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Who's Responsible? Essay

1474 words - 6 pages

There are many reasons why companion animals are a great asset to people and pet owners, most of these benefits are health related. People who own companion animals are more likely to exercise and have reduced blood pressure. Spending time with a companion animal also increases longevity after a heart attack and reduces stress for people with Alzheimer's. Patients in hospitals who spend time with companion animals are usually more social, cooperative and have pain relief (Willetts Health Benefits lecture). There are more reasons than those just listed to own a companion animal. However, in the United States there is one problem with these pets and companions. Companion animal overpopulation in the United States is a real problem and this includes domesticated cats, dogs and exotic animals. Millions of animals each year are abandoned and brought to shelters, and about half of those millions are eventually euthanized. It is important to note as P. Elizabeth Anderson does in her work, The Powerful Bond between People and Pets, that every animal purchased from a breeder is taking away a home for a pet from a shelter (pg. 187). Most shelters don't have the funds to take care of these animals for long term and not enough people are adopting these abandoned animals. There are several ways to combat the overpopulation of these abandoned companion animals. There is an ideal way and there are more practical ways. The ideal way would negate a lot of the freedoms in America in general and the freedom of enterprise in America as well. The more realistic strategies allow for people to still have the freedom to conduct their businesses if they want and the freedom for people to buy the pet they would want as well.
In an ideal world, ending excessive pet breeding, including more respectable ones would be ideal until the over population of abandoned pets dwindled drastically. People should stop breeding all together to catch up with the adoptable, homeless dogs in shelters. Just because people want a designer dog doesn't mean they should neglect the pets in shelters and pounds. As Anderson quotes Steven Spielberg in The Powerful Bond between People and Pets, "Just because we can doesn't mean we should" (pg. 185). Not only is the overpopulation of companion animals an ethical concern but it is an ecological and financial problem as well. It cost a lot of tax payers' money to capture or impound and eventually euthanize all these abandoned animals. So, there is too much of a surplus of dogs, cats and exotic animals to be adopted out at this rate. Ideally, we should stop the breeders and puppy mills, however, change doesn't happen overnight. This is also America, where you're supposed to be able to do just about anything within reason. If we stopped all breeding businesses at once, these business owners and those who support freedom of enterprise would start calling the government socialists and other ridiculous things. So, we have to come up with a plan that...

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