RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP
There are many important lessons to be learned in the story of Apollo. One of them is responsible pet ownership. Apollo’s life may not have such a tragic ending if his original owner did not give him up so abruptly. He may also not suffer such physical abuse if his adopter is well-prepared for his care. Here’s a few important questions that everyone should ask themselves before acquiring a pet.
1. DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT HOME?
Much like bringing home a newborn, everyone in the family should be excited to welcome the new family member. The environment should be loving and positive to give it a healthy place to live in.
2. DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?
As cute as a pet is, it is not a toy that can be left alone. Especially for a rabbit, you need to spend at least an hour a day to bond with it and understand its behavior. You will also need to groom it regularly and even take days off work to bring it to see the vet.
3. DO YOU HAVE THE MONEY?
In addition to the $50-100 a month you spend on the food and supplies, you need to be prepared for their hefty medical bills. That can range from $300 for a dental filing to $1000 for an episode of stomachache i.e. GI stasis. Many of these conditions will relapse so you need to be prepared for recurring expenses.
4. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING?
Acquiring a pet is not buying a toy. It is taking over the responsibility of a life. For a rabbit, it is for the next 10 years. If you are not planning for its sterilization, finding it a savvy veterinarian, preparing its vaccination schedule, then you are not prepared and you don’t know what you are getting into.
4 simple questions that Apollo’s owner and adopter could have asked themselves and prevented his death. While we can never reverse what happened, you can always prevent a future occurrence. Never acquire a pet out of impulse. A good intention can result in actual harm if you are not well-prepared to be a responsible pet owner.