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oobunnie
So I've always been an advocate of animal rights, but I had no Idea how bad of a problem animal ownership was. With my new found knowledge gained by working with a local rescue group for the last year I find myself even more bitter towards the general population. I will never understand people who find pets to be the latest and greatest toy or gimmick (this usually leads to them having children to keep their attention and as a slightly more interactive toy which leads to my next problem). I will never in a million years understand people who think pets are disposable.

I think I'll start venting with the things that disgust me the most.

Abused and hurt animals: I'm sure it pains almost everyone to see a hurt animal; but you'd also be surprised how many people don't report it. Just a month ago I heard of a dog that had come in with a home amputated back leg. amputated by an axe or the like (His leg was properly re-amputated and treated. Luckily the infection wasn't to bad, and he has gone on to find a wonderful forever home.) First I wanted to severely hurt whoever had done this, but went on to wonder how nobody had noticed this, It wasn't until he was noticed tied outside a shopping center for 9 hours that he was reported to the spca. It just doesn't make sense to me. I think people have to understand that reporting the abuse of an animal does not condemn them to death. I've made it one of my personal goals to inform people that not all shelters are kill shelters and that you can report an abused animal to any local no kill shelter who will convince them to surrender the pet. All it takes is one little google search for a local rescue group.

Why do people simply leave their dogs by the side of the road? Do they not have a spare 30 minutes a day to try and find it a new good home. There are plenty of great people out there looking for pets; it's really not that hard to do. Or surrender your pet. Strays with no history are much harder to find new homes for then pets who do and therefor have a much higher euthanization rate. The other horrible part of this is that many of these strays are not spayed or neutered. I don't care if you plan on keeping the pet inside for it's whole life. You should still spay or neuter just in case. There are enough homeless animals as it is let alone adding in the huge amount of puppies and kittens surrendered, boxes of puppies abandoned, and pregnant pets who come in. Some of whom I'm sure the shelter will see again. Puppies unfortunately are most likely to go to homes for all the wrong reason, and come back without proper socialization or any training then a 9 month or older dog.

People who surrender their pets for crappy reasons:
"I just had a child and I'm afraid they won't get along with my child/I won't have enough time for the pet"
My wishful answer: As above mentioned. Won't you look at the new more interactive toy. 4 year old animal you say? Yup sounds like it was about time to upgrade. Won't have time, well hopefully you'll find a good daycare for child instead of dropping him/her off at child services. But judging by the fact that you had about 9 months to find a new home for your pet or train and socialize your pet with children to take care of your fears and did neither, you'll probably drop them off at the first cruddy daycare you see an ad for without bothering to do a back check."

"My dog has a behavior problem like aggression or barking or marking"
My wishful answer: Wait Wait Wait . Hold on, I so have to call someone about this. What an unheard of problem. You know, because this is such a rare problem I'm sure that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Infact I'm almost positive I've never seen a single book on any of these subjects. You know you should also call a dog trainer about this just to warn them incase they see it in another dog. While were at it, did you know that a personal trainer is about $175 for 5 sessions. thats probably a quarter of what you paid for your dog. Granted had you picked up a book to learn about dog training at any point during your puppies life you probably wouldn't be looking at any of these problems.

"I'm moving and they don't allow pets at my new place"
My wishful answer: And your moving there because??? Part of owning a pet is finding a place for both of you to live. It's your responsibility. Or was it because you got a new sofa and he didn't match the decor anymore? Because thats much more acceptable.


"I just got this new dog a week ago and he doesn't get along with my cat"
My wishful answer: Okay so basically This one explains it's self. If she couldn't even cope with introducing two animals to each other then it was basically better she didn't have one. One week! huh.gif Yup only takes me a week to make best friends with someone.

(*I would of course never say this to anyone because it promotes them to either just abandon it instead of surrendering the pet, or killing them. Instead we try and get as much background info out of them while trying to shut them up about their asinine problems. And the animal always comes first. People and their excuses just get to be so much)

People who take out adds saying "free to good home":
You would think that people have the commonsense to realize the flaw in this. The danger that is involved for the pet. You are welcoming everyone and anyone to come get your animal. Theres a reason why shelters screen applicants, granted the really bad guys don't usually come to shelters to get their pets because then they would have to pay $150 every time they did and shelters keep track of who they have adopted to. Free is so much cheaper.

