Community response over pet ownership

Two weeks ago, our editorial manager, Emma Hyde Richards, shared her thoughts on responsible pet ownership after nearly 2846 dogs in the South Auckland area were euthanised last year.
We asked the community on their thoughts, and what alternatives they believed there are to euthanising these pets and how can we bring this number down. We also encouraged our readers to share their stories of rehoming rescue animals, and how the experience has been for them.
We had a great response, and avid reader, Joan Smithson (pictured), even came into our office to present Emma a ‘medal’ for voicing these concerns, and creating the discussion within the community.
The Post Newspaper also supports cat rescue organisations within Franklin, so if you would like to donate to these initiatives, please feel free to drop off cat food at either of our offices, in Pukekohe or Waiuku.
Here is what a few of you had to say:
Reading through Emma’s article was like hearing myself think. Totally agree Emma, those people who cannot look after animals like a member of the family should not be allowed to own one. I have had dogs and cats all my life from a small child, but now in my 70s and wanting to travel (in my retirement and with limited funds) I have chosen not to have another dog or cat. This is a very big missing part of my life, but I cannot afford to travel and pay properly for caring of the animals. With regards to your last sentence ‘if you can’t afford the basic necessities and care of your pet, don’t own one,’—this should also apply to those who cannot afford the basic necessities for children—in other words if you can’t afford to look after your kids, don’t have any. – M Holliday
Of the dogs who went into the Auckland pounds in the reporting year, 85% were euthanised. Of the 3172 put to sleep, 73% were classed as “pit bull” type. This means that despite their health, temperament etc, unless they were collected by their owner they never stood a chance of leaving—due to the nonsense of Breed Specific Legislation.
They could have been better behaved than the Spaniel in all testing—but they have a look (which DNA may have proven to be 101 other breeds and zero bull breed heritage). How as a community can we change this?
1. Be Responsible and DESEX your pets (cats and dogs) there are not enough good homes as it is, without adding to the issue by breeding more and more.
2. Understand your responsibilities regarding fencing, registration and that of Forever—be that 8,10,15 or 20 years forever. NOT until said puppy/kitten isn’t so little and cute anymore.
3. Write/email/phone your MP etc and question BSL. It has been proven internationally and scientifically to be ineffective in reducing dog bites etc. There is no such thing as a bad breed of dog—only dogs who haven’t been socialised and trained properly and/or people who don’t know how to approach or behave with dogs and ignore the signs when a dog is frightened or unhappy. – M Marshall

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