One of my favourite people in the whole world is also one of the most responsible persons I know about pets. How many pets do he and his wife have? Zero. Why is that a good thing? Because he gets that he isn’t home often enough to have time for a pet. He knows that he doesn’t like going for long walks on an arctic winter day. He understands that if his partner isn’t a ‘pet person’ that he can’t have dog and domestic bliss …. so he is not going to get the cute puppy only to have to rehome it.
Its not that he doesn’t love animals. Everytime Ruby and Henry hear a bike turn down our road, they get very excited in the hopes that it is him. He’s patient and kind and he’s a wonderful father. He just loves animals too much to start down the path when he knows he cannot commit for life.
So he does the sensible thing and just says no whenever anyone suggests that the family unit isn’t complete without a pet.
If the world was full of people like him, I would have no objection to EBay peddling pets on their free online ad site. But that isn’t how things work here in the real world.
Instead of engaging in an application process with a reputable breeder or a rescue, anyone can buy or find a free pet on Kijiji, usually with no questions asked. In a country where I need a license to drive, hunt, fish and even to take Dad’s old dory out on the water if I bring along an outboard … it is still possible for anyone to get a pet. It doesn’t matter if they can afford it. Nobody cares if they will ditch it as soon as they get pregnant/move/develop ‘allergies’ or it just plain gets to be too much for them.
Even worse of course is the way that these sites make it possible for the backyard breeders and puppy ‘brokers’ like the Benoit’s to do business in a fairly anonymous environment.
Our new NDP government has been crystal clear about the fact that they intend to keep the books balanced. In light of that, this middle aged granny would like to offer some low cost options they could implement for the animals:
- Ban the traffic of living breathing sentient beings, whether for sale or “free to a good home” on the free online ad sites
- Introduce mandatory breeder registration
- Pass a law regulating companion animal breeding to limit the lifetime number of litters, the annual number and include a minimum age for breeding.
- Make pet stores accountable by audit for the history of their ‘wares”
- Promote early age spay neuter on all the government websites
- Make it illegal to drive around with dogs in the back of the truck
- Make the Dalhousie research department accountable to SPCANS inspection instead of letting the fox guard its own henhouse\
- Introduce anti tethering legislation
- Tighten up housing regulations for breeders. ( It wouldn’t affect the legitimate ones and would enable the society to successfully prosecute the puppy mills), and of course, last but not least
- Outlaw BSL in all areas of Nova Scotia
What time is it? Its time to let our new NDP government know there are ever so many ways they can step up to the plate for the animals without ‘breaking the bank”