Inspired by a photo of a dog on the streets in Cuba, this link addresses the issues of suffering in pets and looks at why we need, or have, animal shelters.
All over the world animals that would be normally kept as pets wander the streets suffering until they die. Make no mistake, these are not strays, strays are animals who are lost and would be taken back by their owner who should be looking for them. These animals are often discarded pets or the unwanted offspring of pets.
People in developed nations often see these animals when they go on holidays to third world countries and think the problems of discarded and unwanted pets are limited to those impoverished nations. In truth, if one knows where to look, a person is just as likely to see starving and neglected pets in Canada, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The problem is that most people do not want to look.
One of the most likely areas to find unwanted, starving, and neglected, pets is areas where the human population is on low incomes and is generally under educated. These people often want pets, but are either unable to afford spaying or neutering for their pet, or lack the knowledge of why it is important. The dog in the photo above was the inspiration for this link and was photographed in 2001 on the streets in Cuba, but the problem occurs everywhere.
Where I live, in Canada, I hear tales of dogs running wild in packs up north. Their numbers have made them nuisances and they are a danger to the human communities. For fun, and partially for necessity I suppose, people have taken to running down these dogs with their vehicles, seeing how many they can hit in an evening.
It is easy for the rest of us to get angry over such cruelty, but what alternative would we have to suggest? The problem started many years ago when people released unwanted puppies who have formed feral dog packs, and continues to grow yearly as more and more pups are set free to fend for themselves because more are born than there are homes for. Many of these communities are remote and lack veterinarians, and if they have them, many of the people lack funds for a surgery they consider unnecessary. Other areas are fortunate enough to have animal shelters to deal with picking up the unwanted animals.
Published in: Pets