Saturday, August 09, 2008

On a very serious note...

I recently came across this well-made video while perusing the Camarillo Animal Shelter's Website. Despite already being aware of what happens to animals in shelters that are not adopted out or rescued, viewing this video was a truly sobering experience for me. Being aware, versus actually seeing what happens are 2 very different things altogether. I urge everyone to view this short video in its entirety, regardless of how difficult it may be, as I feel it is important to get a thorough understanding of the consequences of not taking pet ownership seriously.
Animal shelters around our country temporarily take in discarded pets. Fortunately, some are adopted out to a loving family, where they'll remain there for the rest of their lives, while others are taken in by rescue organizations who offer these animals a no-kill zone with the possibility of being adopted out to a family in search of a loving, devoted companion. 
Unfortunately, too many of these poor creatures are never adopted, or rescued, only to end up being euthanized at the shelter where they were left behind. This is a very harsh and sad reality for a great number of animals that are feral, abandoned, or given to a shelter.
Yet, so many people impulsively take in pets, only to end up abandoning them, giving them up, or failing to give them the most basic requirements to sustain a healthy and comfortable existence. Regardless of the circumstance, I could not imagine having to surrender a pet to an animal shelter for any reason. I take pet ownership and its commitment seriously. 
The saddest part is that most of this is preventable, simply through spaying and neutering our pets, and making the commitment to keep a pet for life.
Personally, I have only had to have one dog euthanized--but this was due to inoperable cancer and old age. My husband and I had to take this step to put our poor companion out of her misery. She was too old to be operated on, and the treatments would have had a major impact on the quality of what remained of her life--which probably would not have exceeded 6 months, even if she were in good health. She was this huge lovable malamute named Mandy, who became a member of our family the minute we brought her home.  Having her put down was one of the most heartbreaking things that we had to do because we both raised her from a pup. 
As responsible pet owners, we felt it imperative to have all of our pets spayed or neutered... in addition to providing them with healthy food, clean water, a clean environment, medical care, and some training for good citizenship. Our pets always remain behind closed doors, or a locked gate--otherwise, on a secure lead if they were outside. We never let our pets roam the streets on their own, where they'd be left unprotected from automobiles, other strays, diseases, or cruel people who seek animals to abuse. 
It is unconscionable to the both of us to take in any animal without the intention of keeping it for the duration of its natural life. Moreover, I react to the loss of my pets as I would a family member. I end up being grief-stricken for a long time after the loss of a pet. And, my memory of them remain with me always.

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