I have welcomed a new member into our family. It has been a decision that has taken a few weeks and it wasn’t something that I rushed into. But today we brought the little rescue gerbil Albert into our home. It is still early days but he is incredibly cute and has already made himself at home.
Unfortunately, Albert is one of many unwanted animals. They may be older, not quite perfect, or have other issues but they are confined to the unwanted section of websites. All the gerbils I have had over the years have been rescued and unwanted; only my very first – Tom and Gerry – were bought from a pet shop.
We say that we are a nation of animal lovers but there are hundreds and thousands of domestic animals that are unwanted and looking for homes. I never really understand why people will go and buy a pet when there are so many already looking for a place to stay and be loved. Sadly, it is not just dogs and cats that need new homes. There are a growing number of horses and ponies that are abandoned. Small animals also don’t fare much better with mice, gerbils, hamsters and rats all in rescue centres after being unwanted.
People are always genuinely surprised when I say that my gerbils are rescued. After all who would want to abandon a small pet? People can buy animals relatively cheaply without realising the lifelong commitment to that animal whether it is for two, four or 20 years. They need care and attention, and in the case of small animals can be noisy and disruptive at night, and may bite little fingers that poke at them.
I blogged a couple of days ago about how important animals are to my life. It is something that is just part of my DNA. I can’t see any animal in pain or suffering without trying to help. So I suppose it isn’t a surprise that after thinking things through we decided to offer a home to another unwanted gerbil. Hopefully Albert will settle in his new home quickly and then he will be showered with love and put the past behind him.