Life Without Pets

I’ve always had pets, and I don’t want to imagine my life without them. Yet, there are reasons—perfectly legitimate ones at that—that other people decide to live without furry companions. The American Humane Association recently tried to determine these reasons with an online survey of 1500 non-pet owners and previous pet owners. The results, released August 8, 2012, prove rather interesting. 

  • Almost 20 percent of prior pet owners had not acquired a new dog or cat at the time of the survey because they were still grieving the passage of a previous pet.
  • Forty-five percent of previous dog owners would consider obtaining another pet.
  • Thirty-four percent of previous cat owners would consider obtaining another pet.
  • The longer a previous pet owner goes without a new pet, the less likely they are to get one.
  • Of respondents who had never owned a pet, 25 percent would consider a dog while 10 percent would consider a cat.
  • Previous pet owners obtained only 22 percent of their dogs through a shelter or rescue.
  • Previous owners obtained 18 percent of cats through a shelter or rescue.
  • Of those who previously owned cats, 12 percent gave their pet away to a friend or family member.
  • Of these, 21 percent had to place the pet elsewhere because it was not allowed at their place of residence and 11 percent had to do so because of allergies.
  • Of those who previously owned dogs, 10 percent relinquished their pet to a friend or family member, 29 percent because of residence issues, 10 percent because of behavior issues and 10 percent because of death or divorce.

How do you feel about life without pets? Would you ever try it? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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