I would like to respond to the letter, “Awareness on responsible pet ownership”, penned by Animal Lover in the opinion page of the Bulletin on October 21.
I agree with the writer that as cat owners, it is our responsibility to make sure that they are safe at all times. However, it is sadly also true that some people see them as “just animals” that can be discarded when it becomes inconvenient, such as the case in the letter regarding his neighbour who decided to abandon care when his feline family grew too big.
I work in a company filled with kind-hearted people. So when a litter of kittens was abandoned near our premises, quite a few of my co-workers were quick to adopt them.
Fast-forward a few years, and it is almost as though irresponsible pet owners belong to a network where they swap tips and our company has somehow been featured as a “kitten dumpsite”. Every few weeks, there’s a new litter of kittens. Sometimes they are barely a month old; other times, a little over three months. To these days, my co-workers can’t stand to see these defenceless creatures wandering about and continue to bring them home.
But there is only so much one can do for these abandoned animals. If nothing is being done to stop the highly irresponsible form of pet ownership, unwanted animals will continue to be dumped at “hot spots” where good-hearted people frequent. How many kittens can each family realistically take in before it gets overcrowded?
So while having a survey to better understand the behaviours of pet owners in the country is a step in the right direction, more educational campaigns are needed to change the misconception that animals are ours to dispense when the mood strikes. I look forward to the day when we collectively understand the true meaning of pet ownership.