I have two pets. I chose to buy them and give them a home and whatever happens, I will stick to that commitment. If something happened and I couldn’t do that, I would do everything in my power to ensure that they got loving homes as good as they’ve had here or better.

It was with disgust and sadness that I watched an RSPCA programme this week. Two stories were particularly harrowing. In one, some dogs were found in a disgusting state in a bedroom. They were Shih Tzus. A Shih Tzu’s coat grows as they are non-moulting. These dogs had been kept in squalid conditions and not to put too fine a point on it, their hair had grown as they lay in their own excrement over several weeks or months. When the RSPCA Officers found them, they looked like bundles of matted hair and they thought that they were dead. They were alive, however, and the shocked Officers told the story of how they had been rescued, taken to the vet and they’d had to be anaesthetised to remove the matted coats. Their clipped fur filled huge plastic bags and weighed so much that the vet was amazed they had survived. They were lucky. They were rehomed with a loving owner and got all the things they’d missed – good food, walks, attention, play. You can see the news story here

Today there was a story of a cat owner. There were seven cats in the house – some of them kittens – and it was clear that they had cat flu. The owner pleaded poverty, as she smoked her cigarette, answered her mobile phone and had a conversation about buying perfume and the latest CD from her favourite artist. She was given a warning about getting the cats treatment but said she couldn’t afford the taxi fare to take them to the vet’s. I was so angry with her. Talk about getting your priorities all wrong.

Getting an animal is just too easy. You don’t need money. You don’t need a licence. You don’t need to sign a contract to guarantee that you will look after it properly. The resulting cruelty and neglect has to be funded from somewhere. It is not cheap to take on an animal. My elderly cat now costs me £36.99 a month to insure and about £15 a month to feed. If I go away, I have to pay a cattery to care for him in my absence. I buy flea and worm treatments monthly for him and ensure that he is kept warm, clean and safe. There are times when he annoys me (cat puke down the front of the washer is not good) but also times when he snuggles up to me when I’m feeling down as if he knows I need a hug. When I bought him, I knew he would require a lot from me and accepted my responsibilities. 

If only others took the step with knowledge and understanding before going ahead.


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