BURNABY (NEWS1130) – Small animals are often viewed as good starter pets for children. But in the last six months over 80 have been dropped off at Burnaby’s Small Animal Rescue Society – in 2012 only 30 were rescued over the course of the year.
Lisa Hutcheon with SARS says people do not understand the responsibility involved in raising small animals, and they are not doing the research before buying them in pet stores.
She says “they’re not starter pets. They’re not easy, they’re not cheaper, they’re not less work. They’re as much work as a cat or a dog. Rabbits can live 10-12 years and chinchillas can live up to 20 years, so in some cases they live longer than dogs.”
Hutcheon says part of the problem is that the animal shelter system is not equipped to handle small animals like mice, rabbits, and hamsters. She says they have traditionally been established for cats and dogs.
Hutcheon claims “if there is no where for them to go [small animals], and owners can’t find a rescue group, they have no other alternative but to try and give them away to someone else or let them loose out in a park.”
She says her group will be presenting their case to Burnaby City Council this fall.