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Irresponsible People: Hit And Run

My dog Jordan was killed in a hit and run. He slipped his collar while my attention was diverted, and ran across the road after seeing another dog. He was killed instantly.

My Fault

Do I blame myself for what happened? Yes, I certainly do. Since 6.15pm on 14 July 2003 I’ve blamed myself every single day.

I blame myself for clipping the lead onto Jordan’s collar, instead of clipping it onto a harness or head halter. I blame myself for not being fully attentive during that walk, because I was trying to help a stray dog. I blame myself for choosing to walk in that direction and at that precise time.

Their Fault

But I also blame others.

I blame the woman I asked to help me with the stray dog. (If she’d been competent at holding a lead - is that so bloody hard? - maybe my attention wouldn’t have been quite so scattered, and maybe I could have caught Jordan after he'd slipped his collar.)

I blame the driver of the car. The driver wasn’t breaking any road rules, but they didn’t bother to stop. Well, that’s not strictly true: the driver stopped, but they took off again at great speed after they heard me scream.

I wish I had something constructive to say about this matter. Unfortunately I don't, but I wanted to share my thoughts anyway.

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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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