Letter to the Editor

Pet ownership should be a privilege

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

To the Editor:

According to ASPCA statistics, 10 million pets end up in shelters every year.

Some are old, sick, abused or have behavior problems, but most are just unwanted. About 5 million of these are adopted into new homes every year, while the rest are euthanized.

Then, the next year, the cycle repeats itself.

They say that the answer is to spay and neuter, and that would certainly help, but as long as spaying and neutering remain the "choice" of the owners, many will choose not to do this.

Therefore, I believe that some people should not be allowed to own pets. They usually get these animals on the spur of the moment without any thought about commitment.

"I want one like I saw in that movie," "Mommy can I have a pet?," "It's so cute, I gotta have it" are common reasons people acquire pets, then they don't know how to care for them.

They expect it to have human behavior, but rather than commit to training and exercising the animal, it's easier to get rid of it.

So what's the solution?

If somebody wants to adopt a child, they just can't go out to an orphanage or an adopt-a-thon, pick one out and take it home that day. They are interviewed and their home is inspected to make sure they will suitable parents. Maybe something similar needs to be done for pets or at least dog obedience classes, which train people how to be the dogs leader.

Dogs are pack animals and they need to have a leader, but many people don't know how to be that leader and that's the cause of the behavior problems. Low energy people shouldn't have a high-energy dog.

If you are not willing or are unable to train, exercise, spay or neuter your pet, you shouldn't have one because the animals people choose to have as pets have a "right" not to end up in a shelter when they become inconvenient.

So something needs to be done to keep uneducated, irresponsible people from obtaining pets which will eventually end up in a shelter or dumped along a highway and becoming a tax burden for the rest of us.

James Wilson