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Change mind-set on pets

Dawn Gibson
Friday, January 24, 2014

THERE is a fundamental problem in the mind-set of people who own pets in Fiji.

These were the sentiments of resident veterinarian Dr Jo Olver yesterday afternoon, who said majority of the cases she tended to at the SPCA in Suva were indicative of basic understanding problems such as underestimating the attention and time pets needed.

"The problems we see here would not be considered problems in other countries — basic things such as ticks and how to remove them for instance," Dr Olver said yesterday.

"I think that there are a number of people in Fiji who own pets but lack the general basic knowledge about how to actually look after them."

She gave an example of a cat named Nathalie which she bandaged yesterday and was the victim of third degree burns from a neighbour who according to Dr Olver, threw boiling water on the animal.

"That's a mind-set that has to change and it has to change now because things like feeding paraquat to animals and throwing boiling hot water on an animal — that's just not fair.

"There are so many other ways to deal with things like that which don't include treating them in such an inhumane way."

She said another trait she noticed here was the disregard shown towards animals from their owners.

"Often people just simply don't want their dogs anymore so they just leave them and that's it.

"If you get a puppy or a kitten, you have to think first off that this is not going to be a puppy or a kitten for long — it's going to be an animal that you have to invest eight, 10, 15, maybe 16 years in. So if you're not able or willing to do that, then don't get one — go buy a stuffed one instead."

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