Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I've been hesitating whether to post this or not, but I will and maybe take it down later once I ramble on a bit and get this off of my chest...

I'm just so discouraged lately by the cavalier way in which so many people treat their animals. I understand that circumstances change and emergencies arrive, but so much of what I'm seeing seems to be a result of poor planning, impulse purchasing, and priorities.

In the past two weeks, I've had the following animals offered to me: 4 birds, 2 rabbits, and 2 ferrets. And that's just the past two weeks! It lays on my conscience that I had to say no to these animals, but I have to be aware of my limits and the effect that taking in more animals has on the ones currently in my home.

Also, how difficult is it to provide a lifetime home for a ferret? Their average lifespan is about 5 years. Over the past decade, my parents have taken in over 5 unwanted ferrets and have turned down many more. Why don't people research before they get a pet? Why do pet stores sell to anyone with the money? Often while providing bad information?

I have several friends who run rescue operations, and almost all of them have been inundated recently with surrenders. Several are very possibly close to their breaking point.

I guess I'm just getting worn out thinking about all of these homeless animals and feeling helpless to do much to ease their suffering. Blech.


Beloved Parrot said...

It can really wear you out fast, so you have to take excellent care of yourself -- including knowing how to say No.

We live in a world of instant gratification, you know. With a disposable mentality. Bored? Throw it out. Messy? Get rid of it? Inconvenient? Give it away.

Plus so many of us are taught that animals are "just animals" and don't/can't see how splendid and intelligent they are.

I get "offers" of "free" parrots, too. And I hate, hate, hate having to say no, but I know that another bird would steal time, money, and attention from the four birds I have now -- and that isn't fair to them.

But remember -- there are more and more people out there like you who do see the value in animals and do respect them and take their care seriously.

You're not alone.

Mary said...

Thanks for the comment. I should have said something about the people who most likely will read this are the people who already understand. I know there are some of us out there -- I just wish there were more.

I no longer allow myself on the craigslist pets section because it affected my mood for the rest of the day.

I've just been kind of down lately, so I need to snap out of it!

Thanks again for the reassuring words!

Beloved Parrot said...

You're allowed to feel down, but then just look at your parrots and they'll cheer you up right away!

Mary Hughes Studio said...

I've typed 3 responses to this post and none of them are any help!! So, I'll just say... sorry you're feeing discouraged and hope you'll feel better soon! :)

Shannon Ryan said...

Hi Mary, I had a similar experience today with someone who told me a tale of extreme neglect of her cockatiels when she was in the hospital, and now she wants to get a lovebird - and she works for my vet! I tried every which way to tell her what lovebirds are like, what they require, etc, etc, but people don't listen when they don't want to or don't relate to your understanding of the matter.

I think Beloved Parrot said the magic word: respect. How can we expect people to respect and value and cherish an animal's intelligence (I think many times greater and wiser than ours), when they don't respect themselves or each other? Everything becomes commodities.

I often wonder what the world would be like if it were run by parrots instead of humans! It would be a lot more fun, that's for sure.

Well, hang in there. I had to really shake the bad scenes out of my head this morning and move on. And be grateful for folks like you who do understand. Thanks for being there!

DweezelJazz said...

Hi Mary,

I do understand you saying you don't want to post discouragement - I try not to either - hence one reason for my very few posts and comments lately. My discouragement is centred around not being able (yet) to provide an adequate air quality in my home environment for one of these special beings in spite of 5 huge air filters (one of which should do the room size we have) and taking Jazzy out for 3-5 hour walks in the mountains almost every day.

I had no idea the toxic levels in our living space could get this bad from outside sources. Jazzy checks out as healthy, but as pulling feathers in very localised places from chemical irritation.

Without your blog I really would be a lot worse off. To hear your discouragement actually helps me by giving me courage that someone speaks up about the welfare of these precious beings. The more we speak up, maybe we'll strike a chord in those who haven't thought about and considered these things yet. Thank you so very much for all that you do, and it's an amazing amount.

Mary said...

Thanks for all of the support you guys. I will snap out of it, and it does get better when I can go home and spend time with my birds.

I'll try for happier posts for a while!

Sonja said...

I have heard about shelters receiving many more animals lately. A woman in our Broto club just adopted a Canary-wing brotogeris from a shelter (what a find!!) and the shelter supervisor said that a lot of these animals are pets being surrendered by loving families who just can't afford to care for them because of the downturn in the economy.

Have you found that to be true?

Mary said...


So far that hasn't really been the case here. We've had quite a few birds surrendered to us that had just been left in apartments after tenants had been evicted, but I doubt they were in a loving environment if the owner just left them and didn't bother to get them to a shelter.

In our area, the housing bubble never got as big as in other areas of the country, but if the economy keeps going down, we probably will see more and more birds that people can't afford.

For the most part, birds are surrendered because people get tired of them, they're too loud, too messy, are having a baby and no longer want the bird, or a new boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't like them.

You're right -- pretty rare to find a broto in a shelter!