Pandemic and priorities

It is always sad to read of animals being abandoned and readers of such action can be quick to condemn. Incidents seem to have risen recently so it may be interesting to reason why, without condoning such action.

I firmly believe that many animal owners take on pets without realising the financial commitment they are undertaking. The good times are one thing but animals can live for many years; the vet bills, vaccinations and kennel fees can mount up and, with a reduced income caused by the current situation, you may have to prioritise.

Sadly in many cases the pets lose out. It's easy to understand even if you do not agree.

Some time ago I was asked to go with someone to buy a horse. A vet would be a better judge to assess the condition of the animal in respect of health. As an experienced rider and teacher of riding, I would be able to guide her on suitability but no more.

In the car I casually enquired about the budget allocated for the upkeep of the horse. The figure was woefully inadequate, she had made no provision for a vet driving to her remote mountain home.

Neither was there provision for stabling when the family went on holiday, there was inadequate allowance for foodstuffs and what could happen if the animal had a long and serious illness. I bowed out of the commitment and suggested renting from a good stable.

My wife and I have eight acres of land near El Chorro and I would certainly love to renew my riding life but in retirement we believe in our commitment to one hungry labrador, one cat and one regularily visiting stray cat and that is what we can easily manage.