Do right by your pet.
Do right by our environment.
HabitattitudeTM is a proactive campaign designed to:
- Ensure that pets are thoughtfully chosen and well cared for (Habits)
- Protect the natural environment (Habitats) from the impacts of unwanted pets
- Help pet owners find alternatives to the release of their pets (Attitudes)
SELECTING THE RIGHT PET FOR YOU
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the best pet for you and your family. Do your research and consider the following when deciding which pet is right for your situation:
- your lifestyle
- your family composition
- your work schedule
- your income
- your health and physical fitness
- your personality
- life expectancy of the companion animal
- future size of the pet and housing needs
- specialized feeding needs of the companion animal
Also, discuss your options with local veterinarians, animal breeders, pet store staff, and friends with pets. There are many helpful books, magazines, and websites that will help you choose the pet that is compatible with your lifestyle.
Remember: When it comes to pets, a quick decision may be a poor decision.
When you bring a pet into your home, you become its caretaker, providing the proper diet, clean water, adequate housing and shelter, exercise, entertainment, and emotional well-being. Care for your pet properly and you’ll both benefit from a healthy relationship. Learn all you can about your pet’s needs by reading books and magazines, as well as consulting with industry professionals such as veterinarians and breeders. PIJAC’s assortment of animal care sheets provide basic care information and the following websites can help you learn how to provide the appropriate care your new pet requires:
- Care for Animals from the American Veterinary Medical Association
- HealthyPet.com from the American Animal Hospital Association
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Pet Website
Healthy pets make happy pet owners!
RESPONSIBLE PET PLACEMENT
Pets bring joy and companionship into our lives. But, for some pet owners, circumstances arise that prevent them from being able to properly care for their pets, such as:
- A family member develops allergies
- The owner’s lifestyle changes unexpectedly
- The pet outgrows its housing
- The animal’s behavior becomes problematic
- The pet’s needs are not compatible with the owner’s current lifestyle
- Family members (i.e.: infants or those with serious health conditions) may be susceptible to diseases that can be transmitted by pets (known as zoonotic diseases)
Some pet owners may think that releasing a pet into the wild is a viable option when circumstances such as these arise. For pets, this is often a traumatic or even fatal experience. The animal may not find adequate food or shelter, it may not be able to tolerate the local climate or it may become vulnerable to other animals or man-made threats.
Releasing a pet into the wild can also harm the local ecosystem. The native wildlife and fish that already live in these habitats are faced with new threats from potential predators, competitors, or disease. Every former pet that survives in the natural environment does so by consuming wild animals or plants and competing with them for other resources, such as shelter. In short, abandoned pets can become invasive species.
If you or someone you know is faced with finding a new home for a pet, please consider the following Pet Placement Guidelines in order to make the best possible decision for the animal.
PET PLACEMENT GUIDELINES (ALTERNATIVES TO RELEASE)
- Contact a local pet store for suggestions on placement or for possible returns
- Give to a responsible family member, friend, pet owner/water gardener, or school if they are ready for a new pet
- Donate to or trade with a local hobbyist club (i.e.: reptile society)
- Surrender through a "pet amnesty" program and check with local shelters or rescues to see if they accept the species
- Contact veterinarian for guidance about humane euthanasia of animals as a last resort
- Seal aquarium/terrarium plants in plastic bags and dispose of them in the trash
Releasing your pet into the natural environment puts your companion animal and the environment at risk. In fact, in many locations it is illegal to release your pet into the wild.