Close to eight million pets are abandoned every year in the United States alone. Leaving an animal to fend for itself can lead to a number of results from suffering from illnesses, getting pregnant/impregnating another animal, getting hit by a car, etc. If the animal is lucky, it will be picked up by animal control and brought to a shelter. Hopefully then, it will be given a second chance.
On an average we pick up between 1,200 and 1,500 dogs a year. That number does not include owner turn-ins. Of those dogs, only about 500-600 of those dogs are reunited with their owners. The rest – left, abandoned, or dumped.
People often think that if they were abandoned, they must have had something wrong with them. That is hardly ever the case. No animal should ever be blamed for being left for dead. It is the owner who is responsible for this situation. Here are a few reasons why some people feel it’s okay to disown an animal:
- The owner finds the animal to be too much hard work and doesn’t want to be bothered to train it properly.
- The owner irresponsibly never had the animal spayed or neutered, and now he or she has a pregnant dog and an unwanted litter.
- The owner didn’t realize how much an animal can cost, and can’t afford it.
- The owner went through a sudden hardship and could no longer afford it anymore – evicted, foreclosure, loss of job, etc.
- The owners break up or get divorced, neither one can or wants to care for the animal.
- The owners have a baby, and finds the dog to be an added burden or a risk to the child.
- The owner moves to a property that doesn’t allow pets.
- The owner is simply bored of the animal.
- The owner becomes ill or immobile and unable to care for pet.
- The owner passes away and has no one else to care for it.
- The owner losses interest in an older pet, now that it’s no longer a puppy or kitten.
- The animal develops a medical condition and the owner does not want to, or can’t financial handle the bills.
None of these are a valid excuse to leave an animal in the streets. If you feel as though you can no longer care for an animal, bring it to a shelter or rescue. At least give it the chance at finding it a family that wants it and will take care of it.
***New York law makes abandoning or dumping a pet a misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year’s imprisonment, a $1,000 fine, or both.***