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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2011-Dec-21, 05:39 PM
Should people be allowed to have pets if they can't get proper vet care? I ask this question because I am one such person. Is it morally right to adopt an animal if you can't provide it (ie. afford) with everything it needs to be happy and or healthy? My cockatiel almost bled to death last night because he did something to himself (I'm assuming he pulled a blood feather). Today he is alive because my friends came over and doused him in flour (birds have very thin blood that does not clot well- the flour stopped the bleeding). I don't know what I'll find when I get home tonight. I have doubts that I will ever have a pet of any kind again. The pain of attachment is too much to bare (such is my life).

Argos
2011-Dec-21, 05:43 PM
Well, I think people have to make their own choices, know their limitations and take responsibility for the outcomes. The same argument can be used against having children...

Swift
2011-Dec-21, 06:03 PM
"Should be allowed" implies some sort of legal issue... I'm not sure it should be a matter of law. At least in the US, abuse of animals is usually illegal, but it is a big leap from abusing to not taking the absolute best care of. I'm not sure the law should decide how much and what kind of care you should provide for your pets.

Then you ask, "is it moral"? That is an even harder question. I know of people who have spent thousands of dollars on their pets, either for treatment of traumatic injuries or for things like chemotherapy. I know of other people, who loved their pets just as much, but who made decisions not to spend that kind of money, either because they couldn't afford it, or they felt it was not worth putting their pet through such treatments, or who thought it immoral to spend that kind of money to extend one pet's life when it could be used to help dozens or hundreds of animals. I don't think one group is more moral than the other; we all have to make difficult decisions and do they best we can with those decisions - it seems rare to me that one decision or the other is particularly more moral.

I'm not completely clear what happened with your cockatiel (and that's fine), but it doesn't sound particularly like a money issue or a morals issue. It sounds like you didn't recognize a problem and how to treat it. But don't beat yourself up over it - I'm glad your bird is better. Stuff happens and we learn from it. And I don't think you need to make life decisions now on all future pet ownership.

I know for myself that I invest a huge amount of emotion in my pets. I still get a little melancholy about the passing of our cat Samantha, and that was almost 2 years ago. But they also bring such joy to my life that I can't imagine not having the companionship (currently from Maki and Ginger). Not having pets would be like not having friends, because they too can pass; but we appreciate the joy that much more because we know the bitter taste of the sorrow. Such is life.

closetgeek
2011-Dec-21, 06:15 PM
The law works a different way, with pets. If you have a dog, you are supposed to get it rabies shots. They can't possibly track all dog owners and make sure they get their shots but they can enforce it if animal control ends up in possession of your dog. They will not give it back without either proof of a rabies shot or paying a fine for not having gotten/having proof of the shot. Then, you have a limited amount of time to actually get the rabies shot and sending them proof. After that time expires, they continue to fine you. I went through that, twice, when my Maltese kept getting loose. I got my dogs the shots, I just didn't know, the first time, that I was going to have to prove that I got it so I lost the paper work. Naturally, the second time he got loose, I had the records on hand.

Perikles
2011-Dec-21, 06:25 PM
You know, I've asked myself this question with a slight variation. Many decades ago I bought a farm and finished up with a flock of sheep. What surprised me was that anybody can just go out and buy animals without having to demonstrate the slightest ability to look after them. And a lot of my neighbours were clearly guilty of neglect and indifference to animal suffering, probably through ignorance rather than malice. I have never really understood this freedom.

Swift
2011-Dec-21, 06:28 PM
Speaking of the law and pets, I had an interesting discussion with my vet about the topic several years ago.

In Ohio (and I think all US states), pets are considered property. So, if a vet, for example, does something bad to your pet, you can sue for damages, up to the value of the property, just like if someone damaged your house or your TV. But you are very limited on suing for such things as "pain and suffering"; courts don't usually apply such things to loss of property, only personal harm to a person. You can't sue a vet for malpractice.

There have been some proposals in Ohio to change this for pets; to give pets some sort of state between personhood and property, so that people could seek such damages. My vet has said that such a change would drive her out of business. She currently only carries normal business insurance. If such a law passed, she would have to carry malapractice insurance, like a human doctor, and the cost would be so high that she would go out of business, or have to raise her fees enormously (to the point most people couldn't afford them).

There was a period of time that my wife and my cat were taking the same drug (Prednisone). The cat's drug was a fraction of the cost of my wife's. But I suspect that pet pharma companies don't have to worry about malpractice suits either, and don't carry the insurance, and this is probably a big portion of the cost difference (I'm sure the concept of "what the market will bear" is also part of it).

Gillianren
2011-Dec-21, 08:05 PM
The law works a different way, with pets. If you have a dog, you are supposed to get it rabies shots. They can't possibly track all dog owners and make sure they get their shots but they can enforce it if animal control ends up in possession of your dog.

These are things which depend on your jurisdiction. Not all jurisdictions require dogs to have rabies shots--I suspect Hawaii does not unless you are importing an animal to Hawaii, in which case cats are required to have them, too. Then again, I don't like dogs and don't know what the rules are for them here.

My cat, on the other hand, has extremely sensitive skin. He is highly allergic to flea bites. All it takes is one, and he's ripping his fur out and leaving it in great wads all over the floor. Several years ago, his wounds were actually severe enough so that they got infected, and he was oozing all over the place. Very unpleasant. I took him to the vet then, and I gave him the medication and so forth. But since then, when he's started developing problems with his skin, I know what's going on and haven't taken him to the vet since. I really can't afford to. However, D is a companion animal. Technically, he's working right now as he sits on my lap and rumbles and resents the keyboard. It isn't official, since the law here seems to have narrowed recently and Cats Don't Count, but he's good for my depression. I am doing better with him than I would without--and he is probably doing better with me, because the friends I adopted him from were in the middle of an argument which had included the sentence, "I will take all of them to the pound." The person didn't, but getting D out of there helped relieve the stress. Though D wasn't the one expressing displeasure with everything by literally never using the litter box.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-21, 08:32 PM
I'm not completely clear what happened with your cockatiel (and that's fine), but it doesn't sound particularly like a money issue or a morals issue. It sounds like you didn't recognize a problem and how to treat it. But don't beat yourself up over it - I'm glad your bird is better. Stuff happens and we learn from it. And I don't think you need to make life decisions now on all future pet ownership.
Replacement feathers require a blood supply while growing and can break which results in bleeding.

