It’s pretty daunting to take an animal into your home. You become responsible for every need: food, water, shelter, health. The animal can’t tell you when it’s hungry, thirsty, needs to come home, or sick so it is up to you to pay close attention to the animal.
Another thing that should be daunting is that you are responsible for the animal for life. To be clear, and to repeat myself, you take one home, you assume the responsibilities associated with the animal for the duration.
I repeat myself because some people don’t seem to understand that concept. I once worked with someone who took in a kitten because her daughter wanted a kitten and brought one home. The woman didn’t like animals, but particularly cats, but wanted her daughter to be happy so she agreed. The problem was the kitten did what kittens do, clawed things. The rug, the carpet, the little girl. The mother flipped out because her baby (8 years old at the time) got hurt and, more importantly because she carped on it more, the furniture was damaged. Mama then went and had the kitten declawed. Literally half of the department told her we’d take the kitten in, just please don’t declaw the poor thing. She did. Then about a month or so after that horrible operation, she gave the kitten to the local animal shelter. At the time, it was not a no-kill shelter.
None of us in the department had an opportunity to take the kitten in. One morning, Mama came in and told everyone she’d “gotten rid of the kitten” that morning and where. She never understood why so many of us were upset.
But that’s what happens when thoughtless people get pets. Today, I read a story that broke my heart, another story about thoughtless people. Thumbnail: the dog kept getting out of its enclosure, so the family gave it up for adoption. But then they went to that same shelter to get another dog. The dog they gave up was still there, and excited to see her humans again. And they just walked away from her.
I get that sometimes you have to give up an animal. Maybe the animal needs more care than you can afford. Or you’ve gotten sick yourself and can’t take care of your friend. Other times, the caretaker has died and the family can’t/won’t take the animal in. Other legitimate reasons can probably be given, but you take my meaning.
But to give up an animal because it gets out too much? That’s the owner’s fault, not the animals. To those owners I say take the dog for a walk regularly. Play with him/her. Give her/him more attention. Regardless, you’ve taken on the responsibility, so own that responsibility and live up to it. If you need help, ask.
There’s a special place in hell for people who mistreat animals in any way. Not accepting that an animal is your responsibility for life is but one way an animal may be mistreated.