A Word On Owning Animals

We all have our reasons for obtaining, buying, adopting, or rescuing animals. Some of which are not with any regard for the animals themselves. I have my own selfish reasons for taking animals into my home. Of course, I also accept them into my home as a part of the family. Even our horses are part of our family. The only reason why they spend their time outdoors is because I don’t have enough room in the house for them, nor do I have a good enough steam cleaner and air freshener. I see many people who have a dog who spend their entire life outside (many of which spend that time in a small run, barely enough room to roll), which doesn’t seem like much of a life at all. If you have an expensive knick-knack, would you keep it in a closet? Most people would not. You spend a lot of money to keep your dog alive in the backyard by itself. Why not enjoy it, show it off, or at least let someone else enjoy it.

These animals that stay in the backyard with very little interaction with other mammals, such as us, tend to become very aggressive. Dogs are pack animals. Dogs want to be with their people too, or otherwise known as their pack, or family. If isolated, they simply become a bit disgruntled in my opinion. If you were confined to a small area by yourself with no other human contact, you would certainly be in a bad mood all the time too. All mammals are alike in many ways. Emotionally, we look for and thrive on attention. When we don’t get it, we lash out in ways to obtain it, whether or not we are trying to.

Backyard breeding of domestic animals is also a concern. This is often done with negligence and a total disregard for the well being of the animals and public health. People who do this know absolutely nothing about genetics and the principles of breeding. Some people think its cute that their pets are mounting each other in the back yard. Others think it’s a great business idea to keep their pets intact so that they can breed and sell their cute little puppies on the street corner, only to wind up at the local animal shelter awaiting death by Beuthanasia (drug used to put them to sleep) after three to seven days after check-in. We ask those people that allow their pets to breed, to go to the pound and look at all those animals on death row in the eye and then breed your animals because you think they’re cute. Then, when you breed your animals, think about how those few puppies that go into homes are taking away the homes of those animals in the pound that are dying in a lonely, sterile, and noisy room.

Various animal adoption and/or rescue organizations have very good intentions, in terms of finding a “forever home” for animals, but some fail to take into account an “appropriate home.” Of course, many do have strict rules and guidelines to ensure that the animal is placed in a good home. In some cases, they seem to find very exclusive homes, and are very difficult to be “approved” to adopt the animal.

Bottom line: don’t take an animal into your family if you don’t plan on letting that animal be a part of your family.

Pets now fly first class

Flying a pet has always been stressful for the owners and especially the pet. There has always been two options, check them as luggage, or drive. But, the days of watching your cold and scared dog or cat being loaded in to the cargo hold of a plane are gone. Now pet owners have a safer way for their pets of all sizes to travel by air. It is a new airline exclusively for pets called Pet Airways. The only humans that are allowed on board is the flight crew.

I can’t imagine being put into this loud, cold, dark space in the plane for hours. I would say that is borderline cruelty. The animals that travel by air are treated like a piece of luggage. We have all seen what happens to your bag. Your dog or cat has the same chance of getting lost as any other baggage. The death of your baggage isn’t an issue, but the death of your pet IS. Did you know that over 100 pets died during traditional air transit as cargo in 2005?

Another great thing about Pet Airways is that the Pet Attendants are trained specifically to care for your pet in flight. When you check your pet in as luggage on even the best of airlines, you get baggage handlers that may know little or nothing about caring for animals.

Here is what happens when you fly your pet on Pet Airways:

  1. Drop your pet off at the Pet Lounge
  2. Check in your pet no less than 2 hours before departure. You can check in as far out as 72 hours before departure. Your pet will be boarded at the PAWS Lodge until the flight.

  3. Potty breaks
  4. When you fly your pet traditionally, they often must hold themselves for a very long time. A potty break is given to your pet within 2 hours of departure and the time since the last potty break is monitored. The trained Pet Attendants will be sure to give regular potty breaks along the way.

  5. Pets board the plane
  6. The trained Pet Attendants make sure that they are comfortable and their carriers are secure in the fresh air cooled cabin. You don’t have to provide your own carrier, that is included for free. After takeoff, you can even monitor your pet’s flight.

  7. A trained Pet Attendant monitors your pet during flight
  8. Your pet is checked every 15 minutes during the flight. After landing, all pets are given a potty break and moved into the Pet Lounge for pickup.

  9. Pick up your pet at the Pet Lounge
  10. Now that your pet has traveled safely and comfortablely, it is time for pickup. If you can’t pick up your pet right away, it’s OK, your pet will be boarded overnight at the PAWS Lodge.

I have to say that this is a huge leap for us as pet owners. We now have the freedom to travel without stress and worry about what our pets are going through. Finally, a company that understands how important the comfort of our pets are to us.

The airline’s first departure will happen on July 14, 2009 and serve New York, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Denver. They will add service to other cities as they grow. The introductory price will be $149 one-way. The price will increase to $249 at some point. I will definitely fly my pets on Pet Airways the next time I travel with them.