British Are Not True Animal Lovers
Sadly, the prolonged squeeze on family finances due to the economic recession suffered by the UK, Europe and America has exposed Brits for what they truly are in their relationship with companion animals: the same as anyone else. It is time to face up to reality and discard the old ideas that the British have a special relationship with animals. We have been found out.
If the Brits really were a nation of animal lovers they would find a way of not abandoning their pets when times got a little harder. There are ways. Companion animals should not be one of the first “items” to be discarded or reduced. What about not buying a iPad? Nowadays in Britain kids expect iPads for Christmas. In my day we had a Christmas stocking with oranges in it :). Let’s trim some of the fat off the budget and leave the cat alone.
I accept that there are many genuine cases where an animal has to be given up but…standards are not high enough for me in modern Britain. That said Britain has changed beyond recognition over the past 40 years. Have things changed from the old days? Not sure to be honest.
Although, in truth, I cannot accept that the British were ever better in their treatment of companion animals than any other nation in Europe. For example we extinguished many wild life species in Britain through hunting hundreds of years ago in many cases. The Scottish wildcat once lived in England until it was hunted to extinction south of the Scottish border by the idle rich. This does not indicate an animal loving nation.
Below are recently published statistics from the RSPCA that indicate our relationship with pets. The cost of keeping a cat is also listed. Britain is an expensive country. Americans will pay considerable less to keep a cat over his lifetime than the British. The British do not earn more than the Americans so keeping a cat represents a greater percentage of expenditure in the UK than in the USA.
|Animals Abandoned||UP 100% from 5 years ago||40,595 animals abandoned 2011|
|Rehoming success for dogs||DOWN by 24% from 3 years ago (2009)||2011: 12,711|
|Rehoming success for cats||DOWN by 17% from 3 years ago||2011: 29,880|
|Average time for cat to stay at RSPCA shelter||UP by 7.3%||2012: 59 days|
2011: 55 days
|Aninal cruelty convictions||UP by 23.5%|
|Cost of keeping cat at shelter||UP by 7.3%||2012: £554.60|
Total cost of looking after a cat in the UK to age of 14 years – at 2012
|Item||Cost £ (GBP)|
|Food – wet||3,066|
|Food – dry||583|
|Vet – for sickness||700|
|Vet – routine (vaccinations etc.)||600|
The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) are asking for donations under the current circumstances that it describes as an “Animal Welfare Crisis”.
They say they are dealing with 65% more abandonments and 24% more animal cruelty convictions this year (the RSPCA deal with animal abuse cases). As it costs more to care for animals while they are being rehomed the financial burdens have significantly increased. Until now they have not turned away abandoned animals. But they say the foresee having to stop taking animals in unless they can receive more support. They are particularly concerned about horses being neglected. There is a real increase in this form of animal abuse. How can the British be called animal lovers?
It is not a good situation. I am disappointed that the Brits have let down their animal companions. This is a moment when a true regard or love of companion animals is being tested. It appears that the Brits are failing the examination.
If anyone wants to give to the RSPCA this is the link.
Note: as a final afterthought. The RSPCA is a charity but highly commercial. Are they using this genuine problem to raise funds when they have funding already? I don’t know.
Those stats are really sad. 🙁 I love my dog, she is like a family member, I couldn’t imagine abandoning her. She is there for me 100% of the time and brightens my day.
Michael, we got oranges in our stockings at Christmas too!
I worked in Stoughton again (out in the country) and the rehab aide out there told me she now has thirteen horses. Three of them were given to her. She said at this point people will just give you a horse because they can’t afford the cost of feed. She told me how they bale their own hay, but the crop wasn’t that good this year so she’s had to buy hay also.
There’s quite a lot more Jeff and I could and should cut from our budget, in order to get the credit cards paid off. But as far as taking care of Monty, there’s not even a question that he will get all he needs even if it would mean the credit card balance goes up instead of down.