And this is without me getting into the petty stuff like puppy mills and the such. God I hate people sometimes mad.gif
Saratina
personally, I would love to see you give your wishful replies out loud. sometimes people just need to hear that.

thank you for sharing this.
oobunnie
Trust me there are times when I really wish I could. And I think people can see it in my eyes because every now and again they just shut up and quitely answer the rest of my questions. But as I said, and as is the general understanding of most rescue workers, we just want whats best for animals. If people are to afraid to bring there pets into a shelter then their likely to dispose of their pets another way. Not what we want. Instead we give hope where there might be, if the person seems responsible and there is a possibility of working it out so they can keep the pet we do. Otherwise we just try to help give the pet a really good forever home.
I also make sure to impress upon people the need to train your dogs. Not only is it the best way to bond with your pup, but it will solve most behavior problem and make your dog feel more secure. Even if the dog seems very well trained when you get them. It's a whole new ball game with a new owner.
I had my learning experience with being rude to people who are irresponsible. After going through an application with a possible adopter I checked his reference and our adoption records. It came back with a surrendered pet for bad temper. The dog came in with a slight case of mange, meaning that she had probably either been tethered outside in an unhygienic situation, or was left to rummage the neighborhood. The dog probably had fear aggression not helped by the fact that she was left outside by herself all the time. She had to become aggressive because her leader wasn't there to protect her. So I laid into the guy. I asked how he could possibly think that we would adopt to him with such a record. I told him he wasn't fit to be a dog owner he had no respect for animals. I told him to get an alarm system instead of a dog, it didn't have a heart and couldn't feel the pain he was going to inflict. The guy just looked at me and said "fine, I'll get a puppy somewhere else, atleast it wont be f*cked up like your muts" and walked away. It was very humbling.
But your day does get brighter when you meet one of those people who are going to be amazing owners. The ones who have researched about pet ownership down to the type of food their going to feed their new addition. And talk about how they want their new friend to be a big part of their life, going for jogs with them or a companion to sit with them at night. Those people make it worth it. smile.gif
Astarael
I really agree perfectly with all your reasons except for my usual one in several thousand nitpick for some of them. I tend to ask "what if something really improbable happened to make this a legitimate excuse?", but overall this is my view. Getting a pet is a committment to taking good care of them and trying to make sure that they have a nice life with you, not something casual like getting a new accessory.
KingAndré
I fully agree with you, and I've always wished that there was more I could do to help animals that get abandoned, abused, or put down for the wrong reason. However, there actually are some things that everyone can do to help the situation. Firstly, if you see an animal being abused, or know of someone who has done it, report it. If you see an animal that has been abandoned somewhere, notify a local shelter as soon as possible. If you decide to get a pet, try to adopt one from a shelter or a pet rescue organization. Older animals can be great pets too, especially if you don't want to deal with the hassles of a young puppy or kitten. Different breeds have different types of behavior and require certain a certain type of environment (especially dogs), so do a little research before you get a pet to make sure it is the right one for you. Lastly, if you do adopt a pet, unless you plan on becoming a breeder, spay/neuter your animal.

I'm sure most of you who are reading this already know these basic principles, but for those of you who are new to the experience of having or getting a pet, I hope you take this to heart. Thanks!
pgrmdave
QUOTE
"I just had a child and I'm afraid they won't get along with my child/I won't have enough time for the pet"..."My dog has a behavior problem like aggression or barking or marking"..."I'm moving and they don't allow pets at my new place"..."I just got this new dog a week ago and he doesn't get along with my cat"


While I agree that a pet owner has a responsibility to ensure that, if they are getting rid of the pet, it goes to a good home, I disagree that these are necessarily bad reasons.

If I have a child and the animal is violent towards that baby (an extreme case and not likely), then it is perfectly reasonable for me to find a different home for the animal. If the animal is simply jealous for a while, then it is not reasonable, however it is the animal which needs to change and learn not to be jealous.

If a dog has a serious behavior problem, then I think it is reasonable to decide that I don't have time to deal with it. Again, it would be an extreme situation, but the end result should be that the animal gets an owner who is better able to deal with the problem. If I can't deal with the problem, it is not only reasonable to find the animal a new home, it is probably in the animal's best interest.

