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Old 05-10-2020, 11:18 PM
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Owning pets and then changing your mind


Mainly speaking about pets like dogs and cats.

While they may not be humans, they are still often regarded as being part of the family.

The sad reality of dogs and cats is that they are bred so often (either uncontrolled as in the street/homeless ones) or in controlled environment (home owners, as a business, or just for fun and pleasure of having puppies/kittens).

We have so many of them that the number of abandoned, discarded, thrown out dogs and cats is saddening. Animals shelters are overrun and we have too many poor dogs and cats that need loving homes but people keep breeding new ones.

My question is, should there be some sort of rule or law that makes it mandatory for pet owners to be 100% fully responsible for the life of the dog/cat meaning, you are not allowed to discard them, abandon them, else face severe penalty (financial or other)?

It's a tough one because I understand sometimes situations change and the owner or family is under financial stress and they can no longer keep the pet. Maybe if there is a way to prove that, then they can be exempt. But people who just want to get rid of it because it's no longer convenient for them or they are just "tired" of having the pet should be held responsible for the life of that pet as if it's your child. Nobody is allowed to just throw away their children and get away with it.

Should such a thing exist for dogs/cat owners? It makes me really sad to know that many people just adore them when they are young and then become too inconvenient and a nuisance when they get older and no longer have the same appeal. They do this over and over like they are leasing a new car every 2 years to get the newest models.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:20 AM
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Its already a thing

Quote:
It’s against the law in every U.S. state to treat animals cruelly. State laws usually prohibit several different kinds of mistreatment, from torturing or maiming an animal to not providing proper food and shelter. . . .

Although animal cruelty laws vary considerably from state to state, these statutes typically outlaw the most recognized forms of abuse—torture or mutilation—as well as neglect and abandonment.
However
Quote:
In most states, it’s illegal to abandon an animal, whether by dumping it in a public place or leaving it anywhere without providing for its needs. However, it’s very difficult to enforce laws against animal abandonment, since the owners are unlikely to leave a license or other identification on the abandoned pet. Just about all witnesses can do is report license plate numbers to police.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclope...apter13-3.html


Animal Cruelty Laws State By State (PDF)

Last edited by mikecurtis; 05-11-2020 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:04 AM
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Well that is easily solvable. Everyone time you purchase a pet, it should be licensed or directly listed under your identification.
Chipping is very easy to do. Every pet could be chipped or tagged so if you do dump the animal one day, they'll still know whose it is and you won't be
able to get away with it.

Of course, this will always lead to other problems then. Humans will figure out more devious ways of ending their ties with their chipped pet. They'll try to find a
way perhaps to put it down themselves from some sort of health ailment or illness as the excuse.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cornflakes2 View Post
Nobody is allowed to just throw away their children and get away with it.
Sure they are; children are given up for adoption or taken into foster care all the time. Lots of people who become parents do more harm than good to their children and it's a good thing there are options and they are not forced to continue the bad influence.

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Every pet could be chipped or tagged so if you do dump the animal one day, they'll still know whose it is and you won't be able to get away with it.
This assumes that very pet thrown out immediately has the pet police come rescue it and track down the culprit; this doesn't happen. And of those who could be questioned can easily make excuses: "the just dog ran away 2 weeks ago and I was devastated... now I've moved to an apartment and can't take him back"

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Of course, this will always lead to other problems then. Humans will figure out more devious ways of ending their ties with their chipped pet. They'll try to find a
way perhaps to put it down themselves from some sort of health ailment or illness as the excuse.
This already happens, it's not something that will happen when 100% chipping becomes a reality. For those with a thick skin it only takes about 60 seconds to euthanize a cat or dog at home with stuff they already have lying around. Better that there are animal shelters as an option I'd say.
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:33 PM
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Is the problem as big as the OP is describing?

There are approx. 126 million households in the U.S.

Approx. 60% of those households (76 million) have pets.

Over 60% of the pet owning households have more than 1 pet.

There are approx. 90 million dogs and 94 million cats as pets in the US.

Approx. 45% of these cats and dogs were acquired through rescue from shelters.

So far so good. A lot of dogs and cats adopted and brought into peoples homes in the US. This is a big reason why the pet supply industry in the US is greater than $20 billion annually.

Now what about the abandonment statistics? Every year about 8 million pets are abandoned. Slightly more dogs than cats. That's about 4% of the population of cats and dogs in the US. But remember a large number of the dogs and cats get rehomed through adoptions at shelters.

