Animal sanctuary’s warning to would-be pet owners after string of ultimatum text messages

An animal sanctuary has told those thinking of buying pets to make sure they suit their lifestyle, a

An animal sanctuary has told those thinking of buying pets to make sure they suit their lifestyle, after receiving a string of text messages guilt tripping them into taking unwanted animals. Head of welfare Jenna Painter, with cats Cloudy and Aura, and dogs Mickey and Polly. - Credit: Archant

An animal sanctuary has told those thinking of buying pets to make sure they suit their lifestyle, after receiving a string of text messages guilt tripping them into taking unwanted animals.

An animal sanctuary has told those thinking of buying pets to make sure they suit their lifestyle, a

An animal sanctuary has told those thinking of buying pets to make sure they suit their lifestyle, after receiving a string of text messages guilt tripping them into taking unwanted animals. - Credit: Archant

Lyz Hall, who owns and runs Hallswood Animal Sanctuary, said she received four text messages in the space of seven days, where owners told her their pets would have to be put down if the Stratton Strawless-based sanctuary couldn't take them.

The latest message said: 'My dog Lola is biting people, we've got kids she has to go! I have her booked in to end it all. Can you help? It's going to take 29 minutes to get there, I'm leaving now.'

Unfortunately, Mrs Hall wasn't able to respond to the message in time, and now thinks Lola must have been put down.

It prompted Mrs Hall to highlight how owners should pick pets based on their home, not on what was popular.


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She said this was the most common reason why she received these messages when things got out of hand, usually due to the environment animals were being kept in.

'Coming up to Christmas it's really important,' said Mrs Hall, 37.

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'You should never buy an animal as a present and you need to think about how it will fit into your life.'

She said there was an issue with people buying animals as fashion items, but not considering the practical implications.

'There's a massive problem with huskies at the moment, they are not house pets and people forget that, they need a lot of exercise and work.

'Or Bengal cats, which are very loyal, very beautiful cats, but they fight with others, so on say a council estate that's not going to work.'

As well the latest message, Mrs Hall also received three others during the week.

But this wasn't unusual as she said it happened at least once a week and the situation hadn't gotten better over time.

She added, on the most recent messages: 'Two were cats who were destroyed before I was able to get to them, and one was a dog we are currently working with.'

But as primarily a wildlife sanctuary - where three quarters of the more than 700 rescued animals were non-domestic - Mrs Hall said although she tried her best to help, it was difficult to always do so.

'I'm not having a go at the owners but we need to look at what we are doing with our lives before getting pets.'

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