Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dogs and Cats

I think it is fairly obvious that I am an animal lover from the pictures I post of our cats and the volunteer work that I have done with cats over the past 5 years.

Normally, I try not to read animal stories as they just make me upset. However, sometimes I think it is important to read them so that I can get angry and spur myself into action.

First, there was the story of the man in Glenfield having dead cats in his freezers and also numerous cats living in disgusting conditions. He claims he is an animal lover. I claim that he is a cat hoarder and while he thinks he is “doing right” by these animals, he is being more cruel by keeping many in cages surrounded by their own excrement and others that were sick etc. Apparently, there were complaints made nearly a year ago but nothing was done. Why?

Secondly, I read the story about the two dogs that were killed by a “cross breed” dog. Once again the blame game is happening and unfortunately it would appear that the dog is getting the lion-share of the blame. I feel absolutely gutted for the two dogs that were killed and their owners; I cannot even imagine how terrible it would be and how helpless they felt. I feel angry at the owner of the other dog; she should have had it leashed and it would appear that she did nothing that would suggest she was apologetic for the situation. This to me speaks VOLUMES about the situation. Once again the dog is going to get the blame when it is obvious that the owner also needs to take responsibility for her actions and potentially the lack of training and discipline. She even kicked her dog. Seriously?!

I have to insert a disclaimer here…while we had dogs when I was younger I do not know dogs as well as I know cats. But I do have some thoughts…

There seem to be more and more attacks by dogs and calls to ban particular breeds of dogs. I noticed some comments on the Paw Justice Facebook page yesterday about people that do own larger dogs and cross breeds i.e. pit-bull/bull mastiff and have no issues at all. It would seem that these dogs have been raised by owners that know how to raise a dog the right way. I have read more and more blogs written by Ashley Owen Hill who founded Lucky Dog Rescue in the US. Here is her latest blog about bait dogs. After reading numerous blogs by Ashley, I am beginning to doubt whether viciousness in dogs isn’t so much about the “breed” of the dog, but more that care (and time) has not been taken to train and raise the dog. There are instances where badly treated dogs still want to be loved by their abusers….actually they just want love.

As dog attacks become more prevalent in NZ it is evident that some things need to change radically and very soon. So, while I do appreciate that all dogs in NZ need to be registered, I think that better checks need to be in place to ensure that dogs are not just going to owners with no experience with dogs. Or at least get people to go on mandatory dog training courses. Also, the public should not feel afraid to report owners who may not be doing “right” by their dog/s.

I have a huge issue with free animals on Trade Me. They have tightened their controls over the sale of live animals, but I still think that many traders go unchecked. I am sure that many pets go to loving homes, but there are still those that probably do not. Again, it comes back to my belief that no animal should be re-homed without being desexed first and if you have to get the new owner to cover that cost then so be it. If you let your animal have a litter of puppies, kittens etc. then it’s your responsibility to stop the breeding cycle and then get your own pet desexed especially if you are selling them to people that you do not know.

A few years ago I removed 2 female cats and about 11 kittens from a family as they had to move and could not take them with them. Apparently, letting these two cats get pregnant was their “thing” to do at Christmas. These female cats had never had a life of their own and had, had multiple litters. It was just not fair on them. Then this family just re-homed them to whomever. At the end of the day there are so many deserving animals that need a home so why add more.

What is the answer?

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