So I would argue that the problem, while is a problem, is not as great as the OP makes it out to be. Definitely not requirement of the types of legal actions the OP is proposing.
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Old 05-11-2020, 05:36 PM
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In the more responsible areas of the country like New England for example, shelters actually import animals from the less responsible areas (like the South) just to keep up the supply.
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:32 PM
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In the more responsible areas of the country like New England for example, shelters actually import animals from the less responsible areas (like the South) just to keep up the supply.
This is true.

States with shelters that export dogs (cats seldom get transferred)
Alabama
Arkansas
California
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
New Mexico
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas

States that receive shelter dogs
Connecticut
Kansas
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia
Wyoming

This is because there is higher demand for adoption in these states.
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:49 PM
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Even if you mandate chipping, what about all of the feral animals out there already? Catch and euthanize them all? That is going to be ugly and pretty much impossible and I can't see that ever going down. We can't even succeed in eradicating invasive pest animals that we almost universally don't want, like rats and nutria and snakehead fish and feral pigs.

.

Last edited by DCnDC; 05-11-2020 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:04 PM
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Now what about the abandonment statistics? Every year about 8 million pets are abandoned. Slightly more dogs than cats. That's about 4% of the population of cats and dogs in the US. But remember a large number of the dogs and cats get rehomed through adoptions at shelters.

So I would argue that the problem, while is a problem, is not as great as the OP makes it out to be. Definitely not requirement of the types of legal actions the OP is proposing.
Leaving an animal at a shelter does not count as abandonment.

Animals who are abandoned very often never make it to a shelter. A few of them manage to show up on the right doorstep and get taken in. Most of them will starve, die of illness or injury, or get eaten; they're unlikely to know how to fend for themselves, and any good hunting territory for ferals is almost certainly already taken.

It's already illegal and has been for quite some time, at least in many places; and it certainly ought to be.
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Is the problem as big as the OP is describing?

There are approx. 126 million households in the U.S.

Approx. 60% of those households (76 million) have pets.

Over 60% of the pet owning households have more than 1 pet.

There are approx. 90 million dogs and 94 million cats as pets in the US.

Approx. 45% of these cats and dogs were acquired through rescue from shelters.

So far so good. A lot of dogs and cats adopted and brought into peoples homes in the US. This is a big reason why the pet supply industry in the US is greater than $20 billion annually.

Now what about the abandonment statistics? Every year about 8 million pets are abandoned. Slightly more dogs than cats. That's about 4% of the population of cats and dogs in the US. But remember a large number of the dogs and cats get rehomed through adoptions at shelters.

So I would argue that the problem, while is a problem, is not as great as the OP makes it out to be. Definitely not requirement of the types of legal actions the OP is proposing.

you call 8 million abandons per year not a big issue?
If you use % you make it seem like its trivial.

So I guess covid19 really isn't a big deal either because only less than 1% of Americans were infected, even far less % wise in deaths.
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
This is true.

States with shelters that export dogs (cats seldom get transferred)
Alabama
Arkansas
California
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
New Mexico
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas

States that receive shelter dogs
Connecticut
Kansas
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia
Wyoming

This is because there is higher demand for adoption in these states.
If it's true, good for the US. Now try pulling up the stats globally. It is still a big issue. I personally think on average, the US have some of the most loyal and caring pet owners in the world. They really love their pets and want to rescue them. It's just too bad it's not like that in the rest of the world where cats and dogs are HEAVILY neglected, abandoned, and people get rid of them all the time when it's convenient for them to do so and then just buy another puppy or kitten cuz it's cute and repeat this process while never actually being responsible owners and seeing them through for their entire lives.

It's a HUGE problem.
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Old 05-11-2020, 08:15 PM
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Again, this wasn't meant specifically towards Americans. Like I said, personally, I think Americans are the most loyal and caring pet owners on the planet per capita.
But puppy mills are a real thing, I don't believe there is a "shortage" of cats/dogs to adopt. If there is, it's probably because you're not reading the statistic carefully.

Bit of an older article but useful info: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/anima...-homelessness/

The key point being nearly half the animals in shelters being euthanized. That's why there's always a shortage or need for more dogs/cats. You put down the ones you don't
want anymore and then breed more pups and kits to meet the demand. It's not because there aren't a lot of abandons.....it's that half of them end up euthanized.

Last edited by cornflakes2; 05-11-2020 at 08:16 PM.
  #13  
Old 05-12-2020, 04:05 AM
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Well yes you have the people who decide on a whim to get a pet then realize they cant take care of it for the next 10-15 years. Actually for some lizards its more like 50 years.

But I think most people do the best they can but sometimes one must get rid of an animal. About 6 years ago we made the mistake of adopting a husky who started biting the kids and turned dangerous no matter what we tried so we had to adopt him away.

