I grew up on a farm and had all of the typical farm animals around me. And, of course, we had pets - dogs and cats in particular, but also rabbits and other wild animals including a skunk. (I'll leave that story for another time.) We were taught from a very young age that tame animals depend on humans for food and other basic life necessities and we kids had to fulfill those needs or pay the price from mom. (Yep, she was the main disciplinarian in the family because it seemed like dad was always working.) Taking care of the pets was not a burden to be borne, but rather a fact of life on the farm.
My upbringing among animals is one of the reasons I started watching Animal Planet. I enjoy learning about different animals and their habitat. One program that I happened across by accident is Animal Cops. There are a couple of cities featured - Houston and Miami - that I watch regularly although other cities are featured. To be honest, I don't know why I continue to watch this program because I come away each time just fuming! If you've never seen the program, local SPCA shelters are the focal point and investigators from those shelters are followed by cameras as they go in to confiscate abused animals. And some of that abuse is horrific! Watching this program is akin to rubber-necking an accident on the highway. You know you're going to see something terrible, but you just can't look away. How can someone profess to love their animal and let that animal waste away to skin and bones - literally?
In most cases, the confiscated animals are awarded to the custody of the SPCA through the court system and are then given food and medical care that is needed. And in most cases, the animals survive and are adopted out to loving homes. Unfortunately, sometimes the most humane treatment is euthanasia. Yet in the cases that are followed in the programs, the animal owners vow all through the legal process that they do love their animals and want to get them back. Grrrr! Makes me want to slap those folks around...and I don't subscribe to violence.
Animals can be a blessing for most people and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. If someone no longer wants their pet, most communities have a shelter that will take in the animal and try to adopt it out to someone else who will love and cherish it. And if no loving home can be found, these animals are at the very worst euthanized in a respectful way.
I'm climbing down from my soap-box now. I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for listening. Now back to my regularly-scheduled stitching.
P.S. No, I do not have a pet. I love animals, but feel that at this time in my life I am better off without a pet. That may change in the future. You can trust, though, that if I ever decide to get a pet, that pet will be treated like a queen/king!