09/24/09 — Find, spay a pet: Controlling population at shelter starts with responsibility

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Find, spay a pet: Controlling population at shelter starts with responsibility

Every week at the Wayne County animal shelter, more than 100 animals are put down.

Not because they would make bad pets.

Not because they are sick.

These animals lose their lives because there simply are not enough families willing to open their arms and hearts to these dogs and cats.

And that is a shame.

But before it even gets to the adoption phase and the shelter staff begins to look for a home for the hundreds of animals that cross their path each month, there is the irresponsibility of an owner.

That negligence can take many forms -- not spaying or neutering an animal and creating a litter of puppies or kittens that you cannot care for; abandoning a family pet at a shelter because it is "inconvenient"; mistreating or neglecting an animal, forcing authorities to seize it.

And what makes the whole situation so sad is that the problem could be so easily corrected if people would think before they take on the responsibility of an animal.

You just cannot abandon a living thing. It is not moral -- and it is not right. If you decide to welcome a pet into your home, you need to understand that it is now a part of your family. It needs food and veterinary care as well as love.

Neglecting that animal or abusing it is a crime.

If we could eliminate as many of the irresponsible pet owners as possible, we could cut back on the number of animals whose lives will end because no one wanted them.

And if there is room in your heart, consider a dog or cat from the animal shelter. You will get a friend for life -- and save one at the same time.

Published in Editorials on September 24, 2009 11:14 AM