Are Pets Killed Kindly?

Millions of pets are killed (euthanized) in pet shelters every year. According to the Rachael Ray site 3 to 4 million are killed in shelters every year, in the US.

What I don’t hear people talking about is how they are killed. First, are they frightened? Do they have a sense of impending doom? I think it’s likely. Of course, some of those killed will be for health reasons, they were hit by cars, abandoned and sick, old, etc. Some will be killed just because there are too many other pets in the shelter with a better chance of getting adopted.

Secondly, how much does it cost to euthanize an unwanted pet? Then, who pays for it? Shelters run on donations, mainly. Who pays for all those unwanted pets to be “taken care of”?

Reconsider a living pet. A living Christmas tree is one thing, a living animal has more needs and isn’t just seasonal or young and smelling good forever.

Insects as Pets

Keeping insects as pets requires some extra research into native versus non-native species, laws about keeping insects in your local area (usually applies to poisonous or invasive species). Also, like exotic animals, insects of some types may not be imported or kept in North America, without permits, licenses or other paperwork.

I would prefer something low maintenance and local. I’m not taking responsibility for an invasive species which might find a way to escape or breed, or anything else we don’t need more bugs doing.

Probably a quiet bug, not prone to escape from a jar with holes in the lid. Nothing poisonous or likely to bite, sting, or otherwise draw blood. Considering the lifespan of most insects, something like a butterfly isn’t a good choice. Although a cockroach could seem a practical choice, it’s not for me.

However, you can get some exotic and colourful creatures. I’d consider a spider. I did keep one in my window pane when I was a kid. Not intentionally, she just ended up there and I let her stay. In spring I discovered she had become a mother over the winter. There were hundreds of tiny spiders in my bedroom for awhile. I had put her and her nest (I’m calling it a nest) in a jar at some point. I waited a few days because it was pretty amazing to watch all those little spiders. But, I didn’t want them to die so I took them to the rooftop of my house and let them all free. They mostly set off on drafts of air rather than walking over the roof. I learned quite a bit about common spiders back then. I’m remembering more as I write this.

Like any pet, there’s a lot to consider with bug ownership—time, money and space being key concerns—and there are trendy pet bugs as much as their are trendy designer dogs. Ramsey’s journey began with books, and a lot of trial and error to figure out what kinds of food and living conditions different bugs required (errors oftentimes resulting in dead insects). Since his first pill bugs and earwigs, Ramsey has raised nine different species of praying mantis and several species of millipedes, spiders, and (really huge) stick insects, to name a few. Four giant silk moths currently flutter around his office space.

Source: How to Choose the Pet Bug That’s Right for You

You could look for an ant farm. Maybe not as popular these days but certainly one way to start having insects as pets.

Others easily available:

  • crickets
  • praying mantis
  • centipedes and milipedes
  • snails
  • grasshoppers
  • ladybugs
  • beetles
  • silk worms

The Pet Rock Society

The Pet Rock Society

For pet rock owners, makers, and seekers (vintage or rustic). From a Canadian pet rock keeper.

About:

This is an informal Canadian Pet Rock Society.

If anyone actually wants to join, let me know.

Meanwhile, I’m just going to post pet rock related things as I find them.  Also, I will write about pet rocks, virtual pets and possibly compare keeping pet rocks in favour of keeping any other type of (animal) pet.

Will Passengers Have to Ask for Pet Free Seating?

The idea that airline passengers should ask for no pet seating annoys me. Why inconvenience the people who do not want to bring, or sit with, pets? First, they are not likely to think about the flight being pet friendly when they are not traveling with livestock themselves. Second, let the pet owners make arrangements for their animals and be responsible for how they travel.

Why not leave pets at home while you travel? Save money, save stress for the animal and save yourself from being thrown off the flight when your animal proves not to be as welcome as you expected. (Not just on the plane).

If pets are not kept in cargo then buy them a seat, a full air fare seat. There should be pet friendly seating for those who buy the extra pet ticket. But, the seating must be sealed off from other passengers who have paid for a ticket and do not want to deal with asthma and allergies from pets.

Maybe there should be pet only flights and people only flights. That way the pet friendly people could poop and scoop the whole flight and everyone else could have a pet free trip. I’d prefer pet free flights.

In a recent survey, 52% of U.S. adults responded “yes” when asked if a non-service animal should be allowed in the airplane cabin on a flight. The other half said they prefer animals be kept in cargo.

Of those who said yes, 63% said in-cabin animals should be kept in designated areas away from any passengers with allergies.

The survey of more than 430 customers was conducted by GO Airport Express, a Chicago-based transportation company.

“We recommend that travelers tell their gate agents if they are allergic, or prefer to be seated away from animals if there are any scheduled on their flight,” said GO Airport Express president John McCarthy.

Airlines charge fees from $50 to more than $200 for pets, though the fee rarely goes toward any additional services. In-cabin pets must be kept in an approved carrier under the seat in front of the passenger.

Fees are often higher for transporting pets in cargo. Although accidents with pets traveling in cargo are rare, there are several short-nosed dog and cat breeds — like pugs and bulldogs, or Persians and Himalayans — that airlines refuse to transport that way. These kinds of animals tend to suffer from breathing problems that would be exacerbated by the cargo hold climate.

Several of the respondents suggested that pet owners should ask airlines for better care of animals in cargo. That sounds more than optimistic, however, considering how well human passengers are treated.

Additional comments said travelers should just leave their pet at home while traveling.

Nearly half of travelers want your pet out of airplane cabins, survey says.

