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A New Pair Of Ankle Boots, Or A Chihuahua?
After a conversation with a friend this morning I was left feeling unbelievably stressed. Why? He used the phrase ‘discarded pets’. Of course I knew what he meant: Pets that had, unfortunately for them, outlived their usefulness as a ‘cute’ Easter/birthday/Christmas gift or no longer coordinated with the latest season’s fashions.
 guinevere   31 Jul 2008 23:12
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As thoughts about discarded pets were plaguing me this morning, I found myself getting more and more depressed. Then I came across this which pretty much cemented the depression directly onto my soul. ‘ A rise in animal cruelty convictions in the UK’. A rise? Please, please, I repeated to myself, let this mean that animal welfare societies have been given more funding and support in order to convict more people. Please, please don’t let it be that people are being increasingly cruel to their pets. I sighed only the smallest sigh of relief as I read beyond the first paragraph: ‘The increase is largely due to 2007's Animal Welfare Act, which … has meant it is easier to convict at an earlier stage in the abuse, rather than when the animal is nearing death.’ Note to self: try not to panic after having only read one paragraph/sentence of an article.

There are always going to be bullies, aren’t there? It seems to be an inevitable trait in a certain portion of the population. Some bully at school but repent as they grow older: having learned from their mistakes. Others make a lifetime hobby or profession out of bullying. It is usually the professional bullies who are prosecuted for putting their pets in tumble dryers or using them for target practice. I’m not entirely certain that I think much can be done about these folks. Hopefully the RSPCA have enough staff to track these bullies down and take them to court. If they don’t I will happily volunteer to travel the counties with a portable, heavy-duty, solar-powered dryer to hunt these pathetic folks down and give them their just deserts.

What concerns me, and I think/hope is fixable, is the penchant for women to buy (usually) dogs as accessories, Hotel Heiress Style, and for men to buy ‘vicious’ dogs in order to have something to hang chains and spikes on. I see little difference between these women and men. They both think that living creatures can be used as ‘accessories’. Well, they’re right: they can be. But, they shouldn’t be. For about a million really good reasons, the least of which is that everyone eventually tires of last season’s accessories. Another good reason is that these ‘accessories’ have needs. Sure, my favourite silk scarves need to be hand washed with a mild detergent and hung gently to dry away from direct sunlight… every once in a while. But this chore is little compared to feeding and watering a dog every day – yes, they need food and fresh water on a daily basis. And what goes in must come out… and assuming you don’t want it to come out indoors, these accessories need to be taken for a walk or let out in the back garden. The latter may seem easier, but unless you tidy up after the ‘outage’ each time, your backyard will soon become the scourge of the neighbourhood and attract a lot of unfashionable flies not to mention unsightly brown patches where green grass used to flourish. These are the obvious ‘needs’ of accessory pets. The less obvious ones include shots – keeping your dog up to date is important for their health and yours. And, just like humans, animals get sick and sometimes they need to go to the vet. This is one of those expenses that you just have to have special savings for. Like the ‘in case the fridge/freezer/washer breaks’ savings; you need to have emergency vet savings because they can be steep.

So, why, given all these ‘needs’ are pet accessories still popular? Because of shelters. If you don’t want to care for your pet accessory anymore, you just take it to a shelter and tell them some ‘sad’ story about why you can’t keep it anymore: I’m allergic; my new partner is allergic; I just can’t afford it; I’m very sorry but I just didn’t think through the responsibility of owning a pet because I needed one for my date on Friday night… no, wait, no one uses that last one, do they? Surely people who’ve just ‘outgrown’ their accessory pets don’t admit it? I’d suggest a hefty fine to leave a pet at a shelter without a really good excuse if I didn’t think it would drive people to measures more drastic measures to get rid of the Shih Tzu they bought instead of a pair of dangly earrings.

People who care about animals and animal welfare have made certain that ‘discarded pets’ have somewhere to go. And every couple of years or so there’s an expose revealing how many animals are destroyed in shelters every year. And everyone gets ever so upset about the horrible cruelty. And everyone forgets it all by the next morning. Maybe we are just a cruel race? Writers have imagined Utopian societies since the written word was developed. And before that, oral storytellers imagined the same. In these societies there aren’t, to my knowledge, animal shelters, so I have to assume that there is an imaginable solution. But, then again, Utopia is a word coined by Sir Thomas More who borrowed the Greek ‘ou-topos’ which means ‘no place’ or ‘no where’.

Actually, a number of societies and groups within societies over the years have treated animals with reverence. In ancient Egypt the word for ‘cat’ is ‘mau’ and the Egyptians were exceptionally fond of their cats. They were valued for their hunting ability – guarding grain supplies and killing rodents – but they were also esteemed beyond their pragmatic abilities. Egyptian gods were often depicted with cats or as having the head of a cat. The death of a cat in Egyptian society engendered mourning and their bodies were mummified. Harming a cat provoked a very harsh punishment. Similarly, the Saluki dog – which likely pre-dates the Egyptians – is still revered today by the Bedouin who believe these dogs are a gift from Allah.

So this proof of a true love of animals gives me hope. It gives me hope that, at the very least, a little education will lead to a respect for animals as more than this season’s hottest fashion accessory that will be next seasons neglected and in need of a new home dog.
 I would much rather receive a living, breathing animal than a new pair of shoes. The shoes will make you feel happy for a short period of time, the dog will bring you joy for years to come.
by  pollywog
 07 Oct 2015 16:19
 I like dick in my horny asshole.
by  gogo303ng
 09 Dec 2012 03:44
 gimme the dog!
by  kuleg
 29 Nov 2012 07:41
 I will have a Chinhuahua rather than a shoe.
by  goodjay
 05 Aug 2011 07:43
by  hasdass
 28 Jul 2011 19:08
 get the dog
by  paulax13xo
 04 Jan 2010 18:43
 I dont understand.
by  eman4018
 16 Dec 2009 00:59
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