How to be a responsible pet owner

Several factors contributed to me writing today's post. None of them make me feel warm and happy.

I drove a lot this weekend. Which isn't much different from a regular day. But I noticed some things that really pissed me off. There were several dead animals on the side of the road. Not just opossums and other wild animals, but cats and dogs too. 

I saw posts from my favorite rescue organization.I'm pretty sure they rescued several of Max's house mates. I adopted Max a month ago from an animal shelter not far from my hometown. He was one of 42 dogs living in a house. He was in really bad shape. Blind in one eye, matted so bad he couldn't use the bathroom, terrified of everything. We thought he may be deaf, but it turns out he just had an infection. Max is fantastic now, still blind in one eye but otherwise gets along great. He doesn't even act like the same dog. I am super happy that max's house mates are finding homes, I am just devastated that there even needs to be am intervention because of hoarding.

I've seen several complaints from people who have neighbors dogs that are destroying things in their yard and bothering their animals. My sister has this problem all the time.

 It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that I am a hard core animal lover. When I retire from my day job (which won't be any decade soon) I plan on opening an animal rescue. Which is why I get really mad when I see people doing things that put their animals in danger.  I believe there are 3 basic guidelines all pet owners need to follow. If you go by this, there should be no problems with your animals.

Keep your pets in your yard
 This is probably my number one cardinal rule for owning a pet. A pet can't get ran over by a car, stolen, or hurt by someone who doesn't like animals, if you keep the animal in your own yard. This is a pretty big problem in rural areas. I have no idea why people think letting their animals run loose is a good idea. It's not. There are too many ways they can get hurt if you aren't nearby to protect them.

Don't chain your pet up
It seems like the number one thing people say to me when I rant at them for letting their animals run is "well at least I'm not chaining them up. Yes, well good for you, chaining them up is another thing I absolutely hate. Not too long ago a case made the local news of a pair of dogs that were found starved. One had already died and the female was near death. The owners had chained them up and then either left or ignored them. When you chain up your dogs, yes, you keep them from leaving your yard but you also make them helpless when danger comes, and also make it impossible for them to save themselves. Alternatives to this are putting up a fence up or a kennel.

Don't have more animals than you can take care of
If you can't afford to feed an animal don't get it. If you don't have the time to change litter boxes, pet, brush or generally care for your pet, PLEASE don't get one. Its not wrong to know your limit. I know I can't care for more than six cats. I just don't have the space or time to devote to litter boxes for more than that. I know that two small dogs are my limit. I can't handle taking more than that out to use the bathroom. I don't know anyone that can realistically handle 42 dogs (or cats). I know some people who can't handle one pet. Spay and Neuter falls into this category. I get sick to my stomach when I hear people constantly having litter after liter to get rid of. 

I shouldn't see dead pets on the side of the road, I shouldn't have to worry about my dogs getting hurt by your dog coming into my yard, and shelters shouldn't be overflowing trying to care for you animals because you had more than you could handle and they were taken from you. 

8 comments

  1. This is all great advice and so true. You know what kills me about that whole 'don't have more animals than you can take care of' thing? Technically I have more animals than the law allows... but I take amazing care of them, and it's not an insane number (5). Thankfully no one's ever tried to report me, but I just think it's BS that if someone were to report me two of my pets would be taken to a shelter simply because of some stupid law. Meanwhile, the guy that has 12 dogs (and neglects all of them) will likely get away with it.

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  2. I don't think we have a law limiting the number of pets you have. If we did I'd be in the same boat as you. I have 5 cats and 2 dogs. I know people who have 1 dog that shouldn't because they can't care for it. I wouldn't care if the house Max came from had 42 dogs and they were all taken care of Its just a number to me. I don't get angry until the animal suffers.

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  3. I have had to stop my car and shew my neighbors dog out of the road. A couple of years ago my car got a flat tire and I pulled over on a busy road to change it. Someone across the road from where I stopped had 2 super cute Yorkies running around their unfenced yard. They ran across the road to check out what I was doing and one got hit. I cried, and it wasn't even my dog.

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  4. Agree!!! So much. The spay/neuter thing is an argument I recently had with a friend. She didn't want to pay the money to get her cat spayed. Or for shots. She said, "Since she's an indoor cat, it won't be a problem." But... you have a kid, and a careless roommate, and a weird double screen/front door that has to be opened really wide to get in and out, and how can you really say there's no way your cat could get outside and get pregnant or sick? Is it really more important to save a few dollars than to protect your animal?

    And a friend's boyfriend had 2 dogs, female and male, both unaltered. He was surprised when the female got pregnant. Really? What did you think was going to happen?!?!? Sure, you might find homes for those 5 puppies, but those are 5 more shelter animals that won't find homes, because they've been taken by your animals instead.

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  5. yup so agree. It was less than 100 per pet to get them fixed. I consider it money very well spent, because now I don't have to worry. Its super especially good for the males, they aren't as likely to spray or run off if they are neutered.

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  6. I so agree. I am a total cat person. I can't believe how some people treat their pets.

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  7. I started to watch pet hoarders the other day and I got so mad I had to turn the tv off.

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  8. People around here think that is the best way to get rid of pets. It makes me sick.

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