Genetically Mutated Pets


Source: GenPets

Genpets are advertised online, at a faux web site, that promises allergen-free, child-safe, low-maintenance genetic pets. They look like human-animal hybrids.

“While the Genpets hang on the store shelves they are in a form of hibernation. Each Genpet package has a special nutrient feeding tube attached to it, supplying our specially formulated mix and keeping them healthy and asleep,” according to a Genpets features section.

Review (above quotes) by Treehugger.

Outdoor Barn Cats as Service Animals

A straight forward list but I liked what was posted about feeding the outdoor cats. I used to treat my outdoor cats to liver from the grocery store. Not too often and bring enough so they aren’t sharing (chicken livers worked best). Generally, I gave them a can of cat food each day. Sometimes there was left over meat from dinner or cooking. I never gave them bacon grease, that would probably make them sick. But, meat we boiled for soup, scraps we cut off from steaks and so on, gave the cats that little extra. They were never fat house cats but always healthy and we never had mice in the house as long as we had cats around. (I can’t say the same about skunks though. For some reason my cats became friends with the skunks. Really, not being sarcastic about that).

  • Spay and neuter. Outdoor cats can have 2 litters of kittens each year. Don’t let it happen and end up with too many cats.
  • Vaccinations at the Vet.
  • Space in the barn for shelter on really cold days. (If they choose to use it).
  • Don’t collar them. Collars can get caught on things.
  • Keep track of their comings and goings (so you notice if they go missing).

Since they work so hard, our barn cats deserve to be treated like other high-performing work animals. I have heard people state opinions about how you shouldn’t feed them much because then they won’t be hungry enough to chase their own dinner! Nonsense! If you want an animal to perform work for you, then you should feed it adequate nutrition so it has the energy and stamina to perform.

Cats need a diet that contains quality protein. Living outside, chasing rodents, eating rodents, running from the big dogs, all these activities require strong bodies and lots of energy. Cats are carnivores. They only eat meat. Cats do not need vegetables, sweets, or grain fillers. Cats often do not drink enough water. Feeding the canned cat food in addition to the dry, increases their water intake. In the winter, when bringing warm water to your backyard chickens and dairy goats, make sure you save some for the cats, too. I know my barn cats enjoy a warm drink of water on a freezing cold morning.

Try to give the cats a place to eat where they won’t be chased off by livestock entering the barn, or in our case the dog trying to “share” the dinner. We put shelves up in the barn that the cats can access, and we feed the cats on the shelves.

Source: Countryside Daily – How to Raise a Barn Cat Right

Do Pet Owners Care About Animal Rights?

What’s wrong with pets?  The problem is that, you know, we bring these creatures into existence that are perpetually dependent on us. They’re dependent on us for when they eat, when they drink, when they go out, they’re really not animals, in the sense that they cannot take care of themselves, but they’re certainly, obviously, not human, so they’re just basically subject to our whims. Now, understand something: our pets, my pets, your pets, everybody’s pets, are property, whether it’s in the United States, or Canada, or any place else, they’re property. They have no intrinsic value, they only have the extrinsic or external value that we accord to them. So, I love my dogs, and I choose to value them highly, I choose to value those pieces of property that I own highly. But the law doesn’t require me to do so. The law allows me to value my animal property very low, and so as long as I give my dogs food, water, and shelter, I’m not violating the law. I don’t have to show them affection, I don’t have to have them living in the house, I don’t have to treat them as members of my family. And indeed, if I want, I can drive them to a kill shelter today. and say: “Here: I don’t want my dogs anymore, if you can’t find a home for them, you can kill them.” Or I can take them to a veterinarian who is willing to kill them, or I can basically kill them myself, as long as I do it humanely.

So they are property. And I object to that. I don’t think we can justify treating non-humans, whether for food, or for clothing, or as pets, I don’t think we can justify treating them as property.  So, I’m just trying to be clear on what you’re suggesting here. I don’t believe you’re arguing that we should be treating cattle and codfish more like dogs and cats, and I’m sure you’re not arguing that we treat dogs and cats more like cattle and codfish, so what are you arguing?  I’m arguing that we ought to get rid of domestication altogether. I’m arguing that, if animals matter morally, we ought to stop bringing  them into existence and using them as resources. That we ought to take care of the animals that exist here now, but we ought to stop bringing domesticated animals into existence, and you know what, it would not only be a good moral thing to do, it would be good for our health, because I think the evidence that animal products are detrimental to health is increasing, and the reality is animal agriculture is an ecological disaster.

Source: Believe in animal rights? Be prepared to go pet-free – Home | The 180 with Jim Brown | CBC Radio

There are more points about not keeping animals domesticated, from the vegan point of view, on the site –  Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach

I don’t agree with not eating animals or animal products. But, I do think we have misplaced ourselves on the food chain. Actually, we have pretty much entirely removed ourselves from the food chain and eliminated most of the predatory animals which could have kept us as part of that chain. Our population has exploded due to putting ourselves on the top of the food chain. Our demands on the food sources of the planet have increased due to increased population. This is the real problem with domesticated animals and animal agriculture. We have warped the food chain to suit ourselves. Ironic that the very agriculture we created to make ourselves head of the food chain is now harming us.

Then there is the issue of pet food.

I don’t think pet owners consider the fact that animals have been killed to make pet food. So, how can they be animal lovers knowing other animals were possibly mistreated (often kept restrained in small spaces, etc.) and then killed and butchered in order to make the food they feed their pet? How is all of that okay with them. Most likely it is just something easier to ignore than consider at all. Do vegetarians, animal rights people, and even the vegans, consider what comes out of that can of pet food.