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When Babies Come ... Pets Have to GO!

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Guest blogger Politically Incorrect Mommy: One of my friends just had her first baby. I couldn't make it to the shower, so I dropped off a gift at her house. As I oohed and aahed over the newest addition to the household, I couldn't help but notice that another member of my friend's family was missing.

baby and puppy in scale

"Where's Snickers?" I asked, looking around for the dog.

"I had to get rid of him," my friend stated matter-of-factly, "Because of the baby."

Further questions into the specific reasons why my friend was "forced" as she put it to surrender the dog at the local animal shelter revealed no allergies or other health threats. The dog wasn't displaying any aggressive behavior toward the baby either. The reason for getting rid of the pet? According to my friend, taking care of two living creatures was too much hassle ... and too much work.

I hope my friend doesn't have any more children.

I'm trying to be understanding, but it's hard. How many people are really and truly so overwhelmed by a new baby that they can't remember to feed their dog anymore?

Unfortunately for animals, we live in a disposable society. When something becomes inconvenient or something better comes along to replace it, we don't think twice about tossing it to the curb. This is sad, not only for the pet, for also for the pet owner who probably had really good intentions, but not the best foresight.

The vast majority of pet owners are responsible and committed to their animals. If you're someone, however, who plans on getting rid of your cat or dog when you get married or pregnant, do everyone a favor: don't get a pet in the first place!

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43 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anon February 27, 2009, 10:06 AM

This story makes me sad…I hope that dog has found a much better home than the one he just came from.

Anonymous February 27, 2009, 10:58 AM

Wow, that is heartbreaking. Pets are members of the family, they suffer deeply when separated from their family. What a shame that your friend was so very selfish.

Anon February 27, 2009, 11:49 AM

Wow…she sucks.

Anonymous February 27, 2009, 11:49 AM

something that should be discussed before you have kids.

Friend of Moms February 27, 2009, 12:15 PM

I realize you guys specialize in edgy (even if not parent reality based) blogs to stimulate discussion - well you succeeded today. I’m not easily provoked to reaction but this one got under my skin. I’m so tired of the anti-parent (usually anti-mom - “why can’t she do it all”) tabloid stimulated judgement tone - even in mom and parent blogs.

Get over the old mother issues and move on with a firm grasp on reality.

I was alarmed but not surprised by the lack of compassion for the mom in this discussion. I thought this isn’t a “politically incorrect” comment but a typical knee jerk unrealistic judgemental response. I actually wondered if the blogger had a family or human children.

We have 2 pets (110lb. field lab and a rabbit) and except for very sad deaths of old age and natural causes would have an additional guinea pig, a cat and another rabbit). We would not take our animals to a shelter but we know many new parents who are overwhelmed by parenting - physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Many moms have cried to me that they can’t fit in a shower or can’t remember when they were in the bathroom alone.

Many have even discarded their mates in their gloom, despair, overwhelm because they were more work than they were worth.

SO…… Friends need to support a new mom not criticize her that she can’t do more!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe the critic can be so strident because her child was delivered without physical birth or with a nanny and a doula (both of which are very valuable by the way). Even if you didn’t birth your child (we have adoptive and birth children) did you not have to rearrange your lives and household to be reconfigured with another 1, 2 or 3 members. Please!!!!!!!!!!

If you felt so bad for the dog adopt it.

You can rightly say that pets are not children so if you’re not going to be able to keep a pet with children and a mate don’t adopt - their not temporary panacea’s for your single or non-child loneliness until you have kids. We were told that we shouldn’t even get a pet for a child unless we were prepared to keep them in retirement long after the child has gone to college or left the nest.

But if its a choice between mommy sanity and a pet - goodbye pet. They are not interchangable. OUR CHILDREN and our marriages are our priority - absolutely. Children and pets (whether they be chimpanzees, dogs, horses, iguanas or goldfish) are not of equal standing with your baby or child.

My heart is with the mom who lost her dog and needs a truely supportive, loving, helpful friend (translated bring dinner and a spirit of compassion not judgement)!!!!

