It is up to US to be Responsible Pet Owners

Earlier this week the OSPCA ordered the euthanization of 350 animals at their Newmarket shelter due to Ringworm, a treatable skin fungus.  I was absolutely disgusted and saddened to hear of this horrible decision and cannot believe that anyone would think this is the answer to a treatable problem.  What I want to know is who was responsible for making this decision?  How can a vet let a case of ringworm turn into an epidemic of such proportions that an entire shelter is affected?  The public outcry was so overwhelming that the shelter did not follow through with it’s entire euthanization, but sadly almost 100 animals needlessly lost their lives.  It broke my heart and brought me to tears reading about this terrible situation.

The OSPCA aren’t the only ones at fault here.  We are all responsible for animals in shelters.  Anyone who has ever bought a pet from a pet store or failed to get their pet spayed or neutered and ended up with a pregnant animal.  Anyone who has brought an animal home only to take it to the shelter when they couldn’t be bothered to take care of it anymore.  I see so many ads on Craig’s List, Kijiji, whatever, of people selling or giving away animals, because they don’t have time for them or are moving and can’t take their pets.  FYI: the Landlord Tenant Act states:

“No pet” provisions void: 14. A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void. 2006, c. 17, s. 14.

A pet is not something you get for a short time.  When you buy, rescue or otherwise commit to having an animal in your life you better be ready to keep it until the day it dies.  It is not something that you keep for a few months or years and then throw away when you lose interest.  It is not the animals fault that we are irresponsible, but it is them who have to suffer the consequences.  It is absolutely heart-breaking to go to a shelter and see the animals in cages.  They don’t understand why they are there and what they did to deserve to be “in jail”.

I rescued the love of my life, Harley, from the THS on Feb 04, 2004 and we have been best friends ever since.  He’s actually sitting in my lap as I write this staring at me.  I still remember seeing him for the first time, scared and cowering in the back of a cage.  He looked me right in the eyes and I knew that we were meant to be.  I told him that I was going to get him out of there and ran to hand in my application.  For the first two weeks, he stayed in the back of my closet, under a dresser during the day and only came out at night to eat.  I would leave treats near him and talk to him all day to try and get him used to me.  Then one night I was lying in bed in the dark when I heard Harley eating.  When he was done he walked to the foot of my bed and jumped up on it.  He sniffed and walked up to my head, onto my pillow, curled up around my head and stayed there til morning.  I wouldn’t trade him for the world and we really are best friends.

I urge you all to spread the word to spay and neuter your pets.  To stop supporting puppy mills and not buy animals from pet stores.  To open your heart and homes to an animal in a shelter and give them a second chance.  It is up to us to make the change and to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.