Through good times and bad

There is more grim news today about difficult economic times and family pets. Local shelters are seeing an increase in surrenders of family pets due to finances.

One local columnist who focuses on animal behavior wrote today about how a local shelter is about to go under due to lack of funding. She asks for support for this shelter.

I commend the efforts of any legitimate group for rescuing and caring for animals abandoned for any reason. However, I struggle with the attitude in our society that a pet is a disposable asset to be surrendered when inconvenient to keep.

One of the articles today discussed how much it costs to own a pet per year. This should be considered before getting a pet. If there is not enough money to care for a pet, do not get a pet. Volunteer at a local shelter, set up a dog walking business, pet sit, or do anything to be around animals that for whom you don’t have to bear any financial burden. You may discover a new source of income!

I have previously discussed how college students dump their pets at the end of the school year, leaving helpless dogs and cats to fend for themselves, usually unsuccessfully, and about horses being abandoned in tough economic times.

I am not in a financially disastrous position where I have to think of cutting costs and focus this on my pets. I cannot imagine someone so desperate that they would surrender their best friend to save a few bucks. Perhaps the pet was not their best friend. Imagine your noble, loyal dog, King, who worships you for the food you give and the balls you throw for him. He guards your home and protects your kids, happy to be paid with praise and tummy rubs. Now, fast-forward to tough finances, and imagine King staring at a stranger from inside a chain link cage, trying to wag his tail to show how friendly he is, hoping beyond hope that someone else will love him and keep him through good times and bad.

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