19 December 2008

List of Most Bizarre Reasons Pets are Abandoned

If the shoe doesn't fit, take it back to the store. And if the black dog doesn't match the white sofa, well, you might as well return him, too.

That's the screwy logic some former UK pet owners have followed when surrendering their animals to shelters, Dogs Trust, a leading British dog welfare agency in England, announced Monday. The organization released a list of the top 10 "most irresponsible reasons" people have given for abandoning their dogs.

The sofa gripe placed first; dissatisfaction that a dog "looks evil and has different colored eyes, just like David Bowie," came in second. The list also includes complaints about dogs that didn't match the carpet, opened all the presents on Christmas eve, ate the Christmas turkey, and those that were deemed "too old."

One dog got the boot after the family's pet guinea pig became "worried" about its looming presence. Another dog received a one-way ticket to a local shelter because its owner knelt in its urine while cleaning up after it. A Staffordshire Terrier had only its breed's reputation to fault for his owner's concern that his docile dog would turn aggressive. It, too, was deposited at a shelter.

Across the pond, it's more of the same excuses from some stickler pet owners. New Yorkers have returned dogs and cats because they do not bark or meow, Richard Gentles, spokesman for NYC's Animal Care and Control, told Pet Pulse.

Other justifications include: the pet did not match the new furniture or decor, got caught between a wall in a house, and was "too nice" to aggressively guard the house.

One cat was surrendered after its owner found it "did not alert me when my phone rings or someone is at the door," Gentles said.

A New Jersey couple brought a pig to the Jersey Shore Animal Shelter in Brick, N.J., after it "grew," the shelter's director, Pat Wallace, told Pet Pulse. "The pig grew to be a few hundred pounds, surprise surprise," Wallace said. "How they didn't realize that piglets grow up to be pigs, I don't know."

Another pet owner surrendered a dog that wasn't the breed the pet store had said it was, Wallace said.

Dogs Trust compiled and released the odd complaints with hope of promoting responsible dog ownership, especially during the Christmas season, when more people seek out pets as gifts for others.

"Having a dog is a long-term commitment and our anniversary offers the perfect opportunity to remind people that dogs are not fashion accessories or disposable items that can be upgraded or discarded after just a few months," Dogs Trust's Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin, told the Daily Express.

"Some of the reasons we hear for dogs being abandoned are truly outrageous and saddening," she continued. "The slogan 'a dog is for life, not just for Christmas' is as relevant today as it was when I created it 30 years ago."

[Source: Zootoo]