Less than a week ago, a dog was found chained at the side of a street in Chennai, left there for dead. The owners of that Great Dane could presumably no longer take care of him and therefore did what any heartless pet owner would do – abandon their pet and let it starve.
Owning a pet is a responsibility that isn’t far removed from that of having a baby. Mind you, I don’t in any way, mean to imply that children are as disposable as animals. I’m saying that one’s pets are as indispensable as one’s own children.
And if a person doesn’t feel they’d be able to give them as much love, care and sensitivity, they should reconsider the idea of being a pet parent altogether.
When a pet is introduced to your home, it belongs with your family. By bringing it into that space, you make a promise to look out for it like you would for those in your life you care about. The provision of food and shelter, seeing them through stages of their lives like potty training and puberty, appropriate medical care as and when they may need it, are only a part of the work that goes into owning a pet. They also need a positive and healthy emotional environment to grow up in.
And when the promise to care for them in each of these ways is broken, and I cannot emphasise this enough, it’s as grave as betrayals go.
A pet is not some furry, adorable little accessory to casually bring home when you feel like you need a few cuddles. It’s an undertaking of massive proportions that only a fool would take lightly.
Even despite the many laws in place to protect animals’ rights, we continue to see cruel mistreatment of pets that were given hopes of a loving and caring family but ultimately found nothing more than abandonment, beaten-down bodies and a tragically broken heart.
Let’s aspire to be a people that doesn’t need the law telling it what inhuman treatment of an animal entails. Look inside yourselves before you inflict or let someone get away with such cruelty. Don’t get a pet if you don’t feel ready for the responsibilities that come with it. If you have a pet and feel you can’t take care of it anymore, bring it to a shelter or a rescue home. And if you know someone that treats their pets carelessly, take it upon yourself to stand up for the speechless animal.
Giving a home to an innocent and loving animal is a beautiful thing. Let us never again let it morph into a representation of the worst humanity can be.