What is the fate of a pet that suffers from negligent owners?
A recent post on social media told the sad story of a rescue dog who had escaped his backyard and killed the neighbor’s cat. Because of a policy in the lease that strictly stated that there are no animal issues allowed, the owner of this dog had to either rehome him by Monday, February 10, or have him put down due to his strong “prey drive.”
This dog was only rescued from a shelter in Atlanta a year ago. He’d been through so much by the time he’d come to animal control – constantly chained up outside, and ants had eaten his right eye. He was an active dog that needed a strong handler and a lot of loving guidance. He definitely did not need to be left in an escapable backyard unattended – especially considering his prey drive.
This very morning, this three-year-old dog is facing possible death.
Is it his fault that his owners were negligent? Is it his fault he, as a dog, has a high prey drive and was not taught to control it? It hardly seems fair.
Unfortunately, this kind of situation is all too common. It’s something animal rescuers face daily. Many owners would like to place the blame on their pet, rather than admit that they weren’t taking care of the animal properly. Instances such as, “He bit my child.” Were you watching your child with your dog? Or, “She won’t stop peeing in the house.” Are you taking her out regularly, committing to a schedule? “He keeps jumping the fence.” Are you doing your part to make sure the dog is safely secured inside that fence? None of these should warrant a pet being abandoned, or worse, euthanized. But that is what happens everyday.
It’s time for pet owners to take responsibility. Just like children, pets must be taught. And if they are not, is it their fault? Should they have to die because their owner didn’t invest the time in them? While it is true that there will be some moments that no matter how observant and aware you are your animal might do something unexpected, we need to understand that there are thousands of years of DNA in that animal. At the end of the day, your pet IS an animal. Understanding your animal is vitally important.
The bottom line: You are the key component in your pet’s life. Please, please do all you can to ensure that they have a long, healthy, safe, happy life.