So I dont know if its such a big problem.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:44 AM
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If it were up to me, I'd make people pass a test in order to qualify to own a pet, and to make some kind of financial commitment to care for it (bit like putting down a deposit on a rental).

Mind you, I'd do the same for people who want children.

We have mandatory microchipping of dogs in the UK. Of course, the sort of people who mistreat animals aren't the sort who generally follow these rules.
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Old 05-12-2020, 10:33 AM
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Rather than apply a test to potential pet owners, I'd require producers of movies and TV shows with "cute" animals to submit impact statements* before their films inspire thousands of people to adopt animals that can be challenging to raise, only to later abandon them.

Examples: Dalmatians and huskies (which experienced a surge of popularity thanks to Game of Thrones).

*I'm semi-serious here.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 05-12-2020 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:07 AM
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Again, this wasn't meant specifically towards Americans.
What are your plans then? Take this up with the United Nations? Your OP talks about mandating legislation. What body do you propose to do this with?
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:08 AM
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Leaving an animal at a shelter does not count as abandonment.
In the statistics it does.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:20 AM
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Well yes you have the people who decide on a whim to get a pet then realize they cant take care of it for the next 10-15 years. Actually for some lizards its more like 50 years.

But I think most people do the best they can but sometimes one must get rid of an animal. About 6 years ago we made the mistake of adopting a husky who started biting the kids and turned dangerous no matter what we tried so we had to adopt him away.

So I dont know if its such a big problem.
Again, unless by "adopt him away" you mean "drove him a long way off and then shoved him out of the car and left him there", that isn't abandonment. Re-homing is not abandonment. Taking the animal to a shelter isn't abandonment (unless you left them on the grounds of a shelter without first making sure they'd be able to accept the animal.) Taking a dog that's started attacking humans to the vet. and having it euthanized isn't abandonment. And those things aren't going to show up in any remotely reasonable abandonment statistics; or to be forbidden by any remotely reasonable law on the subject, or by any existing law that I know of on the subject.

ETA: Omar Little: which specific statistics? and are they counting animals left with the consent of the shelter, or do they mean ones dumped on the doorstep in the middle of the night?

Last edited by thorny locust; 05-12-2020 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:25 AM
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Well yes you have the people who decide on a whim to get a pet then realize they cant take care of it for the next 10-15 years. Actually for some lizards its more like 50 years.

But I think most people do the best they can but sometimes one must get rid of an animal. About 6 years ago we made the mistake of adopting a husky who started biting the kids and turned dangerous no matter what we tried so we had to adopt him away.

So I dont know if its such a big problem.
Adopting him away or rehoming is OK. I'm mainly talking about people who neglect to care for the animal they agreed to buy and care for. So I'm mainly talking about people who just throw them away outside, abandon, that sort of thing. Changing minds and then finding a new home for them is ok...you still took care of them and found them a new home to be cared for.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:28 AM
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What are your plans then? Take this up with the United Nations? Your OP talks about mandating legislation. What body do you propose to do this with?
Well let's put it this way, what happens if you throw away your child on the streets?
Exactly.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:33 AM
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Well let's put it this way, what happens if you throw away your child on the streets?
Exactly.
That didn't answer Omar's question in any way.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:38 AM
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Again, unless by "adopt him away" you mean "drove him a long way off and then shoved him out of the car and left him there", that isn't abandonment. Re-homing is not abandonment. Taking the animal to a shelter isn't abandonment (unless you left them on the grounds of a shelter without first making sure they'd be able to accept the animal.) Taking a dog that's started attacking humans to the vet. and having it euthanized isn't abandonment. And those things aren't going to show up in any remotely reasonable abandonment statistics; or to be forbidden by any remotely reasonable law on the subject, or by any existing law that I know of on the subject.

ETA: Omar Little: which specific statistics? and are they counting animals left with the consent of the shelter, or do they mean ones dumped on the doorstep in the middle of the night?

A shelter is not a home. It is abandonment any way you want to look at it. Maybe it's not as bad as just dumping them on the side of the road and driving away, but it is still a form of abandonment. You agreed to purchase the life of that cat/dog, and you failed to uphold your responsibility to care and provide for it over it's lifetime.

If that shelter can't find a home for the animal, they will eventually put them down. That's why there aren't shelters and pounds over ridden....some of you might think it's because "neglecting/abandoning" your pet is not a big issue that's going on, but you just don't see it cuz half of them are put down and then we just repeat this cycle again by buying puppies and kittens!

Last edited by cornflakes2; 05-12-2020 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:41 AM
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ETA: Omar Little: which specific statistics? and are they counting animals left with the consent of the shelter, or do they mean ones dumped on the doorstep in the middle of the night?
The 8 million a year stat includes all dogs in shelters whether they were picked up by animal control, or taken there by their owners. I get your pedantic usage of the term abandonment.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:43 AM
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Cats and dogs euthanized annually in the US is currently about 1.6 million. Most of the pets in shelters get adopted.

