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Does it bother anyone else, when people have a dozen pets they are incapable of caring for?

This just irks me. People will be dirt poor, and have 3 dogs 2 cats and an iguana, or whatever. 8 dogs. 12 cats. You know the people. They can barely afford to take care of themselves, they barely feed their pets, don't get them proper veterinary care or training. Usually pick pets because they are "cute" or "cool" rather than because they are a good fit for the person/family.
My mother lives out in the boonies and has a neighbor like this. Lives in this singlewide trailer that should SERIOUSLY be condemned. Not kidding. It's in horrible condition. Yard is strewn with beer cans. Horse trailer full of beer and soda cans and bottles. Mom is a crack addict. They can barely feed themselves and their kids, but they have 2 pits, breed chihuahuas, 4 cats, a snake...and recently got HORSES. OMG.
Am I wrong to be irritated by this? These animals are NOT well taken care of. They are seriously underfed, not trained at all, crawling with fleas, and act like every human they see is going to kick them. Several neighbors, my mother included, have complained, but nobody ever does anything.

I just really hate it when people get an animal just because it's "cute" and then neglect it and/or treat it badly. We found our two cats homes when we had a baby because I knew I wouldn't be able to handle their antics with a newborn in the house. We waited until we knew that we were ready financially and emotionally to adopt a dog; researched breeds to find the perfect dog for our family. Monitored craigslist and petfinder for months to find the RIGHT dog for us. (a two year old AKC registered Shiba Inu, perfectly trained, perfectly behaved former showdog whose owner pretty much gave her away because she didn't have time to give her the love she needed.)
Am I just weird for thinking other people should put as much consideration into whatever pet they choose to adopt?


Asked by FluffyMamaBunny at 12:52 AM on Dec. 14, 2010 in Pets

Level 19 (6,861 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)

  • I guess I'm being a little sensetive here because I've had some people make a few of the statements you have just made in your post, towards me. When in reality, all my pets are vaccinated and vetted once a year. All are fixed except one, who doesn't even go outside, he's litter box trained. I don't pay that much $$ for my pets. My kids have health insurance even though I choose not to at this time. I've had people make comments like, you guys can't afford it. Well, how do people know what I can afford? Are they in my pocketbook? Do they pay my bills?

    I don't however agree with the practice of animal hoarding, in which the home is ridden with feces and urine and the animals are suffereing. Totally different. If the animals are in danger and not being cared for, call and have an animal control officer take a look.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:00 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • I agree with Musicmom. We have a lot of pets. We didn't go out and 'choose' a single one. All strays. Mine are vac. and go to the vet. Not all are fixed due to other health issues, but no one is breeding. That being said, there have been times something happened and I in NO way had the money to pay for it. A major one was the $3000 it cost to put one pup back together after a friend left the front door ajar and another dog mauled her. Without friends and family loaning us the money over the next month it would have been hopeless. Vet care is expensive and times are tough.

    I remember when owning a pet was a pleasure, not a major expense or something only the 'elite' could afford. Yes they are a responsibility, but there are some who are far too judgemental.

    OP ~ I WOULD report that person. There's a difference between a budget crunch and continual neglect. People should try to figure out the difference before replying.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 3:17 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • I cleaned ther cages daily....completly. Every sq. inch of bedding came out of the guinea pig houses and waas replaced and the hedgehohs homes were cleaned out and washed out daily. I spent $50 a month on special food for the hedgies plus bought them treats and live meal worms and crickets. I bought veggies daily for the guinea pigs daily and fed them fresh veggies twice a day. We spent easily $500 a month on food for all of the animals plus vet care. Our home and children were also cared for. Nothing lacked. But that didn't stop a few "concerned parents" from calling CPS and animal control because even though they'd never been IN my home they assumed the worse. Animal control walked in and was shocked to find out how many animals were here because there was NO ODOR. They closed the case when they saw the level of care the animals rec'd. CPS also closed the case when they saw the care my children rec'd.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:54 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Fluffy, I worked as a vet tech for 14 years, did wildlife rehab, and volunteered for a short time at a rescue. I don't think there isn't much I haven't seen when it comes to neglect, cruelty, etc. I'm in NO way defending or evading the problem. It is out there, and it is very prevalent.

    The single biggest problem is that people have different values as far as what an animal is worth. Add that in to the myriad sets of morals and levels of personal responsibility and you have a mess. While there are many who are truly ignorant of what an animal needs, there are others who think they do well because they toss Fido some kibble when they notice the bowl is empty ~ and that may be just enough to stave off starvation.

    Like you, I hate seeing animals mistreated/abused/neglected. Laws won't make people care ~ but they do make good people say it's too much hassle.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 4:49 PM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • I'm not saying it's bad to have a lot of animals, or to just take in strays, or that you have to be rich - as long as you are able to love them all and take care of them all properly. We chose the right one for us because we have a relatively small townhouse with no yard, and while I personally love animals, I know that I am not capable of dealing with a misbehaving two year old AND a high-strung, hyper, yappy, misbehaved dog at the same time. We are not well off at all, but at least able to feed the dog we adopted and keep her on flea&heartworm meds and have her basic vet care.

    I'm just saying, when people have a bunch of pets for all the wrong reasons and can't even feed them properly, or complain about their pets behavior but don't know how to correct it and train the pet properly, so the pets are just aggravates me.

    That particular person has been reported numerous times, but nothing ever comes of it.

    Comment by FluffyMamaBunny (original poster) at 3:39 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • It is their pets...their problem. If they have been reported without consequences, then there isn't anything wrong with the care they are providing or the animals would have been removed. Don't be too judgmental of neighbors, it can come back to bite you in the future.

    Answer by spottedpony at 11:48 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Does it bother me when people have even ONE pet and cannot ptroperly care for it, yes? Do I make assumptions when I see someone with many animals, no. I used to be the go to person for a guinea pig rescue and a hedgehog rescue...I was the LAST home for many animals. Before I stopped taking in new animals (it was so hard to say no because I knew what situations they came that bought them because they were cute but had no cluse how to care for them & often neglected them) I had taken in 14 African Pygmy hedgehogs and 34 guinea pigs and they and our then 3 dogs all lived inside. My husband built a 2 story home for the guinea pigs...each floor was 32 sq. feet in size and the top area was partitioned off so the males had their own spaces and he'd built a 3 story home for the hedgehogs (16 sq. feet with 2 floors for the girls & 1 floor divided for the 2 males).

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:50 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • I love how nobody wants to address the ACTUAL issue, but instead just wants to defend their reasons for owning a ton of animals. YOU might take fantastic care of your animals - but many people do not, and that's what bothers me.

    Comment by FluffyMamaBunny (original poster) at 3:43 PM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • Anon, I've had both african pygmy hedgehogs and guinea pigs over the years... good for you for taking care of the ones who need homes!

    And yes, it bothers me when people don't take care of their animals. I don't think finances or number of animals is the deciding factor though... I know plenty of people who are financially well off and who just have one or two pets but just can't be bothered to put in the time or energy. My ILs are like this and it really bothers me.

    Answer by Freela at 4:31 PM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • It sounds like your neighbors are hoarders or collectors, as most of them like to be called. If the are not taking care of their pets, yes, I can understand your being bothered, it bothers me too. If the conditions are really bad and you are worried about the animals health, see if you have a local ASPCA and if you do, contact them with specifics about the way the animals are being treated. It may be that they do care for them, and you just don't see it from where you are.

    Unfortunately, some people don't think animals matter as much, or have feelings. It really bothers me, but there is only so much you can do.

    Answer by Tawneekitn at 5:58 PM on Dec. 14, 2010