More responsibility needed from pet owners, breeders

More responsibility needed from pet owners, breeders

Letter to the Editor,

I read the recent article concerning the shortage of staff and kennels at the Holmes County Animal Shelter and feel compelled to add my thoughts.

First off, kudos to all animal shelters and rescues currently dealing with animals in need of homes and oftentimes vet care as well. Let’s face it — we are a disposable society. When a personal item becomes broken or obsolete, we throw it away and replace it with a new one. When a pet is purchased and no longer needed or wanted, it is either dumped off, often with an unregistered microchip or expired license, surrendered to a shelter or rescue, or if it’s really lucky, given to someone who will give it a good home.

The “designer breeds” currently flooding the markets are compounding the overcrowding of rescues and shelters because these breeds tend to be high energy, high maintenance and of inferior genetic quality, requiring costly veterinary care. The cute puppy purchased online six months ago is now a rambunctious, out-of-control tangle of matted fur needing grooming and manners. Who would have thought?

Those issues were never mentioned in the ad. Holy cow, this dog needs training, grooming and vet care. I personally own a rescued “doodle” and know firsthand what is involved in keeping him groomed and healthy. It’s all about being a responsible pet owner. Responsibility is no longer a word in most folks’ vocabularies, whether it pertains to an animal, human being, et cetera. Just walk away and someone else will take of it.

I’ve often wondered if the so-called “breeders” reimburse rescues and shelters when surrendering dogs they don’t or can’t sell? The breeder’s problem now becomes someone else’s problem at someone else’s expense. Again, taking responsibility.

In closing I highly suggest people “do their homework” before spending money on a pet they cannot afford or doesn’t fit their lifestyle. Lastly, support your local shelters and rescues, whether monetarily or by acquiring your next pet there. I guarantee purebreds and the most popular designer breeds will be found there for far less money than advertised online. If everyone would do their part in becoming responsible pet owners, shelters and rescues would no longer have to deal with an abundance of pets needing homes.

Kathy Steinebrey

Fresno

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