“I’m moving and I can’t bring my pet.”
“We’re having a baby and just don’t have time anymore.”
“My new apartment doesn’t allow big dogs.”
“My child has lost interest in the pet.”
“We’re in the military and can’t have our pet on base.”
These are just a quick example of reasons people give up their pets. This is very upsetting for me. Why do people think it’s ok to just give away their pet? I could never imagine having to give away my pets, but if you look at Craigslist under the Pets section, you’ll find an incredible number of people who are doing this.
Do you not consider your pet part of the family? Would you abandon your child? This may seem extreme, but I think this is the way pets should be treated, as part of the family.
It’s all too easy to make an impulse decision and take home a “free” puppy from that person outside the grocery store. You buy that boa constrictor because you think owning a big snake will be “cool”. That little ferret at the pet store is so cute, but you think it can just stay in its cage in the back of the house. Wrong!
I’m not saying that every instance of a person giving up a pet is inexcusable. Sometimes things happen that are truly beyond our control, and giving away a pet is the only option left. But for most cases, doing a bit more legwork can solve the problem. There are tons of services that can help find pet-friendly housing, people who will exercise your dog when you can’t, charities that will give you free/discount pet food, trainers that can help you welcome home a baby and have your pet be OK with it, and the list goes on.
Please think long and hard before you get a pet. Make sure the one you choose is the right one for your lifestyle, financial situation, and your family. Making the decision to own a pet is a big one, and needs to be treated as a long term commitment. Do your research. Did you know your turtle will live up to 50 years? Did you know that puppy will be 70 lbs full grown? These are things you need to consider. Being a responsible pet owner begins BEFORE you acquire a pet.
I’ve included some links below. Refer to these if you are thinking of getting a pet, and ask yourself the questions on these pages to help determine if a pet is right for you.