Weighing and Measuring

I love to bake – for me there is no downside ( except on my backside : ) to baking. It makes the whole house smell great and I can’t imagine domestic bliss without home baked things for both the furkids and myself.
Baking is a pretty precise art – and the best results are achieved by careful measuring and close attention to timing.
That type of precision can’t be applied to defining responsible pet ownership. If you put a dozen animal lovers around the table, there would be a dozen different definitions.
No matter what the specifics most will agree on these three things, that responsible pet owners try to provide:

  • the commitment for life,
  • the comfort and security of consistent routines and boundaries, and
  • the compassion and understanding that a pet is a living breathing sentient being not a thing or a possession

Those who have the commitment will always do their darnedst to work with the curve balls that life offers – moving, new partners, new babies and allergies. Those who understand the need for a steady routine are well down the training road, even if they let their pet sleep on their bed, walk in front of them or eat off their plate. Kind, compassionate people understand that pets are companions who need to spend time with and be close to their people, not to be shut away all alone.There is no denying that there are some pet owners out there who do give up too easily. There are others who seem to be caught on a treadmill where they keep giving up one pet for another that they think will be more suitable. Those, I think, will continue that way as long as they can cling to the anonymity of a free online ad site.

There are rescues and shelters out there that will occasionally take owner surrenders, but there is usually a waiting list for that. Metro has inherited a policy not to accept owner surrenders – it will be interesting to see if that changes as the petfinder policy and hours have.

Its a real crapshoot to be a pet. The really lucky ones wind up in good homes with committed and kind pet owners for life. Should a pet be penalized for having the bad luck to have an inexperienced or an uncommitted pet owner? Not accepting owner surrenders seldom punishes the pet owner – they just dump them someplace and tell themselves they had no other choice.

What if there were some conditions to owner surrenders? If the person couldn’t afford a surrender fee, why not negotiate some volunteer time at the shelter. Seeing what its like for homeless animals might put a different spin on pet ownership. It goes without saying that a quiet list could be maintained to help avoid repeated surrenders.

In the course of my work with the homeless pages, I have seen some real steps forward with Metro. They are discovering that listing their pets with petfinder does boost adoptions. Its easy to see how well things like their Adopt a Senior pet month is working when I do site updates for the homeless pet project. If I’m not mistaken, they have changed to more user friendly shelter hours too. Who knows what other new and cool things will be coming?

With this kind of progress, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the old inherited policy could be revisited?

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