A dog is generally a social being with lots of loyalty and affection to spare for those it gets attached to and shows it respect. That only makes it even more sad when the bond of trust between the dog and its family, the humans, is broken. A dog is happiest when it belongs to a pack in whatever role it might fit into. In the case of a pet, the humans are the pack and one of those humans is the leader of the pack in the eyes of dog. As a consequence taking on a dog as part of the family is a responsibility, not unlike having a child.
The responsibility is yours to look after the well-being of your dog, keep it happy and healthy, and in return it will go out of its way to please you, adore you and show its uncompromising love.
This means that suddenly abandoning your responsibility and cutting off the dog from its beloved family is a clearcut act of cruelty. You may have a million more or less valid reasons for wanting to rid yourself of your dog, but the dog has now chance of understanding them. To the dog, being abandoned by its family or pack is the most heartbreaking and devastating blow it can possibly experience. Whichever way you abandon your dog is an act of cruelty to it, but some are less cruel than others. If you find the dog a new permanent loving home when having to part with it, it will get over the loss eventually
… it may seem like a lot of hassle to search for a new family for the dog, but it is after all a responsibility you chose to take on.
…and to those who do the opposite, escape all responsibilities and ignore the welfare of the dog: You are committing a malicious crime! If not in the eyes of the law, then at least through my lenses. Even in a small Spanish town like Jávea there are numerous examples of such violations of the most basic needs of the dog:
- Dogs found alone and confused in the streets after being abandoned
- Dogs chained to the rubbish bins … like the rest of the trash the family couldn’t be bothered to take with them
- Boxes of puppies randomly dropped off somewhere in town
- Dogs thrown over the fence to dog kennels
- Dogs found, sometimes still alive, locked in villas vacated without notice
The list sadly continues with every line depicting another disgusting crime against an animal that was up until then a loving member of the family. And these are not cruel acts committed by uneducated third world people who simply doesn’t know better. A vast number of the abandoned dogs stem from expats going back to England, Germany or where ever they may be headed and simply not bothering to make arrangements for their dog to come along or find a new home in Spain.
Imagine the guy who locked the dog in a villa. In 40degrees with no water or food and without giving notice to anyone. The dog only to be found weeks later when the rental agent comes round to check why no rent is being paid and emails not being answered. That guy is now sitting in his local pub in Bournemouth or Bristol telling people how he was heartbroken he couldn’t bring the dog with him and he hopes it found a new home. Well it didn’t! It died a horrible death of starvation or thirst whilst in despair about its beloved pack having gone missing.
The dog that was found chained to the rubbish bins. A week earlier it was having the time of its life playing in the garden or round the pool of the big villa in the expat urbanization with the family kids. The kids are still playing in the garden with a dog, only in another country and with a new dog the parents kindly gave them as the kids were sad about the old one not being able to come. Why wasn’t it? Because it was just too much hassle to go to the veterinarian and get a passport? Too expensive to book it on a flight to England? Whatever the reason, the responsible adults chose the most vile and horrid solution of all. They took the dog out with the trash and left it there to die.
Do I need to continue?
The examples are scarily easy to find, disgustingly common and those capable and willing to commit these crimes are not sent away to a prison cell, in fact, they rarely even have to be confronted with their sickening acts of malice towards a living soul who loved them and depended on them.
Break the chain dear leader of the pack. Assume the responsibility that is yours!
PS: All the examples above are real and sadly from Javea. I hope none of you reading this will ever add yourself to the list – but further it would be nice if you could in some way support the efforts of those fighting tooth and nails to help these abandoned dogs, get them back to health and happiness, find them new loving homes … please head over to APASA Javea and give them whatever support you can!