It probably started with the neighborhood stray wandering into your yard, or someone gifting you with a puppy or kitten. That critter needed company so you agreed to another to keep the peace. Somehow others found their way into your home and now when you look around it feels, and maybe smells, like the community animals shelter!
What do you do when you live in a zoo? Find a home for one, or maybe a few!
Here are some tips for reclaiming your home from the jungle it may have become.
Look at your Budget:
Do the math and show your mate what all the extra animals are costing you. Mention the vacation you can’t afford or the car repairs that had to wait. Tell your mate that someone else could afford one easier than you can afford all.
Ask for Attention:
Let your mate know that you feel lonely when so much of their time and energy is spent feeding, walking, stroking, and cleaning up after your pets. Part of the reason people collect pets is that they need to feel needed. Let your partner know that you need them and they might loosen their grip just a little on their live menagerie.
Enlist Help from Your Friends:
Your mate may not believe you when you say your house smells like a kennel. When you spend all of your time in an environment you can become desensitized to odor. Ask a friend to mention the smell and that it might be time to find home for some of the offenders. You might also ask them to be on the lookout for people who could take in one of your brood!
Do it for the Animals: Mention that you have noticed that you have too many animals for any one to get love and that they deserve individual attention. A neglectful owner is an abusive owner. Someone who only has a few animals (like the ones who may be looking to adopt your wards) will have more time for them and they will lead happier lives, Remind your mate that animals have short memories and they won’t miss you for very long!
Don’t Walk Away:
Once your words start to sink in and even if they don’t, stay with your mate on the issue. If they agree to allow some of the animals to go, help find homes. If they refuse to budge, keep trying. I didn’t say this, but sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. (If that means you are planning to dump them all at the shelter, you read that wrong. Place an ad and interview prospective owners together carefully!!!)
If your mate refuses to give up even one of the animals and you don’t know what to do remember: With the exception of large birds, turtles, and monkeys, almost all animals have shorter life spans than we do. Spay and neuter your pets and absolutely refuse any new additions. In a few years your life will begin to return to normal.
Build a Sanctuary:
If you can’t live with the noise and smell and your mate can’t live without them, build a comfortable animal sanctuary in your garage, woodshed, or back yard. Having a place in which your mate can go to be with their animals will test your partners dedication to the pets, allow you time to do what you love apart from each other, and both of you will have what you want. Think you can’t afford it? Regularly check Craigslist and Freecycle in your area for free dog houses, aquariums and fencing supplies.
Animal lovers are kind caring people who should not be discouraged from helping. Volunteer organization, hospitals and nursing homes always need your mate’s kind of people. As an alternative to bringing up the animals issue at all you can ask your mate to regularly volunteer and you may find that the animal problem abates naturally.
After all, the root cause of animal hoarding is the need to be needed. Fill the need (lovingly) and solve the problem!