There are “Four Basic” requirements to keep in mind if you are considering adding a pet to your family. All animals will need to be provided proper FOOD, WATER, SHELTER, and VETERINARY CARE daily and throughout their lives. If for any reason you are not able to provide any and all of these then you should not have an animal as a pet. It is important to remember that there are laws in California and ordinances in many cities and counties that clearly state a person cannot intentionally or unintentionally deprive any animal of these four basic requirements.
Humane Officers at The Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley respond to complaints relating to lack of food, water, shelter, and veterinary care far too often. Some times educating the owners is sufficient, but there are times when an animal has to be taken into protective custody due to the owner’s negligence or unwillingness to provide the four basic needs. When this happens owners can face cruelty or neglect charges against them as well as being held responsible for any medical bills and impound fees resulting in the care provided to the animals they have neglected.
It is a huge responsibility to accept an animal as a family member. It would be nice if all animals had good, loving homes but this is simply not the case. Just about any animal shelter is filled with great animals that are the product of human irresponsibility and failure to provide the basic humane care. There are many reasons people give for the failure to properly care for their pets… the economy is bad, the owner has lost his/her job or house, they don’t have time for the pet, or they may simply have gotten in over their heads in the proper caring of a pet. Whatever the reasons, it is never acceptable to deny an animal any of the four basic requirements.
The questions you must ask yourself is; are you responsible enough and prepared (financially and emotionally) to make a long term commitment to the owning, loving, and caring for a pet? If you cannot answer yes, then the kindest most humane thing you can do is to not have a pet.