Disposable Dogs: Let’s Find the Solution(s)!
Due to your overwhelming interest and support for my last blog, I’d like to take it one step further and suggest some potential solutions and especially ask for YOUR ideas and suggestions on how we, as a society, can effectively address and positively turnaround this epidemic of unwanted dogs.
“Disposable” dogs … what exactly do we mean by using that term?
These are the dogs (and, of course, it applies to other pets as well) who are bought on an impulsive whim, with little thought – and even less planning; and then when the reality, cost or actual work needed to care for this animal begins to starts to seep in, often an equally-quick decision is made to simply get rid of the “bothersome” pet.
This once-adorable, cute pet now becomes the disposable collateral from an owner’s sad-attempt-at-an-excuse of ‘oops, made a mistake!‘ Maybe it’s because of the particular breed: it’s too small, too big, too energetic or too strong-willed. Or maybe it’s something as basic as: it won’t listen to me, it pees everywhere, chews everything and so on. What do all these “reasons” have in common? They are nothing more than endless and unwarranted excuses. It needs to stop!
These same hapless dogs are being primarily sold by breeders. It doesn’t really matter whether they are ethical breeders or not; because it’s really these new – and incredibly naive – owners who are fueling an industry where the primary intent is to make money off the good nature of a dog. Just because nature provided this instinct, doesn’t mean society should abuse it – for any amount of money!
But we all know the basic rule of economics: Where there is a Demand there will always be a Supply.
And so Rescues, around the world, are heaving to the rafters with unwanted dogs (not to mention other pet animals). The same dogs that were once “so cute” and “adorable” before being brought into their new home. Or maybe it’s the same dogs that became overnight “must-haves” thanks to the latest movie released (called the “movie effect” by Linda Cole in her Yahoo article: “How the Movie Effect Creates Shelter Dogs“).
Or sometimes they are just unwanted gifts with a non-returnable label. (The madness has already started … Yorkies are popular and Staffies are not. Breeders are tripping over themselves in trying to speculate what will be the most popular breed for the Christmas rush!)
And the “crimes” that these canines have been convicted and then sentenced to a shelter for? Just being a canine in a materialistic world. A world where our loyalty and commitment only lasts until the next, latest and shiny new edition is released. Is this how we now label Man’s Best Friend? Are our beloved canines now seen as a cheap – and then disposable – commodity?
It’s Time to FIND Solutions!
Since it appears our collective common sense has gone out the window along with old-fashioned ethics, we need to find some new ideas and ways to protect the dignity and lives our always faithful companion, the dog.
Obviously the rules and regulations most government departments come up with are not working. Maybe we need to get the Kennel Clubs on board? After all, they are the experts about the breeding and showing all dog breeds in nearly every country in the world. They also have a huge influence on the dog-owning population of pedigree dogs. Since pedigree dogs end up in the same shelters as non-pedigree breeds, isn’t it time for the Kennel Clubs to actively campaign and advocate for much better treatment of all canines?
Mick offered a good suggestion on my last blog, Disposable Dogs? We Need to be Accountable for Our Behaviour, saying: “We should have to get a dog license before we get the dog. This will stop the ” let’s get a dog ” people. Have the licenses available from shelters only. That way a person will have to have contact with someone who can give information and education regarding dog ownership. The biggest problem will be enforcement of the above.”
Would licensing work? And what would it take to enforce dog licensing? Would follow-up visits be necessary to ensure ongoing assurance of good dog ownership practices?
Perhaps we need to address the source of the supply (which helps drive the demand). Do we really need to “farm” (aka puppy mills) or breed more dogs? Especially when you weigh it against the current over-population which is putting an unbearable, and unsustainable, strain on our local governments, charities and shelters alike. Over-breeding is bleeding us all dry!
So what’s YOUR suggestion to this problem? We all know too well that if we just keep ignoring it, this problem is not going to go away … it’s a problem that’s here to stay.
I know there are an infinite number of volunteer and animal rescue workers around the world that have thought about this issue on an almost daily basis. Let’s start sharing and working on some real “next steps” and potential solutions(s).
Looking forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions!
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