It seems obvious to state but animals are living, breathing beings. Which means, they require the same necessities of life that their human best friends require: food, shelter, love, health. Still, thousands of animals are surrendered to rescue organizations every year in Canada because the people who bought them were ill-prepared to care for them.
Although some animals are surrendered due to real, unforeseen, and uncontrollable circumstances, like the death of an owner, a child developing a severe allergy, or severe behavioural issues, most surrenders are paired with outrageous and downright heartbreaking excuses.
These are a few that we’ve heard recently:
- “I didn’t realize he was going to get so big. His collar is too small.”
- “The cat is a freeloader. It just sleeps all day.”
- “We have a white couch and the cat’s black hair sticks to it.”
- “I didn’t know how much work it would be. It’s a lot of work.”
- “She’s afraid to get in the car. It’s annoying.”
- “We’re retiring and the cat doesn’t match our lifestyle any more.”
- “My new girlfriend doesn’t like the dog.”
- “The old dog doesn’t get along with the new dog. So can you take the old dog?”
- “We’re replacing the floor in the house and we don’t want the new floor to get scratched.”
- “We just landscaped the backyard and we don’t want the dog to ruin the grass.”
- “It was a gift for our son but he’s bored of it.”
- “The puppy doesn’t answer to his name.”
- “This dog follows me everywhere. I can’t stand it following me all the time.”
Pets are hard work. And they’re NOT disposable.
Pets take time. They cost money. They can be messy. They can be stinky. They can be playful and adorable. They make mistakes. They impress. And they are loyal to the very last beats of their hearts to those who give them love. Owning a pet can be (and is) one of life’s most enriching experiences. That said, you have to be ready, selfless, and committed. Owning a pet is a long-term commitment.
Help us keep animals out of shelters. Donate to support the Pets Are Not Products campaign to end the retail sale of animals. And, if you or anyone you know is thinking of buying an animal, please ask yourself Is this best for the animal?—then consider these 10 things.