Some might say Turkey is overrun with stray dogs and cats. These strays and their good treatment by mosques and business owners have become a part of Istanbul culture. Unfortunately, poor treatment of these animals has also been a part of the culture, with insufficient penalties in place.
Now, legal measures are being proposed to increase the penalty for animal cruelty from paltry fines, to serious jail time. According to TRT World, the proposed law demonstrates rather advanced sensibilities such as the following:
- Hurting, harming or causing pain to animals in the production of movies, commercials and other media is banned.
- Establishing animal circuses, water circuses or dolphin parks is banned.
- Municipalities with a population over 100,000 are required to establish animal care centres.
- Forcing animals to do actions that exceed their power are punished with sentences ranging from four months to four years.
In addition to the above, there is wording to cover neglect of psychological as well as physical care. Prospective pet owners in highly developed nations like the US, stand to benefit from the wisdom of such laws. There is a fine line between pet ownership and pet abuse: Here is what you should know to stay on the right side of that line:
You Are Your Pet’s Health Plan
Your dog’s health is your responsibility for the entirety of their lives. It can be expensive. But as with humans, the bulk of that expense happens in the latter years. There are puppy shots and routine maintenance after that. During their robust years, you mostly just have to feed the dog to keep it healthy and happy.
But as the dog ages, its natural health issues come to the fore. This Canna-Pet’s guide on dog health issues will give you some idea of which breeds are likely to suffer from specific problems. If you can’t afford to get those problems treated when the time comes, you should consider a different pet.
Compounding natural health issues is the fact that dogs age differently. Some dogs are extremely vibrant well into their teens. While other dogs are ancient by age six. It all comes down to knowing the breed you are interested in, and counting the health care costs before bringing a dog into your life.
Abandonment is Abuse
What do you do when you realize you can’t afford to take care of your children? Abandoning them on the street is not a legal or socially acceptable option. We have almost romanticized the notion of leaving a baby in a basket at the door of a wealthy family. But that is child abandonment, and punishable by prison. Abandonment is abuse.
In some ways, pets have it even worse. They don’t typically get placed in baskets and left at the door of responsible pet owners. They just get turned out into the streets with no prospects for food water, and other necessities of life.
A child left in this way, if lucky, might become a gang member and a detriment to society. A dog, particularly a big one, has even less chance of carving out a life. It will be hunted, caged, and exterminated like a pesky insect. Responsible pet ownership is a commitment that stands long after convenience falls.
Happily Ever After
It is not enough to care for the physical well-being of a pet. You are also responsible for their emotional well-being. It is unfair to take a dog bred for cold weather, and force them to live in a hot weather climate. A dog that thrives on running and playing for long stretches should not be kept in a small apartment where there are few opportunities to get out and run free.
No one sets out to be a bad pet owner, let alone, an abusive one. But many fail to consider the long-term health care of the animal. And they almost never consider what they would do if they were no longer able to take care of the dog.
We forget that animals have a full emotional life. Remembering the old adage will help you stay on the right side of the line: Animals are people, too.