Someone once said to me, “Owning a pet is a privilege, not a right”. In the wake of two raids by RSPCA NSW on a Gunnedah property in a week, it’s fair to say, that statement is truer than ever.
I’ve been around dogs most of my life and I learnt from my parents how they should be treated – with love, care and respect.
Animals are not chattels – they are living, breathing beings who have many of the same needs as humans – food, water, shelter, vaccinations to stop them from getting sick, health check-ups, exercise, companionship and love.
The trouble is – animals can’t speak up when they are being neglected or harmed. It’s up to us to make sure they are being properly cared for, and if they aren’t, it’s our job to report it.
In the past week, RSPCA has stepped in and seized 50 dogs from a local property after community reports of animal welfare concerns.
How does it get to the point that someone’s animals must be taken away from them? How serious does it have to be before animals need to be removed?
If you own an animal, be it a dog, cat, horse, guinea pig or fish, you have a responsibility. If you choose to take on ownership of an animal, you are taking on the responsibility of having its best interests at heart. If you don’t, then owning animals might not be for you.
Shelters around Australia are full of unwanted, unloved, neglected, dumped and surrendered animals waiting desperately for a new loving home. If it wasn’t for the work of groups like our local volunteer RSPCA branch, all of the abandoned and surrendered animals in our area would be on deathrow.
If you’re thinking about getting a pet, you need to examine yourself carefully. What is your motivation? How can you prepare for the change? Will you take the responsibility seriously? Will you be able to provide that animal with everything it needs, regardless of your schedule?
If you’re not 100 per cent certain, then don’t take an animal on. They don’t need owners who aren’t committed to them. They don’t need owners who aren’t going to give them the love, care and respect they deserve.
If you are ready for the responsibility of owning an animal, specifically a dog or cat, I suggest first considering animals that need to be rehomed. Our local RSPCA always has animals in care who may be looking for someone just like you. Phone 0419 474 689.