Monday, November 10, 2008

Disturbing reality

I hate to start the week off playing Debbie Downer (mwaahh, mwahhhhh) but here I go...

Every work day I have to commute past a downtown area. As most downtown areas have it, there is low income area that I must drive through. It never fails... I see at least one dead dog on the side of the road or in the middle of the road. What a way to begin a day, or end one for that matter. I hate that. I hate seeing dogs that lost their lives as they were wandering around looking for a bit of adventure, or just looking for a place to provide shelter. I say a little prayer for the family that lost their pet, and for the soul of the little creature to now be playing gleefully in Heaven.

I always find myself thinking, why don't more pets have to be spayed or neutered in every city? Why are people allowed to breed dogs without a license? I know it takes money to fund these types of things....looking out for animals who can't look out for themselves; funding to spay or neuter stray pets or pets who have a home but a home where the owners can't afford the surgery. There is a no-kill facility in my area that almost went out of business for lack of funding until a news report featured them and more donations came pouring in to save it.

Why do people want to buy from breeders and pet stores when there are so many homeless pets to choose from? Rescuing dogs is an amazingly wonderful thing! I've adopted two dogs from different rescue shelters and both places made sure that my dogs were "fixed" before I was able to leave with them. I recently chatted with someone about pet adoption and they were allowed to adopt and leave with their dog before it was "fixed" but they had a time limitation on when they had to have it fixed or else they would be fined. I wondered how many of those fines actually get collected.

How many times have you talked to someone who was looking to find a new home for a pet they had in their care? Meaning, "Yeah, I bought this dog (or adopted it) but I figured out I really don't want the commitment." I've heard of that happening too many times to count. The problem is that too many people look at dogs and cats as just animals. I look at my dogs as members of my family. I can't give up my son without a fight. It should be the same for any living being that I care for. I guess there are those who think that since animals can't speak up for themselves that pets can just be tossed aside and the former owner will never be scorned because people will only know what the owner chooses to tell others about him or herself.

I would like to ask everyone to makes sure they don't adopt a pet unless they can make a commitment for the life span of the pet. I would like to ask that people not adopt cute little dogs that are featured in Disney movies that their children beg for. A portion of those pets just end up in the pound or on the side of the road. I would like to ask that people not buy their pets from pet stores if they want a brand new baby puppy...find an independent breeder and check their references. I would like to ask that people not buy pets from breeders who over-breed their dogs.

Mostly, I would just like to ask that everyone considers adopting a pet from a rescue facility before considering buying one elsewhere. If we all do our part to provide loving homes to our pets, to make sure they don't go around procreating (have them fixed!!!) if they accidentally get out of the yard, and spread the word that we don't support animal cruelty (which includes abandonment) then I believe we'll see a lot fewer dogs on the side of or in the middle of our roads.

And, please consider donating to your local animal shelter.