Be a mindful pet owner

You do love your pet... So do I!

Learn how to become a responsible pet owner so that your love for one animal doesn’t come at the cost of wild animals...


puppy-dog

Who can resist the cuteness of a little puppy dog? Not me!

Pets are good for you. They bring beauty and love in your life. I strongly believe everyone should have a pet (I have four!). It has been scientifically proven that pets make you healthier, decrease recovery time in hospitalised patients, pets are even known to decrease recidivism in criminals! Society would be much better if everyone lived with a pet: someone that loved them no matter what and never judged them.

So this page is not about banning pets, but about how to be a responsible pet owner. Because our beloved pet can be wildlife killer – not because they are naughty but because they can still have strong predator instincts.

Keep an eye on your pet

Keep your dog locked in your garden, or even better lock inside a restricted area of your garden.

When you walk your dog, keep him/her on leash except in authorised areas. Otherwise your dog might run straight into some birds for instance, and disturb or even injure them.

border-collie-Maya

Keep your cat inside as much as you can – and when it is out keep an eye on him/her and restrain his/her movements to your fenced garden. Pet cats have been held responsible by the American Bird Conservancy for the death of around half to one billion of birds a year in the US, plus more than a billion of small mammals, including rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks.

Personally, I wouldn’t want my cat left outdoors out of my sight anyway: the dangers are too numerous, she could get hit by cars; attacked by dogs, fight with other cats, get lost, stolen, or poisoned, or suffer from bad weather.

Outdoor cats actually lead considerably shorter lives on average than cats kept exclusively indoors. My cat does go out for a sun bath almost every day but never out of sight and even less out of my fenced garden.

house-cat-Smokey

Don’t let your pet multiply

Sterilise your pet. I know kittens or puppy dogs are just about the cutest things you can set your eyes on. However, there are enough beautiful and desperate animals ready to be adopted in shelters.

What would you do with the growing kittens or puppies that no one had adopted? What if some little cat born in your back yard become half wild an wonder out in the wild? Become feral? Has more feral kittens? This would have dramatic consequences.

Don’t release your pet “into the wild”

Never ever release a pet in the wild. At the time, some pet owners might think this is the kind think to do to a pet no longer wanted – a cat, a turtle, a fish...

This is in fact not kind to the animal who will be frighten in an unknown world (especially if it doesn’t know how to fend for himself) and even less kind to the environment.

These animals are rarely native from your area and may become invasive, compete with local wildlife and kick them out of home and steal their food. Florida turtles are an ecological disaster in many parts of the world for instance.

And finally... Don’t buy wildlife!

Another “never ever” now, and such an important one: NEVER EVER buy a wild baby animal/beautiful exotic animal for a pet. Chances are, this adorable or majestic wild creature is coming from a trade that you do not want to support.

Wildlife illegal trade is booming as organised criminal groups discovered how much money is in trafficking endangered species. Even if you think you are legally acquiring a captive bred animal, chances are it’s a wild animal with false documents.

Capturing a baby animal often requires to kill the mum or the entire family first. This is not only a horrible thing for the individual animal, it is also putting entire species at risk. The pet trade is indeed a direct threat to many endangered animals.


Remember, having a pet is a great privilege...

but also a responsibility!

Pet owners have to be aware of these conservation tips that will help their family to live in harmony with wild animals.