The third one I have experiance with. A friend of my mother ran into some financial troubles and lost her house. She had to find another place to live that was within her budget and the only place that is in the area does not allow dogs. She had two dogs, and loved them dearly, but she had to give them away (we took one of them, a mostly blind/deaf golden retriever). She had no choice due to financial constraints, but she did the right thing and gave her dogs to responsible pet owners (and since they were personal friends, she can visit her dogs).

And if I have had a pet for years, and I get a new one who just doesn't get along with the first to the point of violence, I am not under any obligation to keep the two togeather. My uncle had a dog for years, and then got another. Well, the two of them simply didn't get along, and one of them started to develop aggressive and nervous behaviors. So, instead of trying to keep them togeather and force them to like eachother, he gave the newer one to my grandparents, where he has done much better, and become kinder and more friendly.
oobunnie
QUOTE
While I agree that a pet owner has a responsibility to ensure that, if they are getting rid of the pet, it goes to a good home, I disagree that these are necessarily bad reasons.

I can already tell we're going to have differing views. "Getting rid of a pet". I think I've already pointed out that pets aren't simply pretty toys that should be tossed around whenever you wan't them to be. The choice to re home them shouldn't be so easy. The effects of such a choice can at times cause serious trauma to some pets. The responsibility of pet ownership starts before even owning a pet. The effects of your future should be carefully evaluated when you consider getting one, and it should be determined where at any stage (planned or un-planned) they fit into it. If they don't fit into some part of you plan then you should not get one.
QUOTE
If I have a child and the animal is violent towards that baby (an extreme case and not likely), then it is perfectly reasonable for me to find a different home for the animal. If the animal is simply jealous for a while, then it is not reasonable, however it is the animal which needs to change and learn not to be jealous.

Okay first off, it's not simply the pet who has to be taught how to interact with the child. It is just as important to train the child to interact with the pet. All animals have breaking points no matter how well trained they are. Allowing a child to really hurt a pet, and in return the pet hurting the child should not be viewed as the pets fault; but your own for no teaching your child how to be gentle with the pet.
Animals rarely get jealous of objects, they are simply asserting themselves into a new role in the "pack" which is something they must be shown.
As I said in my original post. 9 months is along time. 9 months is along time to train. And if you can't seem to value your pet enough to do that then yes it should go to a new good home. But please don't go and get a new puppy in a year. Buy a robot dog. And if you manage to remember to change the batteries regularly... maybe a fish down the road.
I understand there are extreme circumstance. My dog came from a women who had taken all the care in the world to make sure her dog and child would get along when her daughter was born. But it turned out her daughter was allergic to dogs. She still did the responsible thing and screened very carefully to find a great home for her pet. She even kept her daughter on medication for a month to do so. Most (and these are the people I was talking about) wouldn't do that. They would simply drive their pet to local animal shelter that night. Even then I can understand it within these circumstances although i still view it as cold hearted and irresponsible.
QUOTE
If a dog has a serious behavior problem, then I think it is reasonable to decide that I don't have time to deal with it. Again, it would be an extreme situation, but the end result should be that the animal gets an owner who is better able to deal with the problem. If I can't deal with the problem, it is not only reasonable to find the animal a new home, it is probably in the animal's best interest.

If you don't have time to deal with it, then why get a dog in the first place. Because it was pretty, and cuddly, and what people do? Honestly though if you don't have time to train then you don't have time to own a dog. Small/medium dogs require about a mile of exercise a day. Large to Xtra large require atleast 2. You are right that its probably in the animals best interest to have a different home. Infact you probably would have learnt a lesson aswell and will listen to the shelter worker the next time they say he fear bites and ect.
QUOTE
The third one I have experience with. A friend of my mother ran into some financial troubles and lost her house. She had to find another place to live that was within her budget and the only place that is in the area does not allow dogs. She had two dogs, and loved them dearly, but she had to give them away (we took one of them, a mostly blind/deaf golden retriever). She had no choice due to financial constraints, but she did the right thing and gave her dogs to responsible pet owners (and since they were personal friends, she can visit her dogs).

