Pet Over Population

According to statistics provided by the Cornell University Department of Veterinary Science an estimated 12 million healthy cats and dogs and other small animals, including birds, are euthanized in shelters each year. Approximately 75% of all cats and kittens that are relinquished to shelters and over 56% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are destroyed. If you give somebody an unexpected pet as a gift, that little life may end up being one of these very sad statistics, a healthy, loving pet that was killed.

These horrendous statistics are the result of pet over population. Too many humans get their pets on a whim, receive them as gifts, or get them for their young children who are not responsible enough to care for them on their own. Other people fail to have their pets spayed or neutered. They either don't care about pets being destroyed in shelters or they are unaware that there are more pets that need homes then people willing to give them homes. This is reprehensible because each one of these animals would have made a loving companion to a human. These  tragic deaths could have been prevented.

What does this have to do with you getting one little puppy, kitten, bird or other animal for somebody as a gift? Plenty. Do you want to add to this tragedy by giving an animal to a person who may not really want to make a commitment to a pet? Do you know if this person even wants to take on the responsibility or the mess associated with becoming a pet owner? Are they willing to housebreak and train a puppy or tame a bird? What about cleaning out a litter box and the odor if not changed regularly? Do they really want to spend an hour every 2 weeks hauling a bird cage into the bathtub to disinfect?  Are they going to mind having animal fur or bird feathers and droppings all over their clothes, furniture and house? What about cats clawing on furniture or puppies and parrots chewing on furniture? Pets do all of these things and more. It's unrealistic to think that everybody is an animal lover like you or that they will find these little chores and  antics as simple,  cute, amusing or endearing as you do.

Want some more reasons why you should surprise somebody with a pet for a gift? Can your friend or loved one really afford to own and take care of pet? Is the recipient of this living, breathing animal willing to have a cat or dog spayed/neutered and will they keep the pet up to date with required immunizations? Are they willing to take a bird to an avian vet once a year for a healthy bird check up, which includes  blood tests and gram stains or do they consider birds a disposable commodity because they are small? A yearly healthy bird check up can cost up to $150  a year. Are they willing to pay for medical bills when a pet gets sick or injured or are pets easily replaceable? 

Cats, dogs and medium to large sized birds have a very long lifespan. Puppies and kittens are adorable and cute, but they DO grow into full sized animals very quickly. Young, sweet, hand tamed birds grow into adult parrots and personality changes can be expected with adulthood. Once the novelty of a new pet wears off it may suddenly become an inconvenience, resulting in animal neglect, abuse, abandonment, or the animal ultimately being euthanized. How about the bird that the family falls in love with and then because it doesn't talk or to tricks, they get a dog and send the bird off to a shelter.  Do you want any of this on your conscience? After all, you are the one giving them a small  animal as a gift.

Gift Ideas

If you would really like to give somebody a pet as a gift, but now know that you could be making a big mistake, here are a few suggestions that can help decrease the pet over population epidemic. Make a donation to your local animal shelter in the gift recipient's name, which can be applied towards adopting a pet after they have had time to really think about the responsibility involved.Still not good enough? 

Along with the donation, purchase a stuffed animal, a beanie baby, a an animal figurine, a set of mugs with animal pictures on them, pet themed calendars, a chia pet, a book on pets, writing paper with pictures of animals, an animal keychain, a movie about pets such as 101 Dalmatians or The Incredible Journey, a subscription to a magazine on animals. We know there is a whole world out there full of pet themed gifts to accompany your donation to a local shelter. There now, don't you feel better? You have other ideas to give as a gift, you are helping out your local shelter and you may have just saved the life of an animal.

Each year millions of unwanted pets are born and most are treated like disposable commodities One female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in 7 years One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in 6 years. Please spay or neuter your pets and help stop this vicious cycle of death.

Unwanted Pets Bird Balloons 1 Bird Balloons 2
Bird Balloons 3 Humane Society ASPCA

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