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Pets bring responsibility
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Editor, I strongly feel that there should be strict spay/neuter laws in the entire world, but let us start with Hinesville, Ludowici and Jesup. Without laws or limits, people will continue to be irresponsible, letting their animals breed and abandoning the pups if they can’t sell or give them away. I firmly believe if you are not a licensed breeder, then your animals need to be spayed/neutered to stop this epic problem of unwanted/unplanned litters that keep the vicious cycle going on and on.
Animals will do what comes natural and breed every six months for dogs and more frequently for cats. The owners don’t want to pay for the spaying/neutering. They think someone else will take the unwanted puppies and kittens and when that doesn’t happen, you see them abandoned all over the place. It would be far kinder to put them down than to let them run wild, where they’re often hit by cars, attacked by other animals, starved, exposed to the extreme heat and bitten by flies and mosquitoes.
These abandoned animals get sick and infested with mange, worms and fleas, just to name a few. There just aren’t enough loving homes for all the animals.
Before even deciding to get a pet, people must understand it is a lifetime commitment. The average dog lives 10 years for outside animals and longer for inside ones. My grandmother has a chihuahua that is 27 years old and gets along fine. My black lab lived to be 15 and one of my chihuahuas is almost 10. Pets do require more than just a dog house, food and water.
They also need medicine to prevent heart worms and yearly blood tests to determine if they are heart-worm positive. They need de-worming and require flea and tick control products, nail trims, clean water and fresh food each day. Dogs need someone to walk them about every four hours and lots of love and attention.
One of the most important things for pet owners to remember is that we can control the pet population in this world by spaying or neutering pets.
Spaying and neutering has health benefits as well. Spaying a female reduces her chances of cancer. Neutering a male will stop him from engaging in dangerous behavior while pursuing females in heat. The scent of a female in heat can drive a male to tear through gates, dig under fences and even climb over them and fight with other males for breeding rights.
The bottom line is that pets of any kind require time and money. If you work all day and no one is home to let an animal out, you should not shout at, scold or hit it for having accidents. You do not need a dog. If you work long hours, travel a lot or have kids who put serious demands on your time, then you don’t need a pet. It is not fair to the animal to be caged, tied up or trapped in one room all day. They need interaction and socialization.
Think of why you want a pet in the first place. It shouldn’t be to placate a whining kid or to impress your girlfriend on Valentine’s Day or another holiday. Animals are like kids. They cost money, need attention and love, shelter and food.
Abandoned animals around Army posts are a real problem. I know how it works: husbands get their wives and children a puppy. As soon as he is deployed, his wife wants to go somewhere else, vacation for months or move back in with her mother. She no longer wants the animal. It has become expendable. This pattern is not fair to the animal and it strains our overburdened system and resources. When these irresponsible pet owners are told the shelter is full, they simply drop them off on any back road. Other people simply move away and leave their pets in the yard to run off or starve to death. One time, I even happened upon puppies that had been placed in a dumpster by cruel and heartless people.
This is exactly why it should be harder to get an animal and those who do get them should be held responsible for spaying or neutering their pets.
If you can’t afford all the responsibilities that come with owning and taking care of an animal for many years to come, or if you work all the time and cannot walk your pet, then for the love of God, do not get one!

Marie Goodrich
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