Sunday, December 31, 2017

Pub Chatter #132

     Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1. Shelters take in between 6,000,000 and 8,000,000 dogs and cats every year. Still, it’s not enough. Another 2,700,000  throw away innocent pets are euthanized because there is no room for them in the inn. The Washington Post and the University Of Mississippi pooh-pooh these numbers. They say only 750,000 dogs are euthanized annually. Imagine that, only 750,000! This is an absolute disgrace.

    Ignorance is an unavoidable thing, no one knows everything. But, willful ignorance is a chosen evil. This pet problem can be solved. People are simply unwilling to solve it. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Bob Barker has been telling America that for decades. It’s a simple message but people won’t listen.

     If you wish to be a licensed breeder, learn what the hell you're doing and be a responsible one. If you can’t put in the time, get your pet spayed or neutered. There are free and low-cost programs available that are discoverable with a minimal search. There really is no valid excuse for not choosing one of these options. Spay and neuter programs are like hand washing in health care. They are the #1 way to prevent problems, but not the only ones.

     Consider being a foster parent to a homeless animal. Shelters provide the food and health care for the animals they send to foster homes so there is no monetary cost. It does require love and caring. Adoption is a great idea, but more difficult to do and some shelters make ridiculous demands on prospective parents.

     Shelter dogs are every bit as loving and loyal as those who cost hundreds of dollars. Some breeders won’t like what I’m about to say but designer dogs, cockapoos, goldendoodles, chiweenies, etc...are simply the mutts of yesterday. I hear people say, “I don’t want a shelter dog because I don’t know what I’m getting.” Seriously? You mean you know in advance how that puppy is going to behave? May I remind you shelter dogs were once adorable little puppies. It’s astounding how many Christmas puppies become June’s shelter dogs.

    When you do decide to get a dog, have an idea of what you are getting. A high energy dog will not do well living in a tiny apartment unless you plan on spending a lot of time outside with him. Is shedding a problem for you? Better study. Puppies poop, pee, and chew---consider an older dog if that will inconvenience you. In my opinion dogs, like wine and people, get better with age. Will the dog you want be a good fit for children? Know before tragedy strikes.
     If you do end up with an unexpected litter of dogs, whether you sell them or give them away, beware. Free puppies can end up as bait dogs for dog fighters; a fate worse than death in a crowded shelter. Letting your dog run free is asking for all kinds of trouble all with adverse consequences for the pet.

    We have three dogs that lounge around the Raven and Owl. All spayed and neutered; old and young, long hair and short hair, 2 boys and a girl, each with its own personality and temperament. They all have one thing in common; they are the most loving beings anyone will ever meet. No matter how the day has gone, they meet me with joy and wildly wagging tails---well, not Hydee she doesn’t have much of a tail, she just shakes what she has.

     “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”