The Harmful Consequences of Abandoning Pets

  • Abandoned dogs and cats face an uncertain and stressful future

The fate of abandoned pets is almost always tragic. While some are taken in by shelters, authorities, or by people who find them, many are not so lucky and have to live on the streets, in constant fear and forced to fend for themselves. For puppies and kittens who are unweaned by the time they are abandoned, it is almost always a death sentence. The little ones are exposed to thirst, hunger and extreme weather conditions. Without veterinary care, food and shelter, they will sooner or later become ill and die.

Abandoned unneutered animals add to an already existing overpopulation of strays; their offspring are born into a life on the streets where they must struggle to survive.

  • Animal shelters and animal rescue organizations have been badly affected

Abandoned animals can become a financial burden for the governmental and non-governmental organizations that care for them. Animal shelters and rescue organizations often struggle to stay afloat financially. They do not generally receive government funding and rely on donations to provide unwanted animals with the care they need. This financial burden has been compounded as people have given away their animals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aside from the financial side, many animal shelters eventually reach the limits of their capacity and – in countries where it is allowed – have to resort to euthanasia.

  • Pet owners experience emotional consequences

Abandoning a pet can be very upsetting for some people and can have long-term effects. It can plunge him and his family into an emotional crisis. Children in particular suffer when their animal friend is suddenly taken away from them. Many people who have abandoned their animals in animal shelters feel guilty and ashamed, as if they failed and betrayed the animal that depended on them and trusted them.