In some ways it’s not good that so many people are having to cut back on spending. My sister and I spent a day shopping in Cedarburg last week. We each had fifty dollars in cash to spend, including paying for lunch. We spent most of our time in this huge old converted woolen mill which is filled with shops. The merchants seemed so happy with every sale. One commented that if she can just make her rent she is happy. In the afternoon the proprietor of one shop saw us still there, loaded down with packages and she was delighted to see us still there and even commented on how much we had bought. I noticed that though there were other shoppers there and the restaurant had a good crowd at lunch, we were the only people with packages. No one else walking around had any shopping bags. People are going out but they just window shop or buy a card or candy bar or some little trinket. I didn’t think we really broke the bank with our little spree. Cedarburg is in a very affluent area. Normally our sales would be hardly noticed– we purchased no big ticket items– but we ended the day feeling like we gave the local economy a little boost. Things are really, really bad. Not that that is any excuse for people to abandon their pets. But I never experienced anything like that little shopping spree where every shop keeper was so grateful for each sale. Honestly, it used to be embarrassing to shop out in the suburbs because everyone else would be spending a fortune on clothes I could never afford and I’d be embarrassed to just be buying a few inexpensive items. Not anymore.
We don’t have a home phone. Only cheap prepaid cell service that includes internet for $50 a month. Wealso don’t have cable, satellite TV or home computer internet. I go to the coffee shop if there’s something I need to do online. Its free there. We drink only water now instead of soft drinks, tea or coffee. We don’t go out to eat or bring home take out. I carry lunch to work instead of stopping for food. I”ve just gotten a “new” 2004 car because I had to. I’m not sure there’s anything else Laura and I can cut out but it works for now.
I don’t believe that in 14 years it is possible to spend as little as 583 quid on dry and 3g’s on wet food. I do like the dry/wet proportion of that though 🙂 I never believed any nations people necessarily had a better attitude to animals although I do believe on an official and legal enforcement level some are better than others. So these figures represent the typical flow of things in all western countries I would assume. Except maybe Germany, the northern european countries and maybe Switzerland – where people are more financially stable. I agree with Ruth. If you can afford to buy Xmas presents then you can keep your cat for goodness sake. People are just heartless and never connect with or truly love their cats (I would say dog owners do love their dogs more than the average cat owner) thats why it seems so incredible to us that people could give them away if they cost a bit much and they still want an iPad.
I guess my cats would be the last thing on my list to give up on if I were desperate and could not keep them happy and healthy – not the first thing or even in the middle. It feels totally natural and normal to me that I feel this way. I wonder how a person lives with an animal because he/she wants to and yet the animal has the same importance to that person as some unecessary material accessories. I feel sorry for those animals if they are locked inside. If the person doesnt care at least give the cat freedom to go outside and feel fulfilled in a natural way so equally the cat can not care about the person if need be. The fact that cats cost so little to look after and yet they are being relinquished under the excuse of the financial crisis really does show just how unimportant they are on peoples lists of things that really matter to them which they must pay for. They would rather not give up one night out a month for the sake of their cat. I guess its not just things but also habits that people wont compromise. I remember one girl saying she couldnt take her cat to the vet – as she sat there drinking a beer in the pub one of the 3 or 4 nights of the week she does that. Sad really.
Having loved and shared my home with animals all my life and worked and volunteered with them all my adult life, I can say I do know some true animal lovers.
Sadly I have also known/do know some who merely possess their pets, some to whom pets aren’t part of the family and some downright neglectful and hiding it while pretending to love their pets.
It angers me if someone says they can’t afford to keep their pet any longer, I bet they can afford TV and clothes and outings and Christmas presents etc etc.
We ordinary folk are all suffering at present from the government in power now, going shopping is frightening, the way the prices keep on rising. But we’d NEVER stint on our cats needs and never give them up saying we couldn’t afford them. There are lots of ways to save money for important things and to me our pets are most important of all.
I’m in two minds about the RSPCA, they do come good sometimes and prosecute people for neglect or cruelty but I’ve heard numerous times that people can’t get through to the cruelty line, then sometimes even if they do, nothing happens. Maybe it’s lack of staff and resources, I don’t know.
Both our local animal shelters are overflowing, many pregnant cats abandoned when there is no excuse for not having them spayed, Cats Protection help in cases of financial difficulty.
I think the real problem is that to many people animals are not as important as humans, there is a very long way to go yet for the human race to learn that all living beings are of equal importance and should be treated so.
Wow, I am just stunned. I thought the image protrade on science/nature shows about that very subject were accurate. Shocking.
BTW: Got the wonderful painting today. It arrived in wonderful condition. I can’t wait to have it hung. We have a purrfect spot for it. Thanks so much! Dan
So pleased that it worked out Dan. Pleased you have something which you like. It sounds good.