I would like to point out that I was talking about people abandoning (because yes that is what they are doing) their pets at shelters and that there is a huge difference between finding new owners (good ones) and leaving your pet without a care to possible death and defiantly trauma. Although if you can easily let your pet go to a new home with out trying everything under the sun to keep it then you shouldn't have a pet aswell. I fully understand that there are just sometimes when things go all wrong. But this is not the usual reason why pets come into our shelter. A guy getting a puppy at the beginning of the summer and not being able to keep it once school came around in the fall is. It is very rare to have an actual problem which results in the pet not being able to stay with the owner.
QUOTE
And if I have had a pet for years, and I get a new one who just doesn't get along with the first to the point of violence, I am not under any obligation to keep the two together. My uncle had a dog for years, and then got another. Well, the two of them simply didn't get along, and one of them started to develop aggressive and nervous behaviors. So, instead of trying to keep them together and force them to like each other, he gave the newer one to my grandparents, where he has done much better, and become kinder and more friendly.

As you seem so keen on children I think I'll use a children example. Lets say you had a child for about four years. Then what do you know another one comes along the way, but uh oh the first one just doesn't like the second. In this situation you would? Send the newer one off to live with your Grandparents. Probably not, because their human and either you see them as being more valuable or as smarter. Neither of which I would agree with.
There are a ton of factors which can contribute to problems with introducing animals. Territory, sexuality, and fear are among to basic and common. Animals go through a period of meeting each other. Then tolerance, and find finally bonding when they accept each other as being part of the household or pack. It is in no way as simple as them "not liking each other" . Research about this subject is something that should really be looked into before doing it.

Here would be some of my basic guidelines for purchasing a pet.
Always research the breed your getting. Even if it's a mix. For instance a Shiba Inu or a miniature Pincher is probably not the best choice for a first time dog owners unless they fully understand the traits which come along with each breed. A min pin might be tiny, and great for apartments, but has serious dominance issues and really has to be kept in check therefor requiring an okay amount of time to train and defiantly a NILIF program. A Shiba Inu is a super cute little fox dog but is also one of the smartest little devils you will ever see. Ownership should come with the willingness to do things like increase the depth that your fence goes into the ground among other things.
Siamese cats tend to have sensitive stomachs, and from kittenhood should have a diet which reflects this.

As part of your budget always factor in training! You say your willing to pay whatever if the dog gets sick? How is that any different from any other problem arising. If you want sure bet result get an animal behaviorist, they run about $450 but also come with a life time guarantee. If you can't afford the money for training; then what makes you think you can afford the money for vet bills? Heres where you might think, well I'll look at getting a senior dog whos already trained and more laid back.. but senior dogs come with more vet bills. These are just the cost of having dog. Understand it well ahead of time, and make sure you are financially secure enough to have them.

Make sure you will be able to keep this pet for its life. Child or no child, moving to another country ect. Unless something really really bad comes up. Make sure you want this pet for the right reasons.

Not everyone should have a pet at every moment of their life. I'm not saying that if your not rich enough to shower it in diamond collars you shouldn't have one. But make sure you really can afford it. The ability to spend $3 on a bag of 9 lives crap cat food a month does not constitute the financial ability to own a pet. Wait until you can own a pet responsibly before you get one.
tv with legs
i dont like the idea of cutting off your animals balls.
if anything, get them a vesictamy.
i think its cruel. would it be right for me to go around cutting peoples balls off or messing someones vagina and say that there are too many people as my excuse? its just my opinion.
Aislinn Faye
I completely agree with spading and all that...People do not see animals equal to humans, and really they're not. What I don't understand is how people make such a fuss about cats and dogs and no one cares about the slew of cows that get slaughtered each year to fill our happy meals, unless you're Hindu. Denis Leary said it perfectly in "No Cure for Cancer". People only care about the cute animals-seals, cats, dogs, dolphins- no one cares about the sharks that get killed by boats, no no, only manatees (so spelled wrong). And another, why not take away animals ability to breed so we don't have to kill all the kittens and pups. I mean, you can't say to a dog "Yo man, wrap it up", so we make the choice for them. As for people's dumb excuses for why they get rid of their pets, would you rather them keep them and treat them like poo, or just throw the responsibility to you guys?
oobunnie
QUOTE (tv with legs @ Oct 21 2006, 02:45 PM) *
i dont like the idea of cutting off your animals balls.
if anything, get them a vesictamy.
i think its cruel. would it be right for me to go around cutting peoples balls off or messing someones vagina and say that there are too many people as my excuse? its just my opinion.

