people who should never be let near an animal. You’ve just met a few.

Needed: responsible owners

Animals wind up on Death Row in shelters because too many owners don’t accept responsibility for the innocent lives of their pets, which are not appliances to be returned like toasters.

When you adopt an animal, you should be making a commitment that includes food, shelter, medicine and social attention for the life of your pet.

Neuter or spay your pet to prevent unwanted births. Neutering also has other positive affects - males will be less aggressive; females won’t go into heat.

Pets that might go outside should always wear an ID tag.

Pets should be licensed when necessary and have required medical shots.

Dogs are social and should not be tied up in the yard.

Don’t give an animal as a gift, never as a “surprise” gift. The person who will be responsible for it needs to pick it out.

Dirty little death secret

When they see the word “shelter” or “refuge,” many people think animals brought there will be protected.

They will be - until they’re killed.

Unless a shelter calls itself “no kill,” animals are being destroyed inside. Not because the shelter is bloodthirsty, but because there are more homeless animals than space.

That’s because too many dopey owners don’t “fix” their pets and let them mate. Then they dump unwanted kittens and puppies at a shelter’s doorstep - or turn them loose on the street to suffer an even worse fate.

Here are a few nearby “no-kill” refuges:

Pottsville Hillside SPCA, 570- 622-7769; Humane Society of Ocean City, N.J., 609-399-2018; Little Egg Harbor Animal Rescue, Tuckerton, N.J., 609-294- 1667; Animal Welfare Association, Voorhees, N.J., 856-424- 2288.

E-mail Stu Bykofsky at stubyko@philly news.com or call 215-854-5977. This column normally appears Tuesdays and Fridays. For recent columns, go to http://go.philly.com/byko


Posted by rosevine69 on 11/10 at 11:20 AM in Pet People

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