Dee February 27, 2009, 1:16 PM

Actually this is like the number one reason people give away their dog on craigslist. They always say, ” I need to find a home for my dog, we have a new baby now”. Fyi, no one is going to read that long a$$ post Friend of Moms

Rachel February 27, 2009, 2:13 PM

I agree 100% with this blog. If you choose to become a pet owner, you need to take responsibility for it. That means FOR LIFE. So, if that means holding off having babies because you can’t handle feeding the dog twice a day when you have a kid than so be it. Either that, or DON’T GET A PET TO BEGIN WITH. Friend of Moms, even the most overwhelmed mother can feed a pet without adding that much more to her plate…let’s be honest here and not excuse people’s inexcusable behavior of just throwing their pets away basically.

heidi February 27, 2009, 4:24 PM

“Rachel” is 100% correct. when you get a pet it is FOR LIFE! they are not disposable. i have volunteered at shelters and have seen when new parents surrender their dogs. the dogs are HEARTBROKEN. many won’t eat for days, and lay listless in their kennels…it is the saddest thing to witness. anyone who does this is a SELFISH, LAZY, SELF CENTERED person who does not have a heart. i feel bad for the children being brought into the household. “Friend of moms” is obviously a sick person stating if the friend felt so bad, they should have adopted it. how ridiculous…take responsiblity for the decisions you make in life. get a pet…keep it.

Karina A. February 28, 2009, 4:59 PM

We agree not only on the substance of this post but also on the various points of view expressed by its readers. It all comes down to our values as individuals and as a nation. As Gandhi said, ““The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way
its animals are treated”. Thanks for the opportunity to discover your blog.

Samantha Amses February 28, 2009, 11:19 PM

this is awful - i would never associate myself with someone as heartless as that, she needs to be ditched, just like she did to her “friend.”

J. March 1, 2009, 1:56 PM

I agree with Heidi!

Dogs and animals have basic emotions, and they do suffer separation anxiety, and as a result become depressed and sickly.

How sad, being in a nice warm home feeling loved one moment, and then being banished to a cold dark shelter the next, not understanding why it was forsaken! (until it meets euthanasia— I really hope he was adopted in time…)

All I have to say is: KARMA. Just wait, everyone gets theirs!

Stephen R. March 2, 2009, 11:25 AM

found this on craigslist…sort of appropriate for the number of people who keep putting their dogs up for adoption when they find out they are going to have kids…..
After two long years of being on a waiting list for an agility dog, we have been notified by the breeder that, at long last, our number has come up and … WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!!!

We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn’t be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday we MUST place the children into rescue this weekend!

They are described as:

One male - His name is Tommy, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Four years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn’t bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained & gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training he should be able to read soon.

One female - Her name is Lexie, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes quite freckled. Two years old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy & can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls & little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training-shouldn’t take long at all.

We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what’s right for them; that is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can no longer keep them. Also, we are afraid that they may hurt our new puppy.

I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here!!! They MUST be placed into your rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy.

chris March 4, 2009, 1:27 PM

OMG - Stephen I love your post LOL…since when is any living breathing being disposible?

Jennifer March 5, 2009, 9:27 AM

Adding upon Stephen R. post, we would also like 400£ each for ”expenses” we have incurred raising these children.

We want to go to good loving homes.

Payday Loans April 30, 2009, 5:37 PM

Thanks for the interesting information. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in the subject. Keep it that way.

emilykeller July 15, 2009, 12:56 PM

omg thats soo wrong the dog will adjust ugh #

Robyn  August 12, 2009, 5:26 PM

Thanks for posting that Craigslist piece, I wrote it in 1996, and sadly, nothing has changed in 13 years. People still give up their pets when they have a baby. I wrote that piece after a man called me at 1130 at night while his wife was in labor insisting his dog had to go before they brought the baby home. Why? his mother in law said so, dog hair would be bad for the baby.

And on another note… someone posted that on craigslist, and another person called DYFS on her… she was contacted by DYFS concerned that she was giving away her children to get a dog. Doesn’t anyone understand SATIRE?

Gail Cooke August 12, 2009, 5:56 PM

Pets are a committment for their lifespan…if you don’t think you can deal with that…don’t get one. It’s outrageous that a pet has to go when a baby comes to the home. No one in my circle has gotten rid of their animals once the baby has arrived. Whoever did that is irresponsible..and I would reprimand any friend of mine that would. Absolutely shameful.

Sara Elizabeth Bonds @ The OmniCouple November 10, 2009, 1:03 AM

RE: “If you’re someone, however, who plans on getting rid of your cat or dog when you get married or pregnant, do everyone a favor: don’t get a pet in the first place!” — AMEN!

I HATE when people think of animals as things that come and go and are disposable. I get it, kids are important. So are animals, especially if you’ve taken them in and created a home for them. So heartless!

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