*Beats head against the wall*
Lets start with the first bit. First off, animals (well most animals) "balls" and other sexual organs react in a very different way then humans. Unlike humans dogs and cats would get more pleasure from rubbing the front of their chest then the act of reproduction. One of the most common complaints I hear about male dogs is "humping"; if the dog is fixed then the most likely cause of this action is a dominance problem. It's the reason why dogs will hump some people but not other. It is not the same as in humans. Your pup really won't miss his balls, nor will you see a major change in personality as pets are generally neutered after they reach sexual maturity and will thus continue to produce testosterone.
Vasectomy, well I suppose if the first bit of what I said didn't change your mind then go for it. Oh and congratulations on uping your pups surgery from a commonly done low complication non-invasive surgery to a more risky invasive surgery which will both accomplish the exact same thing. Minus ofcourse the extended healing time, longer surgery time (again a distinction between humans and pets is the surgery under anesthetic is very different, animals don't have their vitals controlled like humans. The IV fluids are even optional and an additional cost, and a sound investment as they help keep their blood pressure maintained), and the course of antibiotics among other things.
As for the last bit. I'm sure if unwanted children were euthanized then the subject of sterilization might become a little more popular.
I'm sorry this sounds a bit crisp, but I read the next post before responding to yours.
QUOTE (Aislinn Faye @ Oct 22 2006, 03:34 AM) *
I completely agree with spading and all that...People do not see animals equal to humans, and really they're not. What I don't understand is how people make such a fuss about cats and dogs and no one cares about the slew of cows that get slaughtered each year to fill our happy meals, unless you're Hindu. Denis Leary said it perfectly in "No Cure for Cancer". People only care about the cute animals-seals, cats, dogs, dolphins- no one cares about the sharks that get killed by boats, no no , only manatees (so spelled wrong). And another, why not take away animals ability to breed so we don't have to kill all the kittens and pups. I mean, you can't say to a dog "Yo man, wrap it up", so we make the choice for them. As for people's dumb excuses for why they get rid of their pets, would you rather them keep them and treat them like poo, or just throw the responsibility to you guys?

...
In my opinion people aren't anywhere near the perfection of bacteria, but I don't go around treating people like crap because I think another organism has better significance. People are better at somethings, animals are better at others. It's not about equality because comparing two very different species is like comparing oranges and lettuce. It's about understanding. People do care about the "non cute" animals as you put it(although I happen to think cows are adorable). Vegans, vegetarians, Peta, among many animal rights groups. By the by manatees are endangered an thus protected species, thats why they get all the extra hype. Although I've never heard of a shark getting killed by a boat..maybe it could happen, but then them cute little dolphins would be in the same boat or rather getting hit by it. Steps and controls/rules are continually being added to secure the human treatment of all animals.
I would rather they didn't get the pet in the first place. Would you love responsibility of trying your damndest to find a home for a pet and then have it euthanized with 10 others in one day because their time expired? I don't think I could ever work for a kill shelter, although I give alot of respect to people who do.
I really don't care if this sounds rude, but I hope you never consider getting a pet. You have a very cold miniscule understanding of what other animals really are. dry.gif
pgrmdave
QUOTE
First off, animals (well most animals) "balls" and other sexual organs react in a very different way then humans. Unlike humans dogs and cats would get more pleasure from rubbing the front of their chest then the act of reproduction.


Whether or not I agree with you, I think that this is an unsubstantiated argument. Unless there are some sources that you can point us to, this is just as valid as me saying that dogs and cats get more pleasure out of the act of reproduction than from rubbing the front of their chests. I happen to agree with you and think that spaying/neutering is a good thing and I haven't seen psychological damage caused by it, but I don't know of any studies comparing the amount of pleasure that animals get from sex to the amount of pleasure they get from other things.


QUOTE
What I don't understand is how people make such a fuss about cats and dogs and no one cares about the slew of cows that get slaughtered each year to fill our happy meals, unless you're Hindu.


