The Responsibilities of Owners for their Cat or Dog
If you ask me, the whole point to pet ownership is to enjoy the fulfilling benefits of nonjudgmental companionship. But if that experience will stress you out, forget it. Collect comic books instead, the world does not need one more unwanted cat, dog or for that matter, any pet.
Unfortunately though, no one ever bothered to ask me that question, nor do I get to decide who may adopt a pet. Otherwise...
A heckuva lotta people would not get that opportunity and there'd be no unwanted or neglected animals. The reality is however, that many people acquire pets on a whimsy, imagining that their new sidekick will basically be a maintenance-free anthropomorphic version of themselves like they see in the movies.
As you folks surely know, it doesn't work that way. Nothing does.
Owning a cat or dog is a huge commitment, like 10 - 15 years or so. During that period, you must supply the pet with everything: Food, shelter, healthcare, exercise and the list goes on. A pet cannot fend for themselves, otherwise it wouldn't have been domesticated. It would be wild and free.
Our ancestors selectively bred these creatures over a span of thousands of years in order to live and work alongside man. Herd the flock, protect the cave, rid the barn of rodents. In return, we care for these animals as if they were members of our family. That's the deal.
So please excuse me if I go off the deep-end ranting and raving about the cretins who buy pets only to neglect or abandon them because it's too inconvenient, it costs money, it's time-consuming. To these people I say, collect comic books instead, it's a lot easier.
Not that I'm a fan of bureaucracy or rules and regulations, but wouldn't it make sense if you had to actually apply for a pet? Ideally a qualified officer would review your application, references, qualifications and so on, and make an educated decision whether that person can actually handle that responsibility.
Of course this would never happen for so many legitimate reasons, after all, you don't need a license to have a baby. Still, I'd like to see some kind of barrier to entry for pet ownership. I certainly don't have the answers to this predicament, but hopefully greater awareness of this problem will someday lead to a day where all pet parents will be responsible owners.