Sat March 2, 2013
Safe At Home
Keeping an animal as a pet brings with it certain responsibilities. One of those is to make sure your furry family member is safe and protected.
I noticed a letter to the editor in my local newspaper recently, probably because it was about pets. The writer was actually responding to a letter published previously. That writer was suggesting that the city should put up “animal crossing” signs near neighborhoods to warn motorists to be cautious, because a number of pets had been killed by cars. The first writer also thought the speed limit should be lowered, and that drivers were at fault by not paying attention.
The responding letter writer felt that the first letter had it all wrong. He was not unsympathetic about the plight of animals on a busy roadway. But in his opinion most of the responsibility lay squarely on the shoulders of the pet owners who either failed to keep their animals confined or simply chose not to do so.
Anyone whose pet has been killed in an encounter with a vehicle has suffered a heartbreaking loss. Still, I have to agree with the second letter writer. We live in a time when cars, trucks and motorcycles are the primary means of transportation for most people. No matter how long a pet has been allowed to run loose, it does not become savvy about the danger posed by vehicles. It may be just fine the first time, or the tenth time, or the hundredth time, but you may not realize you are putting your best friend’s life at risk every time. And unfortunately, all it takes is one fatal incident to learn a very painful lesson.
Generally, for their own safety dogs should not be allowed to run freely outside a fenced yard or confined area. It can be more challenging to keep a cat inside a fence, although there are fence systems made especially for our crafty feline friends. Most owners who want to keep their cats safe and protected keep them indoors.
Keeping your pet confined is not cruel. It’s really an act of love for your furry friend, and an indication that you are willing to be responsible for the health and well-being of your best friend. After all, what better peace of mind could you have than to know your faithful companion is safe, at home, with you, when you’re speaking of pets?