I think that when people go get a puppy or dog, or cat or kitten, right then while they are in the "Awwwww, it's so cute!" phase, they should have to look into that animal's eyes and promise "If/when I have children, they will not suddenly take priority over you, and make you disposable. You are a member of our family, and as long as I am able to, I will love you and take care of you." Mommy thinks that would make a lot of people think twice about the responsibilities and commitments of pet ownership.
It's also very sad that so many people continue to breed more dogs and cats, when so many dogs and cats enter shelters every year. There is no animal shortage - the United States has more animals than it can take care of! According to the the Humane Society of the United States:
The HSUS estimates that animal shelters care for between 6–8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of whom 3–4 million are euthanized. This is certainly a tragedy. There are simply not enough responsible homes for all of these wonderful, innocent animals. At this point in time, it would be impossible to humanely house every unwanted animal in the United States.For this reason, my mommy and I, as well as many other people involved in animal rescue, feel very strongly that dog and cat breeders in the United States should do more to help homeless animals and stop breeding more dogs and cats. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has a campaign called No Birth Nation. The No Birth Nation campaign's goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate the need to euthanize unwanted and homeless animals by not breeding dogs and cats, and focusing on caring and providing homes for the animals that are currently in need.
The United States will never be a "no-kill" nation unless it becomes a no-birth nation. Why? Every last one of the millions of deaths of animals at shelters and in the streets, alleyways, fields, basements, and back yards that occur every year could be prevented through spaying and neutering. Every single stray cat, every neglected dog, every rabbit kept in a hutch in a drafty garage—came from an animal who wasn't spayed or neutered. Animals must be killed and euthanized by the millions every year because prospective guardians choose to purchase animals from pet shops and breeders and still don't sterilize their dogs and cats.Makes sense to me.