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May 18, 2006

Comments

Diana

We have a three-year-old son and currently own one cat, who we recently adopted when his previous family decided that having three kids, a dog, and a cat was just "too much." Their loss was our blessing, as we love Max dearly, and had lost our previous cat last fall and felt the hole left by being without a family pet. However, when I saw the Parade article (and then read about it again here) I couldn't help but think that it's not fair to Max that he had to go to a new home because his family tired of having him after three years.

He seems to have adjusted well to our home and family, and has established a friendship with our son (even sleeping on his loft bed during naps sometimes), but as an animal lover I still am sad that he was discarded. I am glad, however, that they looked for a good home rather than just dumping him off somewhere and not knowing what would happen to him. (Not all of our local shelters here in Spokane, WA are no-kill shelters.)

Thanks for spreading the very important message about what we, the adult humans in our families, owe to our pets: responsibility for their care, sensitivity to their needs, and respect for their status as living beings rather than objects.

Tumerica

Exactly! Do parents realize that a pet is not a small, random purchase, in the same way a toy would be? I know a family who actually had their rabbit starve to death because their son did not feed him, and the pet was kept in the son's room--they basically were not aware of it until it was too late. This was worse because they had only joint custody of the child, so his visits--and feedings--were more infrequent. Sorry to tell such an awful story--but the point is, a pet is not a toy in any form whatsoever. If your child has a pet, then that pet is yours first and the child's second. Kudos to the author of that article in Parade, which, by the way, is the single most read publication in the U.S. Let's hope lots of families read it and got the message. And double-kudos to the writers of this fine blog! I'll be back to visit again.

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