Some people adopt a pet and have no idea what they are getting into. They may find that they have failed at house training and they just give up and take their pet the shelter. On some levels, I have a bit more sympathy for them.. not because they were right to dump their pet- but, because they had failed at trying to teach their pet to live in the human world. I know I have had a hell of time teaching pets of
Some people adopt or buy a cute puppy or kitten and then, once it gets big, they dump it. Every year, a few months after Christmas there are dogs and cats dumped because they were a present that grew. Often times, they keep them just long enough to have them through the cutest, smallest, and most adoptable phase of their life before dumping them. Sometimes, there are even people that do it over and over again. I wish there was a way to just stop them. But, there is not. Those are people that I think need to be called in to watch their pet die when no one adopts it and they need to be told to their face that their pet died because of them. This is why pets do not make good gifts. They should never be brought into the home on a whim and there needs to be a large amount of research done as to what needs to be done to properly care for them. Breeders and pet shops are far to eager to allow just anyone to take their babies - after all, if they turned irresponsible people away it would affect their income. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told by someone who had bought from a breeder that they were told their dog would not get too big.. yes, labs do get big. Sometimes, people have been convinced to buy multiple puppies so they won't be lonely. They are not educated properly.. not at all. Far too few breeders are looking out for the best interest of their litters. There are some, and those are the ones who will put into a contract that the dog or cat needs to be returned to them. Even shelters don't do a good enough job on educating people who adopt puppies.... some are very good at it. But, others are not and I wonder of only taking an adopter aside and sitting down with them to give them resources and talking with them about what it really takes would lessen the number of returns. But, then again.. shelters are so overrun I think they are just happy as hell to see any adoption.
So basically, shelters need to exist- there are legitimate reasons why shelters need to be. People are abusing the service. They have discovered that shelters will take on their messes. They have put down their responsibility and placed it upon the shoulders of the shelter workers. luckily for the dogs and cats who are victim to the those people, there are people who are working for them and fighting for them. But, it is a losing battle until things change. Either "kill" shelters will be forced to continue to kill millions each year due to space, illness and budgets.. or "no kills" will be forced to house animals that may or may not ever find homes- how much can they truly take on? How long can they keep it up? I see articles all the time about overflowing shelters and lack of funds.. it doesn't matter what side of the fence people are on about what kind of shelter is better- what matters is that society is irresponsible- ignorant and sometimes downright callous in their care of their pets.
There needs to be changes in the community since they are the ones who are causing the problem. I firmly believe that there should be mandatory spay an neuter laws and that spays and neuters should be free. As a taxpayer, I would much rather have my money go to fixing cats to prevent future ones than to go to house the many litters of unwanted kittens who may end up just being killed or warehoused- using tax payer money. Puppy mills need to be stopped and breeders need to have more oversight. Hoarders of animals need to be stopped and instead of getting sympathy need to be made to never own animals again- too many times they contribute to mass influxes of animals when they are busted. No kill shelters need more oversight as well and there needs to be more partnerships between them and the city shelters. People who use rescue animals for their own monetary gain need to be punished severely and all abusers should have much harsher punishments. Education of those adopting and buying pets should have mandatory education and anyone who brings in an elderly pet to be dumped needs to called when their pet is about to be killed and to be told exactly how much that animal missed them. Shelters should exist for those times when they need to be there-- we need to stop allowing them to be used as dumping grounds for all of the people that should know better-- and often do.