There should be some mechanism to track down folks who have abandoned their pets and put them on a list disallowing them from ever owning a pet again.
I’m not talking about the people who, heartwrenchingly, are forced to give up a beloved dog or cat due to a health condition, allergies, or not being allowed to keep them in their place of residence.
As long as these people surrender their furry friends to an animal rescue organization, if they can’t find a friend to take the pet, then they are acting responsibly, in very trying circumstances. Most of these people would keep their pet if there was any way that they could.
No, I’m talking about the people who drive out into the “country” and dump their pet out the car door, leaving it to somehow survive in the wild.
Which, of course, it likely won’t. One can’t just toss a dog or cat that is used to having its food presented to it and sleeping in a nice warm house outdoors and expect it to fend successfully for itself. You’re likely giving it a death sentence if you do such a heartless thing.
Such pets may have some survival instinct, but they do not have the skills to hunt and protect themselves in the wild.
Then there are the people who move, leaving their pets behind, once again expecting that they will, somehow, miraculously survive.
Gazette columnist Brenda Bernhardt talked about such a situation in her heartwrenching column in the Nov. 23 edition, when she described how she got her dog. In that case, not only did the dog’s former “family” leave her behind, they also left behind all of the puppies with which she was either pregnant at the time, or has just given birth to.
All too often pet owners are irresponsible and do not get their pets spayed or neutered, then abandon the females when they inevitably produce offspring.
Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society does a huge service taking in many such poor critters.
It is sad that such organizations must exist at all (though we are certainly grateful that they do). It is also sad that most are constantly scrambling for funding to take care of the avalanche of the discarded.
There are many, many very worthy causes this time of the year. We hope that people will consider giving to the Lake Cowichan Animal Rescue Society as one of them.
Until people stop seeing pets as disposable such organizations and the compassionate people who dedicate their time to them are vital.