Post 303: Sochi Winter Olympics dog slaughter

I will not watch or support in any way the Winter Olympics because of the slaughter of the stray dogs of Sochi. Dogs are not the problem. It’s people who create these situations, and humane solutions, while difficult and expensive, perhaps, are needed, not bullets or poison.

As a responsible pet owner, as someone who earlier rescued two cats and who periodically makes donations of cat food to the local animal shelter, I can not watch these games without feeling I’m betraying my need to promote responsible care of pets.

America, for that matter, can do better with regards strays and pets, too.

Contribute time, money, food, whatever you can to local shelters and encourage them to become no-kill facilities if they aren’t already. If you want a cat or dog, adopt from the local pound instead buying one at the pet store. Shelter pets are in great need of love and a good home.

Learn as much as you can about the type of animal you adopt into your home before you adopt them because you are responsible for the quality of life of that pet until it dies. Even little details like knowing you need to have one litter box per cat plus one can make a big difference to the cat and to you in how well they adapt to life with you or other cats in the household. Knowing that a Jack Russell terrier is a high energy dog before you get one prepares you to spend lots of time with it playing doggy games and taking it on walks to wear off that energy. Know these sorts of details before you adopt!

Responsible pet ownership involves more than tying up your pet in the backyard and forgetting about it. They need your love and attention. They are social animals. They need food and water, shelter from the elements, grooming, current vaccinations for all diseases your veterinarian recommends vaccinations for. Always spay or neuter your pets, especially if they are outside animals.

Provide care appropriate for each stage of their lives. Kittens and puppies are a delight. They quickly grow into adults, however, and suffer many of the same illnesses and disabilities geriatric humans do when they reach the later years of life. Know what diseases and disabilities your pet is likely to suffer, especially pedigree animals that have more genetic issues than mixed breed animals, and prepare to deal with the needs brought on by those issues.

Sometimes they have severe medical needs because of disease or when injured by other animals, bad people, or they are in street accidents with trucks and cars. Those are more reasons to keep them inside or in a place where they can run free in the yard but be fenced in. Veterinarian bills can run into the hundreds and thousands of dollars. Don’t kid yourself about that possibility!

Sochi didn’t just happen. People in their ignorance and indifference to the needs and eventual suffering of their dogs failed to prevent the circumstances that lead to it, but the dogs pay the final price.