Students need to be responsible in considering getting a pet


One-hundred-sixty cats, 105 dogs and 35 birds, in addition to about 200 dead cats, dogs and birds. It would be hard to find someone who would argue that Barbara Munroe’s situation was anything but utterly shocking and downright deplorable.

What students should know though, is that taking in a pet only to abandon it months later when they decide they can’t handle it anymore is just as bad as anything Munroe did. No one adopts a pet with any intention other than loving it and caring for it, but it’s important to think about getting a pet from a more long-term point of view.

Students who adopt animals take on the tasks of not only caring for themselves, but for a family member who cannot provide for themselves.

At the end of every semester, multiple animals who were once loved pets are abandoned and left with the hope that they will stay alive. Instead of taking the animals back to permanent housing and hoping that family members will too grow fond of the little critter, they are left to fend for themselves.

It is interesting that some college students automatically think they would be good caretakers.

When most children ask for a pet, the parents respond with a reminder to do chores or other duties.

In college, there are no parents to point out the obvious lapses in responsibilities.

A student who cannot wake up in time to attend class, properly clean themselves or maintain gainful employment should not even consider a pet to be an option.

While most duties are self-explanatory, for example, feeding, grooming, cleaning – there are others that require a more emotional connection.

Positive attention, training and constant upkeep are required for an animal. If an owner does not have the time to do the simple basics of these duties for themselves let alone another creature, a dependent living being should not be an option.

Even though having a fluffy companion can seem like a good idea because you are providing shelter, it does not mean you are providing a home.

A home has the essentials: food, shelter and most importantly – care.

If you need a fluffy fix, there are other ways of enjoying a pet other than owning one.

Most shelters take on volunteers whose duties are to provide attention and care. Because the staff is limited with time, not every animal can experience the one-on-one interaction needed.

Instead of adopting an animal while in college, students can go to the shelters and offer care to many. In turn, the animal will most likely become more sociable and therefore will be more likely to be adopted by a capable family.

As a college student though, think about what a pet really is, what it requires and if you are ready to meet the true responsibility of pet ownership. Do not get a pet today if you are not going to be able to or want to take care of it tomorrow.