OK enough with the psychology lessons....the problem is much simpler than that: How to get people to open their minds and perhaps more importantly their hearts?
Some people respond to hard numbers and facts. So here goes....For every human born there are 13 dogs and 65 cats. That means for every pet to have a home EACH person would have to have 13 dogs and 65 cats. Not just every household or family but every individual. One pair of cats and their offspring can create up to 420,000 kittens in just 7 years. Millions of adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized every year in this country alone, while puppy mills and stores make millions of dollars make MORE dogs.
Some people learn through fear: Neutering your male dog will save him from testicular/prostate cancer later in life. A spayed female cannot get ovarian cancer. (Did I mention that cancer is the number ONE killer of dogs?) Spaying and neutering cuts down on aggression. Neutered males seldom mark their territories and spayed females wont bleed all over your rug.
Then there are the folks out there who respond to passion. I see good dogs die every day. Dogs who've never done anything wrong in their lives, dogs that some one at one time had promised to take care of, dogs with love, fear and uncertainty in their eyes. Dogs that willingly walk back to the euthanasia room, happy to be out of their kennel, not knowing these are their final moments on earth. How anyone could justify purchasing a dog, or breeding a dog when these wonderful companions are killed every day, is just beyond me. It just doesn't fit in any of my boxes or in my heart.
Perhaps I am too passionate about my work, and maybe I overwhelm people with my fervor.
Or it may be that people build a wall of guilt, telling themselves that the one litter they let their cat have really didn't take the homes of 7 shelter pets, who were then put to death when their time was up.
Whatever it is, guilt, indifference or plain old stubbornness...it seems one simply cannot teach compassion.
Diane AKA The Dog Diva