(QCOSTARICA) Costa Ricans are impulsive when purchasing the a dog, indicates a recent study that says 70% of owners do not think about the implications of having a dog, leading to negligence in care and even abandonment of the pet.
According to the figures of the study, 45.5% of the dogs reach Tico households as a gift, regardless of whether the person can take of the pet or able to do for then next 15 years; 22.9% of the dogs are claimed to have been purchased, and 20.7% are claimed to have been adopted or picked up from the street.
The figures are from World Animal Protection Costa Rica.
What alarms veterinarians is the impulsiveness, no matter how the dog is acquired. According to the report, almost half admitted to not have stopped to think what it meant to owning a dog and two of ten said they just briefly considered it.
“The vast majority of owners say they have spent little time or no time to talk with their family about the responsibilities of acquiring a dog,” said Melania Gamboa, manager of Veterinary World Animal Protection Programs, told La Nacion.
The study finds that five of ten Costa Rican households have one or two dogs as pets, some even more; 14% have a litter of puppies, of which 76% are given away, 22.6% are sold and 1.3% end up in an animal shelter.
“This, combined with little forethought owners have when purchasing a pet, increases the chances that the dog ends in the street,” says the study.
For Gamboa, when the person acts on a whim and does not consider what it means owning a dog, the animal ends up abandoned and when the puppy grows and reaches the stage of adolescence, because it becomes rebellious.
“People cannot handle them and then they leave them at a shelter or put them out in the street because they are no longer small and beautiful,” said Gamboa.
According to Gamboa, animal rescue organizations have helped reserve this situation, many of them carrying out an interview of potential owners, informing them of the responsibilities and care when adopting a pet.
Editor’s note: I have, over the years, rescued a number of dogs from the streets of San Jose and Santa Ana. A couple became to be long time pets, others a short time, with me until I found a willing owner that would care for them. One dog, who is still with me almost 7 years later, was adopted from animal rescue organization who insisted on my contact information and did in fact call one time, months later, to follow up. I currently have five dogs, the most recent 9 months old, adopted a couple of months ago from an owner who did not have space in his apartment after the dog started growing.