It's because cows are yummy smile.gif Animals, including humans, occasionally eat other animals. I imagine that the way that we kill animals is far more humane than the way that, say, wolves, or cougars kill their prey. Besides, at this point cows are completely dependant upon humans. Whens the last time you saw a cow in the wild?
Museum Girl
I know you think it's comparable to gettting rid of one child if two don't get along but I really don't think it is. When I was seven one of our cats died and the other one really started moping. So to cheer up him and me we got a cat and two of her kittens. The first thing she did was attack him. He was about nine which is quite old for a cat and also really quite frail. We really did try to get them socialised but if we carried them into the same room she'd be struggling and spitting to get at him so in the end we took her back to the shelter and the woman who'd adopted her other kittens took her. We didn't want to take her back but we were afraid she might kill him and it wasn't fair on him as he had lived there longer. There wasn't any other option for us. Children usually don't try and kill each other if they don't get along.

Also you can get vets insurace (we have it) but not an insurance that covers training bills.

Animals do get jealous of children. The cat I mentioned earlier got so jealous of me when I was born his hair fell out (and the vet said that was why). He followed my mum everywhere and used to try and push me off her lap and things and when small children came to the house he always did the same to them.
tv with legs
i dislike the role animals have in the world. but to be honest, i dont think its gonna change anytime soon.

its all with feeding the masses. as i see it, the better life humans have, it will generally be a less better life for animals. zoos, more slaughter houses, more pets, etc.
oobunnie
QUOTE
Whether or not I agree with you, I think that this is an unsubstantiated argument. Unless there are some sources that you can point us to, this is just as valid as me saying that dogs and cats get more pleasure out of the act of reproduction than from rubbing the front of their chests. I happen to agree with you and think that spaying/neutering is a good thing and I haven't seen psychological damage caused by it, but I don't know of any studies comparing the amount of pleasure that animals get from sex to the amount of pleasure they get from other things.

Perhaps this will help. I know theres a better U of A study on the subject but I'm having trouble with bear tracks at the moment, so this was the best I could do . Although it does contain alot of good information it doesn't go terribly in depth.
QUOTE
I know you think it's comparable to getting rid of one child if two don't get along but I really don't think it is. When I was seven one of our cats died and the other one really started moping. So to cheer up him and me we got a cat and two of her kittens. The first thing she did was attack him. He was about nine which is quite old for a cat and also really quite frail. We really did try to get them socialized but if we carried them into the same room she'd be struggling and spitting to get at him so in the end we took her back to the shelter and the woman who'd adopted her other kittens took her. We didn't want to take her back but we were afraid she might kill him and it wasn't fair on him as he had lived there longer. There wasn't any other option for us. Children usually don't try and kill each other if they don't get along.
I believe I already talked about misconception of equating a cat or dogs mentality of a new arival to that of a humans under the same conditions. Unless you have a very well socialized animal; likeliness is your going to encounter problems when introducing a new animal. Not because they "don't like each other" but because one is infringing upon the others territory, the other is in a brand new environment (and in your case also protecting her kittens), and they are determining each others dominance. This is why it is generally suggested the you section off the animals into two different rooms where they still have access to smell each other for atleast 4 days. Oh and with cats they should never be put in a raised position when trying to introduce new animals as an elevated status is a fighting position. Your right, children don't try and kill each other all the time. But the do often hurt/attack each other don't they.
I also happen to have first hand experience with this on a personal level. When I brought my 9 month old Cocker Spaniel home he exhibited very strange behavior for the breed. Cocker Spaniels have been specifically bred these days for their personality traits to be wonderful house pets. Yet my pup besides having about zero socialization also showed bouts of prey aggression (attempting to go after moving cars, joggers, cats, dog, bikes, pretty much anything that moved). I still had to introduce him to my cat. Now if a 1 year previously feral cat and a dog that shows its prey aggression can meld into their places in the pack then there must be hope for the majority of animals. I'm not saying what you did is wrong. I'm saying that people need to take more time understanding the choice that they are making, and educating themselves on the best and the worst of what can happen and how to deal with it.

QUOTE
Also you can get vets insurace (we have it) but not an insurance that covers training bills.
No aloting yourself a certain amount of money for training pays for training. Knowing that there are some unexpected expense associated with animal ownership pays for training. Pet insurance does not cover all expenses, although I do agree that it is a very wise investment especially if your pet is over 3 years old.
As training is normally something started at either 4 monthes old or a a few weeks after getting the pet and is sort of of a one time deal there really isn't any need for insurance. Although people should keep in mind that events like having a child or moving may require you to do additional training or re-do parts of the training.

