We all want a pet to look after and show affection. Usually, we want a dog above any other type of animal. However, when adopting or buying their dogs, many people don't consider their accommodation, responsibility of looking after it, and whether they can afford it.
Which ultimately leads to these animals being abandoned or put back up for adoption in a shelter. Yet, no one seems to be taking it seriously, especially with recent lockdowns, which has caused an increase in dogs and other animals being sent back to a shelter.
I think it's time we took adopting pets and specifically dogs more seriously! And this is why.
Going from one home to the next can be stressful.
Once a dog has stayed at home and got settled into a home. They are comfortable, they have a routine and can begin to calm down and live their life. However, sending them to an adoption shelter and then to a new home can stress them out.
The transition from one new surrounding to another can cause anxiety and confusion. And make a dog depressed for many days because of the emotional turmoil. If you're giving them back to the shelter because you just wanted them for 'Christmas, you could avoid the dog's stress.
They feel things they aren't toys.
Not thinking about how dog adoption will change your life– From the financial side to walking them every day. And then giving them up because you weren't prepared (actually, I think the right word is aware.) Of the responsibility of care is treating the animals like toys. As if they are just some cute accessories you can pick up and chuck whenever you fancy it. However, these animals aren't toys. They have feelings and are conscious and so should be thought about and treated as such.
Animals as gifts.
Sometimes a dog isn't gifted by someone in that household. Sometimes it's provided by a friend or someone from the extended family. And that's just as bad as someone in the home not realising the responsibility of dog ownership. They don't know the economic situation of the person having to look after the animal. So the person lumbered with the dog can't afford to look after them. They might not have the space, or the landlord might not allow dogs. There might be other things the person who bought the dog might not be aware of. So the dog will have to be rehomed.
Ultimately, looking after an animal is a lifelong commitment that someone else can't decide. They are lumbering an animal for someone, even if a cutesy gift, is horrible for the owner and detrimental to the animal. Long paragraph made short: Only the people in the household should decide to get the animal as a dog.
Rehoming a dog can be traumatic for other family members.
If you've bought a dog for your family for Christmas or as a general gift and you've found that you have to give up the dog. Giving up the dog can be upsetting for the family involved, especially if it's a child's first dog. (I mean, it won't be as bad as the dog passing away.)
But the process will still upset them and the family because they've grown attached to the animal in your house and developed a bond. They get used to the animals' presence in the house and want to show their love and care for it.
Also, when we have something important in our life. We expect it to stay around forever and envision it in our future. Giving something up that is important can be upsetting, especially if you are a child because they don't always have the words to express their feelings.
The numbers are horrifying.
Buying a dog as a gift usually ends up with them being put in a shelter a month later. Especially at Christmas! This isn't just one case. There are hundreds of dogs that are sent back. In fact, in 2019, 2,247 people made a call to the Dogs Trust in the January of that year. And in January 2018, the RSPCA received reports of 1,678 reports of abandoned dogs.
On top of that, the Dogs Trust has also said searches for giving up a dog increases by 8%! As you can see, the number of animals, specifically dog rehoming, increases. You are putting extra pressure on animal shelters and increasing the number of stray dogs, which can cause serious injury to the animal and makes it harder for them to survive.
You don't want to add to the numbers and make it more difficult for shelters to find spaces for animals.
Ultimately before adopting a pet (specifically a dog in this article but still!) you need to seriously consider whether you can look after them properly. If you can make the commitment beforehand. It will save you and the pet from heartbreak and it saves an animal shelter a lot of time.
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