Pets are for life.
They are not a toy to be discarded after use, there is no shelf life or expiry date. They are living, breathing creatures with feelings and emotions. Not empty vessels.
Just this past week, I have had to rescue three pups whose owners have gotten tired of them after as little as one month. One pup was being beaten every night for doing poo and pee in the garden. I mean, where do they expect the poor animal to do his businesses if not in their garden?
I find the mindset of people today just mind-boggling. It defies description. Why then take in a pet? It will be far better off on the road.
Ignorance, cruelty, and sheer callousness have led to the rise of animal cruelty, not just in Sri Lanka, but the world over.
Animals are left for over a week in pet shops during holiday time without food or water; the same happens when people go on holiday. My friend Visakha came to the rescue of several pets left to their own devices in a home in Kelaniya while the owners holidayed in Nuwara Eliya.
Animals are abandoned in droves when the owners can no longer be bothered to take care of them. I myself have rescued countless such animals. My friend Chula Aresecularatne rescued a Great Dane tied up in a bag and left on a garbage heap to die and subsequently formed an animal welfare trust called the Lucy Trust – Lucy being the Great Dane she rescued.
I once came home from work to find a Dalmatian pup bounding up to greet me. Now, I have never owned a pedigree dog and this little chap was certainly not at home when I left for work. The explanation was, the pup had been bought by this couple who then went on to discover that the poor thing was deaf (most probably due to inbreeding), so what they did was come and dump it on Anusha. I wonder if they will do the same to a child of theirs.
In recent times, several dogs are being abandoned in the Viharamahadevi Park. Last month alone, five were abandoned. One got killed almost immediately, as it was not used to being on the road, and the other has disappeared.
What I just don’t understand is, why take a dog in the first place? If you are going to dump it, then why take one at all? Would you do the same to your children or your parents?
This is indeed a frightening thought, as Sri Lanka and other countries are fast losing their humanity and spiralling down into an abyss of cruelty and fleeting pleasures.
The Animal Welfare Bill, which could act as a deterrent in such cases, still languishes despite our please to those in power. It’s now over 25 years that it has been languishing in Parliament waiting to be passed! What a tragedy and travesty of justice.
Until rules and regulations are implemented and laws are passed, monitored, and enforced, cruelty will abound not just against animals but against all life forms. Hefty fines and other forms of punishment have to be imposed in order to, if not put a stop to, at least lessen the cruelty that is now prevalent.
Until such time, the rule of might, not right, will prevail as it does now.