QUOTE
Animals do get jealous of children. The cat I mentioned earlier got so jealous of me when I was born his hair fell out (and the vet said that was why). He followed my mum everywhere and used to try and push me off her lap and things and when small children came to the house he always did the same to them.

Are you sure the vet said it was specifically jealousy? I would find a vet making that statement very hard to believe. It is more likely that your vet associated it to the stress of you coming home, and the dramatic changes in your pets lifestyle. As for the pushing children off her lap you can read my previous post about dominance.
pgrmdave
oobunnie, I'll see if I can find some studies done on the subject. The site you provided, while containing information, is very clearly biased, as their mission statement says: "our goal is to place healthy, adoptable animals in new and loving homes while aiding in the fight against pet overpopulation." I do think that spaying/neutering is a good thing, but I'd be interested in the studies done on the psychological effects on the animals.
Museum Girl
[quote name='oobunnie' date='Oct 23 2006, 12:49 PM' post='343300']
Perhaps this will help. I know theres a better U of A study on the subject but I'm having trouble with bear tracks at the moment, so this was the best I could do . Although it does contain alot of good information it doesn't go terribly in depth.
[quote]I know you think it's comparable to getting rid of one child if two don't get along but I really don't think it is. When I was seven one of our cats died and the other one really started moping. So to cheer up him and me we got a cat and two of her kittens. The first thing she did was attack him. He was about nine which is quite old for a cat and also really quite frail. We really did try to get them socialized but if we carried them into the same room she'd be struggling and spitting to get at him so in the end we took her back to the shelter and the woman who'd adopted her other kittens took her. We didn't want to take her back but we were afraid she might kill him and it wasn't fair on him as he had lived there longer. There wasn't any other option for us. Children usually don't try and kill each other if they don't get along.[/quote] I believe I already talked about misconception of equating a cat or dogs mentality of a new arival to that of a humans under the same conditions. Unless you have a very well socialized animal; likeliness is your going to encounter problems when introducing a new animal. Not because they "don't like each other" but because one is infringing upon the others territory, the other is in a brand new environment (and in your case also protecting her kittens), and they are determining each others dominance. This is why it is generally suggested the you section off the animals into two different rooms where they still have access to smell each other for atleast 4 days. Oh and with cats they should never be put in a raised position when trying to introduce new animals as an elevated status is a fighting position. Your right, children don't try and kill each other all the time. But the do often hurt/attack each other don't they.
I also happen to have first hand experience with this on a personal level. When I brought my 9 month old Cocker Spaniel home he exhibited very strange behavior for the breed. Cocker Spaniels have been specifically bred these days for their personality traits to be wonderful house pets. Yet my pup besides having about zero socialization also showed bouts of prey aggression (attempting to go after moving cars, joggers, cats, dog, bikes, pretty much anything that moved). I still had to introduce him to my cat. Now if a 1 year previously feral cat and a dog that shows its prey aggression can meld into their places in the pack then there must be hope for the majority of animals. I'm not saying what you did is wrong. I'm saying that people need to take more time understanding the choice that they are making, and educating themselves on the best and the worst of what can happen and how to deal with it.
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I wasn't equating their mentality to that of a human child. It may be that eventually we could have got them to get on with each other but it didn't seem that way at the time (also she had been feral before the shelter - should probably have mentioned that). We guessed it was territorial and we did try everything but we couldn't do it.

[quote]Animals do get jealous of children. The cat I mentioned earlier got so jealous of me when I was born his hair fell out (and the vet said that was why). He followed my mum everywhere and used to try and push me off her lap and things and when small children came to the house he always did the same to them.[/quote]
Are you sure the vet said it was specifically jealousy? I would find a vet making that statement very hard to believe. It is more likely that your vet associated it to the stress of you coming home, and the dramatic changes in your pets lifestyle. As for the pushing children off her lap you can read my previous post about dominance.
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Honestly I've always thought that was weird but the vet did say it was jealousy (he actually said it was combined stress and jealousy of me but as jealousy was the issue here I didn't mention the stress part). My mum had to feed him with an eye dropper when he was a kitten and things, then two years later she'd doing the same thing with me. That was the explaination anyway.
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