So less than 1% of the pet population in the US is euthanized annually. There are bigger problems than this one.

Last edited by Omar Little; 05-12-2020 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:50 AM
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Well let's put it this way, what happens if you throw away your child on the streets?
Exactly.
Well you didn't answer my question, but I will answer yours.

You can't compare human life to the life of a pet. You might, but generally in our society we do not put the same value of a pets life to that of a human.

Freedom United estimates that there are approximately 10 million children held in slavery around the world. That's probably a more important issue than euthanizing 1.6 million pets a year in the US.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:51 AM
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Cats and dogs euthanized annually in the US is currently about 1.6 million. Most of the pets in shelters get adopted.

So less than 1% of the pet population in the US is euthanized annually. There are bigger problems than this one.
I respectfully disagree. I don't think "most" pets in shelters get adopted. It's probably closer to 50/50 or 60/40. Again maybe in the US most do, but globally, I highly doubt it.

I also disagree there are bigger problems than this when it comes to pets. What could be more important than playing with a life? If people aren't going to be serious in caring for these lives, then why do they keep breeding them and making more? They are breeding them and making more because it's a business and a thriving one because people want to keep buying pups/kittens but abandon the old cats and dogs. I think pet health and diseases are secondary to the topic of actually creating these animals just for our enjoyment and convenience to play with their lives and discard them the moment they are inconveniencing to us.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:09 PM
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I also disagree there are bigger problems than this when it comes to pets. What could be more important than playing with a life?
Worldwide we kill 50 billion chickens, 1.5 billion pigs, .5 billion sheep, .5 billion goats, and .3 billion cattle each year. While dogs are cute, and I love dogs, clearly people don't place the same value on animal life as you do.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:10 PM
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If you want to ignore statistics and disagree with me, then that's your prerogative. Do some study about your debate topic, before coming in here full of emotion.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:13 PM
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On the up side, our local shelter announced that, they assume due to the lockdown, the number of animals waiting for homes had gone down substantially.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:18 PM
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I'd shoot your dog for a case of beer and I'd dig the hole. Now you want to get other countries involved? Countries that eat dogs? Countries with long standing views on dogs and the roll they play? Good luck. If you created a world government right now, the laws protecting dogs would be worse than the current U.S. laws.
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:12 PM
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How would it even be constitutional for the government to require an individual to own property?
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:44 PM
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Yet again: there are currently existing laws in the United States against abandoning animals.

To the best of my knowledge none of them have ever been found unconstitutional.
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:50 PM
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Yet again: there are currently existing laws in the United States against abandoning animals.

To the best of my knowledge none of them have ever been found unconstitutional.
Yet again: abandoning them on the side of the road, sure. Re-homing them? Where is there such a law???
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Old 05-12-2020, 03:31 PM
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I would think that most pets these days are not bought, but adopted. Here is a link to a page with some interesting statistics.

In my 61 years, I have bought only one dog from a small-time breeder (a friend), a purebred Sheltie. He lived 14 years. I have owned five other dogs in the last 15 years, and all of them were rescued off the street. So not even adopted. Well, one was, but I stole him from his useless owners first, then turned him into the SPCA, and adopted him immediately. Long story.

Last edited by Dolores Reborn; 05-12-2020 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:35 PM
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Yet again: abandoning them on the side of the road, sure. Re-homing them? Where is there such a law???
I don't think anybody in this thread (or, to the best of my knowledge, elsewhere) has proposed that there should be laws against rehoming animals. I've specifically said that rehoming is not abandonment.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:54 PM
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I would think that most pets these days are not bought, but adopted.
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
There are approx. 90 million dogs and 94 million cats as pets in the US.

Approx. 45% of these cats and dogs were acquired through rescue from shelters.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:30 PM
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I don't think anybody in this thread (or, to the best of my knowledge, elsewhere) has proposed that there should be laws against rehoming animals.
The OP pretty much did.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:37 PM
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Not really
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:17 PM
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I don't think anybody in this thread (or, to the best of my knowledge, elsewhere) has proposed that there should be laws against rehoming animals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
The OP pretty much did.
No, they didn't. Not only does their first post not read that way to me, but in a later post they've flat out said the opposite:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes2 View Post
Adopting him away or rehoming is OK. I'm mainly talking about people who neglect to care for the animal they agreed to buy and care for. So I'm mainly talking about people who just throw them away outside, abandon, that sort of thing. Changing minds and then finding a new home for them is ok...you still took care of them and found them a new home to be cared for.
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