We all know of them, or at least heard of them. The people that decide to add a new puppy to their household. The excitement of getting a puppy, or even an adult; the excitement is the same. Lots of planning involved, we hope. Training, new food to buy, toys to purchase, more vet visits, oh what fun. But, what happens to the other pets in the household? Did they think about them when deciding to add another pack member?
We hear about people all the time getting rid of their pets. Many different reasons they all give. The dog is old, they need to make room for a puppy. Perhaps they are moving, new jobs, to save money, new kids, the list goes on.
One person I came across this past week has a four month old puppy. She also has a 7 year old cat. She has had the cat since she was a kitten, and has always been an indoor only cat. Now since the cat is afraid of the puppy, instead of working with the introductions and taking it slow, the cat has been banished to living outside. Why? Why do people do this?
Another scenario just this week. Similar, but different. In this case, the new dog is a 1 year old , and does not get along with the 10 year old dog that has lived there all his life, so they took the 10 year old to the shelter. Why? This was his home for 10 years, and was a very good dog.
Animals are a commitment. They are a living being. They are not disposable. When will people wake up and understand once they commit to bringing a pet into their home it should be a lifetime commitment. It is their responsibility, a huge responsibility. I understand there is that rare situation that it is in the best interest of the pet to be rehomed, but most times it is just greedy, uncaring individuals that want a new puppy, without having to put any time into proper training, introductions, and socializing. They don't want to put any effort into making it work.
Have you ever taken a walk through your local shelter, and walked by each cage, one by one, and wonder how that dog or cat found themselves there? What is their story? Have you looked at the card on their cage where it has a date, and spells out when their time is up? The next day you go back to check on that particular dog or cat, only to find their cage empty. Afraid to ask, hoping they were lucky enough to be adopted, but you know the truth.
They all have a story to tell. They all have a past. Many had wonderful homes, until they found they were being replaced by the new puppy or kitten.
People ask me all the time, why I do what I do with the strays and ferals. Why do I care? They are not my problem, I didn't cause their fate. Well, I can't just look away. They are all a living being. I can't save them all, but they all deserve a chance, because they all matter. Each and every one of them, cats and dogs, matter.