Letter from the Mint editor: Pets are not disposable

Students must incorporate adopted pets into their future plans, be ready for responsibility

GABRIELLA RAMOS, Evergreen mint editor

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Life has taught me that humans are (generally) completely selfish beings.

While it is messed up when someone’s selfish actions affect other people in their life, this is nowhere near how messed up it is when a human’s selfish actions affect their pets.

Since working at the Evergreen, I’ve read stories citing sources from the humane society stating that students will adopt animals and just let them free at the end of the semester if they can’t take them wherever they go next. I’ve read stories about cats being abandoned in apartments and left for the landlords to find.

When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to an animal for as long as it lives. Once you give an animal a home, this is where they find comfort and belonging, just like humans.

It is not an option for you to leave a helpless pet behind without finding them a sufficient home. It is not an option to find housing that is not pet friendly just because it is more convenient for you. It is not an option to send your dogs to the pound because your downsizing plan doesn’t include them.

I get it, shit happens. But you knew what you signed up for when you adopted a puppy: 10 to 15 years of unconditional love and support, cleaning up poop and going on walks.

Animals can certainly serve as a form of stress-relief and a companion to join you through the trials and tribulations that life will inevitably present, but this does not mean that their companionship is disposable.

Do not adopt a dog if you’re not ready to walk it twice daily and clean up it’s s— in your yard. Don’t adopt a cat if you’re not prepared to sweep up clumps of hair twice a week and clean their litter box. Don’t adopt a rabbit if you’re not going to clean its cage. Don’t adopt a lizard if you’re afraid of live bugs. Don’t adopt a pet if you’re not stable enough to provide it with a fulfilling life.

This is irresponsible and infuriating, but most importantly, this is selfish.

When you adopt an animal, you choose the quality of life they are going to live. No matter what you throw at them, animals will love you unconditionally, so treat them with some respect. They are completely powerless to the situations you put them in, so make sure you’re accommodating them in your future plans.