Caring for Pets as family members
It is no secret that your four legged friends are considered a family member.
Afterall, you love them, feed them, care for them, and meet their health needs.
It should be no surprise that your pets are considered family members. However, the law considers your four legged friends as property. This is strange since you do not relate to your pets as "objects" but perhaps "objects of your affection".
What would your family environment be without your pets?
It amazes me, when I hear about people who abandon their pets , after so many years of their pet's devotion towards them. How can a person forget so easily their love? When an animal has medical needs or has behaviour issues, it is us - "The Caretaker" that is held responsible for their care. Our pets are dependent on us to care for them.
I have heard of people who are expecting a child, but now find their pet has suddenly become a burden. Another concern is when someone is moving, and cannot take their pet with them, or their beloved pet has a medical condition, and they cannot afford medical expenses. Concerning medical care, it is wise to also consider spaying and neutering your animal at puberty, which means waiting till their bone growth plates are developed like around 12 to 14 months of age. However, with cats, their ability to reproduce is much younger, and at 6 months a cat can become pregnant and start popping out babies. Whereas, for a female dog, some people believe it is wise to wait for their dog's first heat cycle and then spay their girl dog. If someone is involved with the "Dog Fancy" - (i.e. shows a dog in the conformation ring) they must leave their dog intact, and cannot be altered, meaning not neutered or spayed) By the way Pure-bred breeders are usually more responsible than non-breeders, and realize their responsibilities to their chosen breed. One of the most horrific situations of animal abuse to me is the "violent animal trade" in Asian countries who capture dogs to "kill and eat". This group of people are "murderers" and commit extremely cruel ways to capture, kill dogs and cats, to eat them. There are festivals of eating dogs and cats and these murderers take pride celebrating the "torture" and "suffering" to display their techniques of how they kill and eat innocent dogs and cats. I would also suggest you be careful of surrendering a pet or finding a pet through lists on the internet. Sometimes your dog can be used as a "bait dog" for illegal "dog fighting" rings.
Sad to say, I have heard about dogs being abandoned in the Everglades in South Florida, to fend for themselves, for food and safety. This environment is extremely harsh with snakes, rats, alligators, spiders, mosquitoes and other bugs to eat their dog alive. Another horrid example is to throw a dog out of a car while driving, or abandon them in a parking lot, and never return to take them home with them. Why would a person have a dog if they did not have the heart to care for them under all circumstances? Having a pet means being responsible for their care till the end of their pet's life. Otherwise, why have a dog, if you were not going to care for them indefinitely There are always rescue organizations that you can surrender your pet to. These organizations will care for your pet and find them a new home till their earthly days are over. This means Rescue organizations exist all over the world, for mixed breeds and pure breeds. Be smart and be wise about the importance of loving your animal and caring for them till the end of their earthly days.
By Stacey J Nelson Ph.D..