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People accessorize for many reasons: they want to enhance an outfit, or maybe make a statement about their personality. When it comes to fashion accessories include necklaces, bracelets, bags, and so on, but for some people, animals fall into that category. Some people choose exotic or unusual pets to pepper their style. To Pet Gazette readers this sounds absurd, but some people see no difference in their companion animals and their purses. However, where a pair of earrings can be shoved in a box after a day of use, a living, breathing animal needs real attention and care.
The consequences of using animals as a compliment to a new outfit is serious. Back in 2011, for example, many rescues saw an influx of Bichon Frises, Chihuahuas, and Shih Tzus as a result of people buying them thanks to a Ms Paris Hilton — who is not exactly an ideal role model when it comes to animal care. Some of the dogs that made their way to rescue groups wouldn’t even walk, because they were so used to being carried around. That, resulted in behavioral problems, making it even more difficult to find forever homes for these animals after they were abandoned.
When animals are viewed as fashion accessories, they become objects and this perception leads people to blatantly disregard their responsibility to the pet.
Following are just two examples of pet trends that have had some rather unfortunate consequences.
Teacup Dogs * “Teacup” dogs are usually created through breeding “runt” dogs. The runts of the litter are obviously adorable, but when the only characteristic valued in a dog is how tiny and cute it is, there are bound to be problems. Some of these problems include: heart issues, seizures, respiratory problems, blindness, limb deformities, and more. Tragically, these “adorable” puppies are frequently purchased by buyers who want them for their aesthetic value and lose interest when faced with the teacup dog’s health issues. Even worse, in some cases they grow larger than desired and are given away because they can no longer fit properly in a purse which by the way, is no place for an animal to begin with.
Teacup Pigs * The teacup trend also transcends animal species from dogs to pigs. For a while, tiny pigs have been seen everywhere. They’re often called micropigs or mini-pigs. You can thank Paris Hilton once again for helping to popularize this trend in when she purchased one, but Miley Cyrus is also responsible for the continuation of this bad trend. The reality of the situation is that teacup pigs are all hype and no substance in terms of their size.
There is no specific teacup species or breed, just pigs who happen to be smaller than the standard pig that can reach up to 500 pounds. In fact, a “teacup” pig can reach the weight of 100-200 pounds. Paris’s pig weighed 50 pounds! Not so easy to stick in her purse anymore.
Pigs also have a range of requirements including open space and a pig companion that are often not met by people who carelessly purchase them. This results in a large number being dumped at rescues and sanctuaries.
Animals deserve more, they deserve to be treated as living creatures with unique personalities and needs. Not as someone’s outfit or symbol of their wealth.
October 1, 2016