Are you Really Ready to Adopt a Pet?
A big shout out to Neha Panchamiya, President of ResQ Charitable Trust for all the good works her organization does and for also taking the time to write this informative and from the heart article!
Image Courtesy ResQ
You’ve picked out a new collar, bought a water bowl and made a cozy little bed in a corner of your room for your new furry family member, but hang on for a second. Are you really ready to adopt?
Deciding to bring home a pet is an exciting time, especially if you’re a first time pet parent. You’re thrilled about the thought of perpetual cuddles and you’ve dreamt happily about playtime! Bringing a pet home is the easy part, the real hard work comes in later. Your heart may be ready for a new furry friend, but do you have the time, space, money and commitment to make it work? It’s a huge decision to take, so make sure you’re taking the right one.
What you need to know before adopting a pet
Firstly, kudos to you for choosing to adopt instead of buying a pet. Adopting a pet is a huge commitment, pretty much like having a baby. They need to be toilet trained, fed at regular intervals and need exercise, just like children. And they also need to be taken care of until the end of their lives (something you hope doesn’t happen with your children!) While this means you have more than a decade of furry love ahead of you, depending on your pets’ age, it also means years of caring for them.
Apart from a long term commitment, it is also essential to ensure that you have enough time to dedicate to looking after it. If you’re away from home for a major part of the day, adopting a cat is a far better option than bringing home a dog, since they are more independent and don’t always need you around.
Your home and family members are an equally important part of this big decision. Everyone in your home must be comfortable and willing to have a pet around. Bringing an animal home is a great way to teach kids some responsibility, but make sure the animal you are adopting is friendly and not temperamental. Big houses with yards are great for larger dogs, but a smaller home definitely calls for a smaller animal.
Image Courtesy ResQ
What abandoning does to a pet and why it should never be on your list
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who adopt or buy pets impulsively and are later on unable to look after them. This is when they are abandoned on the road and left to fend for themselves. There may be a hoard of reasons why someone would choose to abandon an animal. They may be moving town, their family may not want them anymore, the animal may be showing a change in behaviour or they may not be able to afford the upkeep. The latter is true, especially when the animal falls sick or is gravely injured, and the owners do not think it worthwhile to ensure correct treatment and recovery.
Whatever may be the reason, there is nothing that makes it okay to cast them out of your homes, where they have been used to a life of love and affection. When these animals are on the streets and cannot fend for themselves, they end up injured and at animal rescue centres like ResQ. At ResQ, we receive cases of abandoned and injured animals at an alarmingly high rate. Most of these are pedigrees which people have probably spent thousands to buy.
During my 10 years of animal rescue, I have ended up seeing more abandonment cases than I can recollect. One of the recent ones so far has been Benji, a spitz, who was abandoned by his family of 14 years. His owners had put their hands up, saying that they wouldn’t be able to look after him anymore because he was injured and had turned aggressive. Barely able to walk and with a huge maggot infestation in his ear, he had already been neglected much before he was abandoned. Contrary to everything they had told us, Benji is a sweetheart. He is an old fellow and my heart breaks when I think about what he must have gone through to end up in the shape he came to ResQ in. Thankfully, he is doing well and is recovering nicely at the ResQ Centre with lots of care and attention.
Abandoning causes an immense amount of trauma to an animal, something which is extremely difficult to completely erase later. This may even permanently reflect on the animal’s personality and impact how he behaves, even if he does end up finding a new home.
Image Courtesy ResQ
What you should do if you have to move
Once you bring home a pet, he becomes a part of your family. And just like you would with children, it is important to take your four legged member into consideration while making a move. Luckily, pet relocation has become much easier than it was until a few years ago. Whether you’re moving within the country or outside it, it is possible to take your pet with you. Sure, it involves a lot of paperwork and permissions, but that’s the least you can do to keep your best friend around! If you’re clueless about how to go about it, a little internet searching will tell you what you need to know. To make it even easier, there are Pet Relocation agencies which will do all the running around for you.
In the end, it boils down to the commitment you’re willing to make. And even if you feel like you may not be ready to adopt an animal right now, you can make a huge difference in the lives of so many others by volunteering at a local animal NGO, we welcome all the help we can get!
Read More: 7 Step Rescue Regime for Stray Dogs
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