Three seconds after his owner left the front door of their Manhattan apartment, Max, the tan terrier from “The Secret Life of Pets” says, “Oh I miss her so much”. This attitude pets have towards their owners is widespread, unfortunately, it is scarce for the owners to return this affection. Too often, blatant curiosity and greed, drive people to make owning a pet, an impulsive decision. Consequently, many pets experience mistreatment, abandonment and to the extreme, undeserved deaths. The act of taking theory and practical tests concerning health requirements and the fundamental aspects of owning a pet restricts our tolerance of mistreatment. Pet ownership is not explicitly presented, verging the lack of knowledgeable and committed pet owners. To address this issue all pet owners should be required to have qualifications.
Through the process of acquiring qualifications, people are taught to avoid circumstances of mistreatment and are educated to fulfil the needs of their pet. Due to genetic mutations and their flat face, bulldogs suffer biologically, from breathing difficulties. Health issues become an integral part of owning a pet and are vulnerable to becoming the reason for abandonment. Without understanding the vital structures, it is impossible to guarantee that your vet bills will continue your enthusiasm for ownership. Owners have the requirement to fully understand the psychological, behavioural and social needs of their pets. As revealed by the RSPCA, there have been 150,000 cases of animal cruelty in addition to over one million calls of afflicted animals. With qualifications, pet owners are encouraged to research prior to their adoption. Common sense is often ignored in the prospect of ownership, “Do you have adequate time and space?”, “Can you afford to own a pet?” and “Are you aware of public pet rules?”. With pets providing us with innumerable benefits, from stress relief to constant companionship, we have the reciprocal responsibility to provide the equivalent. There are many negative implications towards the pet, when they are grounded within a problematic relationship With qualifications, the great burden of pet ownership can be eased in for those who have no idea where to begin; the prerequisite of having qualifications gives the owners a chance to be a fulfilling pet owner by being informed of the health of their pets.
For as long as we allow animal abandonment to shelters to occur we are accepting that the fate of these animals to remain unadopted. We are accepting death. Due to a lack of substantial care, abandonment of pets is easily observed in shelters. A senior dog, considered an extra load on family trips, abandoned. A kitten, less than one, purring for deprived attention, abandoned. A puppy that met an owner who is out 24/7, abandoned. Abandoned in animal shelters. Our effort of obtaining qualifications becomes a catalyst and prevention of more and more animals ending up in shelters. This inconceivable number of pets are being neglected into the hands of vets and volunteers. They are those who have to go through the pain of injecting pentobarbital. While, pets are put down due to agonizing pain and the promise they will be lead to peace, in shelters, healthy animals are being put down because they were neglected in their past. The vets are having to apologise to the public for choosing one animal to euthanize over the other. This, founding from our senseless decisions. Instead of the guilty owners, they are the ones having to suffer from the hate and are having to carry the burden of death; be labelled a murderer, a criminal; senseless and inhumane. In the US alone, there over 1 million animals are euthanized each year and more than 6 million animals that enter shelters. 16, 000 dogs, euthanized in Auckland shelters. It is hypocritical to criticize kill shelters, as the vets only have one intention in doing this. There are just too many animals. Jian Zichen, a vet who worked at an animal shelter was appointed to euthanize 700 healthy animals in the span of two years, only to be named a butcher and result in the end of her own life. People like you and myself, are passing the responsibility of pet ownership for someone else to handle. It is not the fault of the pets for ending up there, it is ours for knowing that we were unable to take on the responsibility, but still did. Through education, research and taking tests, there will be an increase in pet owners who deserve to take on the duty. A clear distinction between one who can own a pet to one who cannot will be emphasized lowering the rates of animals in shelters.
It is easy to fall in love with an animal, and our instincts make adopting one a whole lot easier. This stems from the action of adopting one without the knowledge but to merely satisfy themselves. Qualifications enforce that that you wish to go to the extent of taking tests to have a pet. You are displaying commitment and determination. Furthermore, these qualifications confirm that you have no excuse to abandon your pet for the reasons they are, “We have a family member who has allergies” or “No space in a new home for our dog”. We are all mindful that passing tests require strong motivation. It is common from our human nature to weigh the pros and cons. The lack of commitment is visible through the 15% of New Zealand’s pet owners pay for pet services, clearly conveying that we do not care enough. Beyond the adoption and bringing your pet home, there are at least 12 years of commitment which follow, costs upon costs of pet food and time consumed in exercising and loving. Many justify that there is no need for qualifications by saying that there will be a depleted number of people wanting to adopt, but those who are unwilling to adopt a pet just because they have to be licensed indisputably proves their lack of commitment. Owning a pet is a responsibility and a privilege, and through qualifications, this will be reinforced. Pet ownership does not stop at bringing the pet home, but you must provide them with limitless love as it is a lifetime responsibility.
While establishing the need for qualifications ignore those who love their pets unconditionally, there is a lack of prevalence of these owners. If you are still contemplating the placement of qualifications to own a pet, take one look at your nearby animal shelters. Due to owners disregarding the responsibilities of ownership pet shelters are still existent, and people who still have to prove their lifestyle is not suitable for a pet by abandoning them. Dr Jessica states in response to the film, “The Secret Life of Pets” that, “it is incumbent upon as responsible guardians to make sure that the secret lives of our pets are fulfilling and happy”. Healthy, loyal and faithful. These are the words that describe the pets who are currently in loving hands. But, these are also the words that describe the millions of abandoned pets. Qualifications must be enforced in our society; for the sake of changing the simplified version of what pet ownership is projected as.
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