When you take on a pet, you should take it on for its lifetime. (Citizen file)

When you take on a pet, you should take it on for its lifetime. (Citizen file)

EDITORIAL: Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment

Heartbreaking to hear all of the stories about the many pets being turned over to shelters

Pets are not toys. You can’t just get rid of them when they are no longer convenient.

It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear all of the stories about the many pets being turned over to shelters now that pandemic restrictions have lifted and people are finding their loving companion suddenly inconvenient.

Sometimes it’s because someone has had to shift from working from home to going back into the office. Sometimes it’s because someone now wants to go on vacation and can’t be bothered to find accommodations for their pet while they are away. Sometimes it’s just because their pet is no longer the latest trendy thing they’ve acquired and they’ve gotten bored with the actual care that’s needed, day in and day out.

We have no sympathy for any of these excuses. Animal advocates warned people loud and clear as the demand for pets skyrocketed when COVID-19 first hit that they needed to think long term about getting a dog, cat or gerbil. But the selfish refused to listen, and the now-abandoned puppies, felines and even reptiles are the ultimate losers, as they go from being the centre of someone’s loving attention to waiting in hope of adoption.

Even in October of 2021 it looked like B.C. might buck the trend of pandemic pet returns, with the SPCA, which runs 36 shelters in the province, saying that demand for pets was still outstripping supply handily. But just a month later in November of 2021, the Victoria Humane Society was sounding the alarm about a sudden surge in pet surrenders, to the point where they were having to turn people away.

Of course there are good reasons that people sometimes have to give up a pet. And it is always preferable that people do it through a reputable re-homing shelter or organization, rather than doing something as reprehensible as abandoning it in a rural area, which is far too common.

We most assuredly need more rentals, and even condos and townhouses that allow people to have pets. Pets really do make life better.

But you must be sure that you understand that when you get a pet, you are making a lifetime commitment – the pet’s lifetime.

Black Press Media


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