It was never my intention to own five dogs and a cat. But, whenever I see an animal in need, I can’t not help. Somehow, my husband and I always find room for one more.
I also never said it was easy. My husband and I are certainly not millionaires. And vet bills don’t ever seem to get cheaper. Still, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
That being said, I was very upset to find out that counties and cities place limits on the number of animals that you are allowed to own. I understand that the powers that be are trying to prevent noise pollution, but, that can be attributed to a careless owner. We are always quick to nip any excessive barking in the bud. Who wants to hear a pack of dogs barking for hours on end?
Yet, we still have a neighbor who lives down the street that allows its’ dog to bark continuously. And the dog is small and kept indoors! I must say, it does drive me crazy. I can’t fathom how the owner can put up with it.
Then, there is the fear of over breeding. However, the counties and cities also include that the animals must be spayed/neutered. And I agree with this wholeheartedly. I cannot tell you how many kittens have been discovered in our town within the last three weeks. We do need to control the pet population, as Bob Barker always suggested.
But, my real issue is with the word “hoarding.” To me, hoarding occurs when you have an outrageously large number of animals, say 15 or more. There is no way that a person can afford to take care of that many animals. The food bill alone would be enough to cause someone to go bankrupt. Dog food is not cheap!
And I also tend to think of hoarders as abusive. They do not see to the needs of their animals, physical and social as well as their basic needs. Then, fights between the large groups of animals occur because life becomes a survival of the fittest. This is certainly no way for an animal to live.
However, there are some hoarders that simply love animals. My husband and I were watching a show about the Animal Task Force in Florida. Two officers approached the home of a woman who was hoarding 13 dogs. But, the dogs were all being well cared for. They had plenty of food and water and were even kept inside the house. There were no signs of abuse. Just an abundance of love.
The woman claimed that she was simply trying to foster dogs that were about to be euthanized at the local shelter. She had no intention of keeping them all and was in the process of finding them forever homes. I could totally relate to this woman! My heart breaks whenever I see dogs at charity events wearing the “Adopt Me” sign. I want to take them all home with me where I know that they will be given the love and attention that they deserve.
The officers told the woman that she had two weeks to find homes for the dogs or the dogs would be taken back to the shelter and she would be fined (and possibly face jail time). Within the two weeks, she managed to find homes for all but four of the dogs and I believe that she owned two of them. This is an example of a good hoarder. She meant the dogs no harm, but to give them hope and a second chance at life.
I feel that if you have the means to support the animals and they are spayed/neutered and well-behaved (no dog fighting rings or late night bark fests), that you should be allowed to own as many animals as you wish. This is the United States of America where we pride ourselves on having freedoms that are denied to the citizens of other countries. Yet, the government seems to continue to whittle away at these freedoms by constantly placing limitations on them.
What agitates me even more is that some people appear to be exempt from the rules. Why? They are famous! I read in one magazine article that Mariah Carey owns 22 Jack Russells. Twenty-two! How do you get away with something like that? Bribe the city officials? Bribe the police officers?
Then there is Paris Hilton. She recently posted a video of her seven dogs on Instagram. They were all sitting in their “doggie mansion,” as she called it. And it truly was! A chandelier was dangling above their heads. A sweeping staircase led up to a second level that was decorated in a princess motif. I have to admit, it looked nicer than my house!
So, why are these ladies able to get away with breaking city ordinances? I once inquired of our local government what it would take to be able to raise the limit of how many dogs we can own. I was told that our house would have to be re-zoned as a kennel. A kennel! Then, our taxes would skyrocket due to the re-zoning.
Of course, many people simply say, “Adopt as many as you want. Who’s going to find out?” But, I would prefer to go about it the legal way. And I am positive that I would not be able to pay the fine that I would receive and could NEVER be able to make the gut wrenching decision of which dog to “get rid of.”
However, when volunteering at an adoption event for a local rescue group, I met a woman who told me that she currently had 14 dogs in her house. She was very secretive about it and said, “My vet gives me the dogs that nobody wants. I take care of them while he tries to find them a home. This way, they stay out of the humane societies and are not in danger of being euthanized.”
As it turns out, there are many of these secret “underground dog railroads” within the area. No one is trying to break any rules. They are simply trying to save lives.
The government does not place a limit on how many children a family can have. If they did, the Duggars would be in serious trouble! We would revolt and tell the government that they are being unconstitutional. So, why are those that are choosing to have animals instead of children being penalized?
I have seen plenty of people who have had a large number of children that were not truly able to care for them. So, what does the government do? They offer food stamps and other provisions to help ease costs for such families.
Unlike dogs, humans have the ability to reason. If you know you cannot support six children, why do you continue to have them? Then, these families become a burden to the entire nation as a portion of our tax money goes to help meet their basic needs.
I hope that other fur parents feel the same. We need to stand together and speak for those that don’t have a voice. The government should not place a limit on love.