Owning a pet is not something that all people are prepared for. Even though pets are sometimes used as a way of getting children to understand responsibility, it should be noted that there are numerous adults that need a lesson in responsibility as well. The number of abandoned pets is constantly increasing, as people who realise they do not have what it takes to be a pet owner either dump them on the streets, or try to sell them to different pet stores. There are numerous reasons for this. Sometimes the cost of pet accessories, dog supplies and food is just too high for the new owner. Other times, excessive breeding can be an issue, especially in the case of rabbits being held together in the same rabbit hutch.
Regardless of the reason though, the outcome is the same. The pet is left abandoned on the street or in a pet store. If the pet is young, most pet stores will accept it, but if the pet is over 6 months old, most stores will reject it and the owner will usually either dump it on the street, or take it to a local shelter. Shelters deal with abandoned dogs and cats daily, and taking a pet that is no longer wanted, to a shelter, is much better than simply dumping it on the street, hoping it survives.
There are other pets however that are not even taken to a shelter. Dogs may be left to fend for themselves in the streets, gold fish may be flushed directly down the toilet, and rabbits may simply be thrown outside. It all depends on the owner and how much he or she still cares for the pet.
Those who have only had their pet for a couple of days before realising they are not suitable for the role tend to dispose of their pet at the first chance they get. This either means the local dogs home, or leaving the pet somewhere on the side of the road. Sometimes the pet is lucky enough to be spotted by a pet lover, and either adopted directly or taken to a local shelter where it is cared for. Most of the time, however, the pet is unlucky, and simply does not manage to survive without help.
To prevent such cases, new pet owners need to be extremely well informed when purchasing any pet. Purchasing one simply based on its looks is not advisable, as this is what leads to the problem in the first place. People purchase a small, cute little bird or rabbit thinking that it is extremely cute and that it does not take up a lot of space, but they only realise the mistake they made when the animal starts growing and requiring regular exercise and many feedings. It requires more and more money for food, toys and trips to the vet, and the new owner realises the mistake he has made and resorts to one of the options mentioned above.
Since all pets tend to get extremely attached to their original owner, abandoning them in a shelter after a moderate amount of time is something extremely painful. It is not uncommon for pets who just arrive in a shelter to not eat or drink anything for several days due to depression and feeling abandoned. In numerous cases, giving the pet an item with the smell of the original owner solves this problem, although it is just a temporary solution.
The research that needs to be done before purchasing a pet is not strictly related to what type of pet to choose. It also needs to contain the monthly cost of the pet, as that can get extremely high for some high maintenance pets. Some pets, like rabbits, only require a small rabbit hutch and some food, but most of the time, the number of accessories, and their cost, is intimidating. Pet accessories can quickly add up, and their cost may be enough to get the new owner to abandon the pet. This is especially common for dogs, as their owners discover how much food and dog supplies cost each month, and they realise they cannot afford to pay that much. By having an estimate of how much the food and supplies of their new pet will cost each month, owners can decide in advance if this is something they want to proceed with, or not.