Why You Shouldn’t Dump Your Pet
There are many reasons why someone can no longer keep their pets. Many people feel your dog or cat will be free and can survive on their own. However, hundreds of years of domestication have taken the survival instinct out of our family pets.
Animals that are dumped on the road are more likely to get hit by a car, starve to death, be attacked by truly wild animals, such as coyotes, or become infested with fleas, ticks or lice that will debilitate their host. Those who do survive will more than likely breed, adding to overpopulation and homelessness.
Alternatives to Dumping Your Pet
Speak with Your Landlord
If you’re moving and can’t take your pet to your new place, try working something out with the landlord, even if you have to pay an upfront fee or have a small pet charge added to your monthly rent. If your move is temporary, check with friends, co-workers and family to see if someone can take your pet until another place can be found.
Properly Introduce Pet to Children
Some people feel that once they have a child, they won’t have time for their pets. If you make sure your pet is properly introduced to your children, they can work well together and keep each other company. Just be sure to lavish as much attention to the four-legged member of your family as you do to the new one with two legs. Proper planning will give wonderful results for both you and your pet.
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Find a Caretaker
If you are sick, have a serious illness or health issue, pets can provide comfort. There may be volunteers in your area who will not only care for you, but the pet as well. Check with local rescue groups to see if they have any suggestions.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Some owners have taken their pets to animal shelters or veterinary hospitals to be put to sleep because the pet became pregnant. Spaying or neutering your pet is your responsibility, especially since there are many inexpensive and even free spay and neuter clinics in every state. Check with your local shelter for the names and phone numbers of places offering those services through veterinary hospitals, mobile clinics, rescue groups or perhaps the shelter itself.
Include Pet Expenses in Your Budget
With the economy the way it is, some pet owners can no longer afford their pets. In these difficult times, include your pet into your family budget, making sure to include food and non-emergency visits to the vet hospital. The best way to keep veterinary costs down is to keep your pet healthy, which you can maintain by getting your pet vaccinated and providing a good homemade diet.
What to Do if You Can’t Keep Your Pet
Post “Home Needed” Signs
If you find yourself in a position where you simply cannot keep your pets, remember that dumping them is simply not an option. Ask a veterinary assistant at your local clinic if you can post a home needed sign in their waiting area. Check out animal rescue sites to see if they’ll either accept your pet or foster him.
Give Your Pet Up for Adoption
You can also research no-kill shelters in your area. Find out the types of pets they’ll accept and what vaccines and health history they need. The advantages of a no-kill shelter over a regular shelter is that the regular shelter is usually run by the county. Regular shelters have a time limit in which your pet must be adopted. When that time is up, your beloved family member is euthanized.
Fostering unwanted pets is another service some no-kill shelters offer. This service involves pets staying in someone’s home instead of cages until they’re adopted. Fostering pets will keep them interacting with humans and other animals and, therefore, are easier to adopt.
Despite assuming your pet will simply languish away without you and decide to euthanize him instead, remember there are many owners who are looking for pets to enrich their lives. Pets are capable of adjusting to new owners, homes and environments. Give your pet a chance for a new happy, healthy life.
If you’re still unsure of what to do with your pet, speak to a veterinary assistant. She may have options you haven’t thought of yet.
READ MORE: How to Make Your Cat a Happy One