Monday, January 24, 2011

Q&A Rant

What is it with some people and their pets? Or maybe what is it with some people and their common sense? I volunteer for an online Q&A service and on a regular basis I get questions like "Hi, my gerbil is bleeding from his behind, he can't walk and he's squeaking with pain. What do I do?". I'm not exaggerating.

Why is it that people can't come up with the simple solution of seeing a vet with an animal that's clearly sick and even in pain? I can understand not recognising some symptoms of illness, although if people had done their research before actually getting a pet, that wouldn't be a problem either. But a bleeding animal that is too weak to walk?

I'm also annoyed by the apparent assumption that I not only should be able to diagnose their pet over the internet, but that I also should be able to heal it, presumably by laying my hand on the computer screen and sending good vibrations or something. Yeah, so finding and seeing a competent vet takes time and effort and it will cost you. But this is a living being we're talking about here and you can't tell me that you didn't at least know that, even if you were ignorant about all the other things you should have known about your pet.


  1. This goes to the heart of the matter. An animal taken into the home should become a family member or at least a guest, not an ornament or toy, and it's very sad for the animal that it might not always be so.

  2. I always try to stay friendly for the sake of the animal, especially when I have the chance to actually get my hands on an animal that has been abused - it's amazing: people can't be bothered to clean the cage or change food and water, but they just won't give the animal away.
    I don't always manage. Animal rescue is guaranteed to break your heart every now and then and it won't improve your overall opinion of humanity. But it's still worth it.

  3. I've no first-hand experience, but I have heard through an acquaintance in rescue far too many sad and angering stories. It the rescuers that reaffirm faith in people.

  4. I can make a difference, at least for the animals I get to new homes. I've also met a lot of amazing people and it really makes my day when people actually listen and then go and get their lone mouse/rat/budgie a companion or build a bigger cage or do something else to make their pet happy, even if it is expensive or maybe inconvenient.

  5. For a lot of people a pet is an object. Sure, it moves around and poops, but it is pretty much just an object to them. Other folks have the same sort of attitude that some farmers I grew up around had towards animals--it's just an animal--meaning it doesn't have value the way that other things do. I've always found that weird, but all too prevalent, not in terms of what people admit, but in how they act. Your example up above is a clear example of that very mindset in operation.