The official definition of animal abandonment is when a person leaves an animal in a public area, not intending to return or arrange for it’s care. Sadly, there is no way of tracking how often this happens, so we don’t know the exact number of abandoned strays in total. In many states abandoning a pet is illegal. It fits in place with animal cruelty laws. Those who do leave a pet behind suffer punishments such as fines up to $1,000 and sometimes even a year in jail.
Abandonment is typically caused by a change of heart and/or situation. People might impulsively buy a new puppy, then later realize that they don’t have the time or money for it, so they abandon it. They may also lose their jobs, move to new places, or other things that make it so they can no longer support an animal. If you are in a situation like this, there are alternatives to abandonment. Bring your animal to a shelter. If you can no longer afford your pet, but want to keep it, there are pet food pantries you can go to. Also, their are organizations that can help you find low cost animal care, such Tree House Humane Society or Animal Welfare League.
To avoid situations where you would need to even CONSIDER abandoning your animal, put a lot of thought into the choice of buying a pet. Here are some things to consider when deciding if a pet is right for you:
- Time: Animals need a lot of care, and are pretty vocal when they don’t get what they want. Do you have the time for walks, playtime, training, etc?
- Longevity: Pets like turtles and parrots can live for as long as humans do. Getting a pet is a long-term (possibly lifetime) commitment. Do you want to put up with a noisy bird in your old age?
- Space: The little puppy you have now won’t stay little for long. Are you prepared to take care of a 70 pound, fluffy monstrosity (in a good way)? Also, pets need a lot of room, big cages and space to “frolic.”
- Money: Pets are a big responsibility, and an expensive one too. Vet bills, buying supplies and replacing stuff that gets destroyed can add up. Some animals “take no prisoners,” (shoes, etc.). Are you ready to pay the bill?
This is Mo. He is a male Guinea pig and he is ridiculously floofy. Guinea pigs are great starter pets, because they are bigger then hamsters, so harder to lose. They are also calmer (and fluffier). The most common breeds are Smooth-coated, Abyssinian (I think Mo is Abyssinian), and Peruvian.
Go to this link to learn more about Mo: https: //www.aear.org/pets/view/2085/guinea-pig/mo#.VQtJ1xDF_YM
Losing your pet
According to the ASPCA, out of 1,000 pet owning homes, 15% of those homes have lost a pet (it ran away or something) at some time or another. Luckily, 85% of those lost were recovered. But those who own cats are less lucky, only 74% of lost cats were found. Cats are typically more independent animals, so they might not want to be found.
Losing your pet is a problem that can be easily prevented. Fence in your yard, and don’t leave pets unattended. Cats shouldn’t be kept outdoors, ever. Make sure to always use a leash during walks. When walking your dog, you should never hold the leash with just your fingers. You should put your hand through the loop, than wrap the extra leash around your wrist once or twice. That way, your dog can’t pull the leash out of your hand, it’ll just take you for a wild joyride if it starts running instead. Small pets like guinea pigs or bunnies should be taken outside every once in a while, but always in runs or pens. And never leave them unsupervised, because they can dig underneath the sides of the pen if you leave them alone long enough. Before you answer the door, make sure the doorway is clear of small or large pets. They can sneak or force their way out when you’re not paying attention,
A fantastic way to find your pet if you lose them, is by microchipping them. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is inserted under the skin in between the shoulder blades. After insertion, it doesn’t hurt them at all. It’s basically like a vaccination. When a lost pet is found, it is scanned for microchips, and the info is shown on the scanner to give the pet back to it’s owner. Home Again’s (http://public.homeagain.com/) microchips are the only microchips (currently) that have a Bio Bond patented no-migration feature, so the microchip will not move around under the skin.
This is Tony Stark. He is an awesome Syrian hamster who is ridiculously fuzzy. True to his name, he rarely sleeps,instead choosing to run around and climb on things. Typically, I write about creatures that need homes for my Friday Friend posts, but today, I just wanted to show off Tony before he goes to his forever home, because he happens to be my first foster hamster. And he’s just that amazing.