Stories about pets being abandoned are extremely common, and there are many reasons why people decide that they need to abandon an animal. While many of these stories tell a very similar tale, others are a little different, such as the Pit Bull that was abandoned with a note asking for help. I Heart Dogs tells the story of Annabell. She is a three-year-old Pit Bull that was abandoned in Connecticut. The poor dog was found tied to a tree in a park on July 26, 2019. The unusual part of this story is that the dog had a note attached to her collar. It began by saying it was to ‘Whoever loves dogs’ before saying that they could not afford her. It concluded with the simple plea of ‘please help’.
When it was reported that the dog had been abandoned, she was collected by animal control. They discovered that she did not have any tags or a microchip, which meant that it was impossible to identify who had been her owner. The dog was then taken to Norwalk Animal Shelter in Connecticut. The animal shelter decided to share Annabell’s story on its website and social media pages, and the story attracted a surprising amount of attention. Their post features three photographs; two of Annabell and one of the handwritten note that was found with her. The staff pleaded for more information about the dog by asking their followers to contact them. After spending a short time at Norwalk Animal Shelter, Annabel was transferred to the Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). The staff at this shelter soon got to know the dog and her personality traits. They said that the Pit Bull is often timid at first but becomes sweet and sociable once she gets to know people. They have said that Annabell loves playtime, going for long walks, and spending time outdoors.
During her time at PAWS, Annabell was spayed in preparation for finding her a new home. Fortunately, the shelter was able to find a forever home for her very quickly, and she was adopted by a couple on August 24th, just under a month after she had been abandoned. Now, Annabell is lucky enough to have found a loving couple to care for her and lover her. PAWS updated everyone about Annabell’s story on social media to let them know both the background to her story and to say that she now had a forever home. Their post opened up a conversation about abandoned dogs with views from both sides. While some people thought it was a good thing that her previous owner admitted they were unable to care for her, there were many comments that they should not have had a dog in the first instance if they could not afford the cost of keeping a dog.
In response to these comments, PAWS asked that people were not judgmental. Instead, they asked that people used the story as a starting point for thinking about the various obstacles to successful pet ownership, including the costs. Some of the issues that PAWS suggested people think about were the limitations of adoption due to stigmas attached to some breed, the lack of affordable veterinary care, lack of access to training, the lack of pet-friendly housing, overbreeding, and breed discrimination in housing. One of the biggest issues that pet owners face is the cost, and this is often surprising to a new pet owner. Also, people can often afford a pet when they first bring them into their family, but their financial circumstances may change unexpectedly, leading to the difficult decision to give their pet to another family who can afford to care for them properly.
Unless you have taken the time to add up the costs of having a dog, it is often a surprise to find out just how much keeping a dog costs. The first year is the most expensive, as you have the initial outlay of paying for all the things your dog needs. For example, you need to pay for a lead, collar, dog bed, pet insurance, initial visits to the vet and vaccinations, dog toys, food and drink bowls, and any other items your dog needs. According to the American Kennel Club, the average cost of having a dog for the first year is around $3085.
Of course, there are also the ongoing costs to consider that you will continue to pay for as long as you are a dog owner. These include food supplies, medical care, pet insurance, and dog accessories replacements. In addition to these, you may have occasional or one-off costs, such as boarding or training. A study conducted by student veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine looked at variations in cost according to the breed and size of the study. Brittany Scott and Kelly Giffear were the students leading this study, and they found that there were significant differences in the cost of keeping dogs according to breed and size.
Their findings showed that small dogs cost their owners an average of £2674 per year, while medium dogs cost $2889 annually. Those with large dogs can expect their annual expenditure to reach $3239, while giant dogs are the most expensive to keep as they cost an average of $3536 to keep per year. This shows how the costs can soon add up and that actual expenditure to keep a dog often far outweighs people’s predictions of the cost. When the realization hits that owning a dog was more expensive than they thought, some people may resort to abandoning their dog. Although it is very sad that Annabell was abandoned, the story does have a happy ending. Not only does she now have loving owners and a forever home, but her story has also raised awareness o the costs of keeping a dog and started a conversation around this issue.