Pets: Lifelong commitments


Photo courtesy of Reagan Montgomery

Junior Reagan Montgomery poses for a picture with her dog, Coco.

Reagan Montgomery, Staff Writer

Over the initial quarantine period, there was a massive boom in pet adoptions across the nation. People got dogs, cats, birds, and rodents thinking they would give them something to take care of and something to do while stuck at home all day. However, as restrictions lifted and places reopened, these pets were left alone, or worse, surrendered.

People adopted puppies thinking they would be cute little buddies to take Instagram pictures with, only to be shocked when realizing that dogs are a lot of effort. They get antsy when you’re gone for too long, and they have needs to care for.

Some people don’t think about that stuff before getting animals, and unfortunately, it usually leads to the animal being placed in a shelter. Before getting an animal, people should research how much the pet they want would cost in expenses (food, toys, vet bills, etc.), how long they live, and how much time you need to spend with them. Every animal is different, and some need more than others

For example, gerbils and other tiny rodents. People buy these for kids all the time not realizing how much attention and supplies they need. A large enough cage with some stimuli for the animal, bedding, food, feeding dish, and a water source is the absolute bare minimum for these tiny creatures. Their standard of living will be critical if you don’t put enough research into it.

Not to mention that people don’t look into the behavior of animals. Most small rodents get territorial, meaning that if put in a cage with another animal of their species, they will either fight to the death or breed. Neither of those scenarios is good for a first-time owner. Especially if the owner has small kids in the house with them, it can be really difficult to explain and upset them.

Overall, there is nothing wrong with getting a pet. Adopt, don’t shop, and support your local humane society. However, be sure that before you go out and find yourself a furry, scaly, or feathery friend that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. If you can’t meet their needs then don’t get them. You can always volunteer at a shelter or work at a pet store instead. Just remember, pets are optional, but caring for one after adopting or buying is not.