AP-Petside Poll: Are We Giving Up On Our Pets?
Our animal companions can hardly be considered fair weather friends, but are we fair weather friends to them? A new AP-Petside.com poll asked pet owners about having to part ways with their pals, and the results are sure to surprise even the most loving and devoted of owners. According to the poll, roughly six in ten adults (57 percent) have had to give up an animal at some point in their lives, with current owners (64 percent) slightly more likely to have done so. Included among the reasons for having to give up a pet is a family member becoming allergic to the animal. When current pet owners were forced to make a hypothetical decision between a family member who was allergic to an animal and a pet, nearly half (46 percent) stated that the choice would either be "not too difficult" or "not difficult at all", with most willing to part (apparently easily) with their pets. In situations where marriage was in the mix, eight in ten adults would choose their spouse over an animal. The AP-Petside.com poll also revealed a variety of other reasons for casting off our critters. A sizable percentage cited relocation as a major reason, with 14 percent of those polled saying they had moved to a residence that did not allow pets and 12 percent saying their pets had been given up because it was too difficult to move with animals in mind. Moreover, about one in ten (9 percent) cited their animal as being too dangerous as a reason for giving up their pet. As a testament to the hardships brought on by economic recession, the same figure (9 percent) said that they simply could not afford to keep their pet. Does this mean that we're suddenly abandoning our pets? Not quite. The main reasons for giving up an animal regarded the pet's health; 69 percent of owners said their pet was too sick to live on, and 52 percent stated their pet was too sick to be cared for at home. With this in mind, pets were given up for the ultimate well-being and comfort of the animal, a nod to the powerful love between pet and pet owner. Furthermore, out of all polled, only two percent actually cited a family member being allergic as a reason for giving up a pet in the past.