Wednesday 16 January 2019

How on earth can people abandon a pet?

PJ, the Jack Russell. Photo: Dogs Trust
PJ, the Jack Russell. Photo: Dogs Trust

Every year, it's the same depressing story. It shouldn't be shocking at this stage. In fact, it shouldn't even be surprising. Yet it always is.

In the few weeks since Christmas, 186 people have left their pet in the care of Dogs Trust.

One of the animals abandoned this time is PJ, a two-year-old Jack Russell (pictured) who, according to the animal-welfare charity, was dropped off in their car park.

The owner simply drove up, took the dog out of the car, dropped his lead on the ground beside him and drove away.

PJ, it turns out, had been badly neglected, had never been treated properly and had never been socialised. In other words, PJ is depressed and freaked-out.

Dog-owners are often accused of anthropomorphising their animals.

We're accused of being too soppy, of assuming they mean things when they don't, or believing they experience emotions which are unique to humans. But anyone who has ever spent any sort of time actually paying attention to their pets will know the difference between a happy dog and a sad one - and they feel those emotions with a purity we can never hope to match.

We've all become more than sufficiently aware of our own rights, but still have a blind spot when it comes to how we treat animals.

As regular readers will know, I have a dog in this race, as it were. In fact, I used to have two dogs in the race, but Molly died two years ago and it was, quite simply, the worst day of my life.

Both of them were rescue dogs. Both had endured neglect and, in Sam's case, serious abuse.

Yet the moment they got their paws under the table and realised they were loved and could do what they wanted, they took over the house.

With Molly, in particular, I ended up working as a sort of butler for her - not only did she sleep on our bed, but she would insist we went to bed when she was tired and we had to get up when she wanted to get up.

She was the boss and even though Sam was bigger, she quickly established dominance over him, too - and none of us would have had it any other way.

That's one of the many things I can't understand about those people who discard their dog like an empty crisp packet. They're part of your family, and a bloody important part.

Of course, some people simply aren't dog-lovers and that is fair enough, What is not fair enough is people who aren't prepared to put in even the minimal effort it takes to get such a maximum return.

I would normally suggest that those people should be ashamed of themselves. But by their own actions they have proved that they're as incapable of shame as they are of love.

Indo Review

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