PraedSt
2011-Dec-21, 09:24 PM
And birds can't clot such bleeding? That doesn't seem right. Surely birds would have died off if replacement feathers were such a weak point. :confused:

Solfe
2011-Dec-23, 12:50 PM
When I adopted two of my cats from the SPCA, I signed a piece of paper that said if they were ill or injured, I could bring them back for medical treatment. I don't think they meant "for free". I think the clause is there to prevent unforeseen accidents from sending a new pet owner into panic mode where they don't know who to call.

If it makes you feel any better, I got a hamster when I was teenager. I had him for about 10-11 years before he became very lethargic and sickly. I had to have him put to sleep as there was nothing the vet could do for him. The feel better part? It turns out that my family had taken my hamster to the vet for the exact same issue 8 years earlier and when they found out they didn't live that long, they replaced it without my knowledge. Apparently this replacement happened several times, mostly handled by my sister. This went on to the point of my sister enlisting the aid of at least one of my roommates to keep the gag going.

geonuc
2011-Dec-23, 02:12 PM
I don't think it's immoral to have a pet even if you cant afford veterinary care. There's lots of animals that would be dead if someone didn't adopt them.

Love them and do your best to care for them.

Perikles
2011-Dec-23, 02:30 PM
I don't think it's immoral to have a pet even if you cant afford veterinary care. There's lots of animals that would be dead if someone didn't adopt them. .Yes, but I think the issue here is that sometimes without veterinary care they could be sufferering with a painful illness, so what do you do then?

geonuc
2011-Dec-24, 10:35 AM
Yes, but I think the issue here is that sometimes without veterinary care they could be sufferering with a painful illness, so what do you do then?

I didn't read anything in the OP about painful illness. I read about a bird that almost died from blood loss.

Perikles
2011-Dec-24, 10:51 AM
I didn't read anything in the OP about painful illness. I read about a bird that almost died from blood loss. That was the specific issue, but there was also a general question:


Is it morally right to adopt an animal if you can't provide it (ie. afford) with everything it needs to be happy and or healthy?

Jens
2011-Dec-24, 11:39 AM
The pain of attachment is too much to bare (such is my life).

Feel free to bare it; we are here to listen. But I think you may have meant bear.

geonuc
2011-Dec-24, 12:56 PM
That was the specific issue, but there was also a general question:And that's the question I responded to. My opinion stands: I don't see a moral issue as long as you do your best for your pet.

geonuc
2011-Dec-24, 01:00 PM
And that's the question I responded to. My opinion stands: I don't see a moral issue as long as you do your best for your pet. Mind you, I don't think it's OK to have a 'special needs' pet if you're obviously unable to provide those needs, but I don't think that's what we're discussing with the bird, or a cat or a dog.

Chuck
2011-Dec-24, 01:54 PM
A stray cat that's adopted by someone who can't afford veterinary care would still be better off than if it were left in the street. At least it would get regular feeding and clean drinking water.

TJMac
2011-Dec-24, 02:37 PM
I think we need a definition of 'proper' vet care. I will take a pet to the vet for obvious problems, but I would not spend the kind of money I would spend to take care of my child. Some people would, and that is their choice, of course.

I grew up on a ranch/farm, and the general rule was take care of animals before yourself. This means only up to a point, of course.(It makes no sense to risk human life to save an animal) Animals were always fed before we ate breakfast, except for the cattle, which were fed immediately after due to it being a much larger job. Dollars always make a difference. A cow would be treated if she was still a producing animal. If not, it made no sense to do so. We constantly had a passel of outdoor cats, they were always fed, and generally looked after, but I only remember once having one taken to the vet.

An animal wasn't allowed to suffer either. Dad taught us that responsibility as well. Putting an animal down wasn't done casually, but it was done when necessary.

There are people who are wantonly uncaring toward the pets they own. That is wrong. We care for the ones we have to the best of our abilities. If we aren't putting our pets at harm because of our total lack of resources to feed and house them, then my personal thought is that it's ok to have pets, and enjoy their company.

TJ

Gillianren
2011-Dec-24, 07:58 PM
There's a homeless guy in town who has cats and several who have dogs, and that's a place I'm willing to draw a line. First off, the cat guy is really mean, so I often wonder if he's even being nice to the kitties or just using them to get people to give him more money. Second, these are not animals which are better off than their feral cousins, or anyway not reliably. They're still cold and hungry a lot of the time, and they probably do a lot more walking.

Nick Theodorakis
2011-Dec-24, 11:52 PM
Usually styptic powder is recommended for controlling bleeding in birds, and it's not expensive so you should have some on hand. This site (http://www.cockatiel.org/articles/firstaid.html) says you should remove broken blood feathers.

Nick

Usher
2011-Dec-25, 02:31 AM
Caring for an animal that is in need is moral in and of itself, even if one does not do it perfectly or spend their last dollar doing so. All of the animals I've ever "owned" have been rescuees, which has meant that they've each come with the baggage of past abuse or neglect. There is no way to be a perfect caregiver in such situations, but my family does its best, and receives much love in return. It is certainly painful to lose these guys; they are practically our children, but the anguish is worth it.