The terrible tragedy of lost pets whose careless owners do not ensure they can be identified..

After the 10th phone call and email today, I have to sound off about those negligent pet owners who have lost their animals simply because they are too indifferent to ensure their animals can be identified. Just like a very young lost child, dogs and cats cannot speak and tell anyone who has found a lost animal who their owner is, where they live and why they ended up on the streets. They are plain and simply lost. If they have no collars with the owner's phone number on an ID tag and are not microchipped, they are collected by law enforcement officials who take them to the pounds, where they are kept for 10 days before losing their lives by lethal injection, unless they are considered to be eminently "adoptable" (whatever that means) when there may be an additional short stay of execution. Can someone please inform us why they refuse to identify their animals? If an owner cannot afford a collar with an Identity tag and a microchip, and to inoculate, deworm and sterilise an animal they should not be allowed to "own" an animal. Owning an animal is a privilege, not a right. A further tragedy is that a dog such as a pitbull female being used for breeding is, according to the animal by laws, viewed as mere property. The owner cannot be forced to sterilise his dog/s, even though people in the know suspect that the puppies will be sold for dog fighting. There is something seriously wrong in our society with regard to owning an animal and treating it irresponsibly. We are sick and tired of hearing excuses from owners who don't identify their animals, such as "I can't live without my beloved "fluffy," my dog NEVER gets out. my cat/dog will choke if it wears a collar, I just washed my dog, the collar is still in my desk draw, or hanging on the dog's lead on the doorknob, etc. Every excuse in the book. An ID tag costs R30,00, a 2nd hand collar can cost nothing. If you are truly "scraping the barrel" and cannot afford a collar, you can get unwanted collars from vets from other people's dogs and cats who have passed away for various reasons. Also microchip your pet instead of going out for drinks or lunch at a restaurant. A microchip is for life. If your pet was identifiable, you most likely would have been informed practically immediately of its whereabouts instead of sending out endless sob stories on emails, putting the info on facebook and other social media. We also get endless calls about people with many unwanted animals leaving for overseas the next day, or signing leases for accommodation where pets are not allowed. Come on, didn't you know you were emigrating or moving months ago? If you looked hard enough you would have found a place where animals are allowed. Why don't you take your animals with you and why didn't you contact a reputable pet travel agency when you knew you were emigrating? If you can afford to take your family and possessions overseas, why not include the animals who have been part of your family for years? Don't put the guilt trip on the animal societies who are battling daily with huge volumes of destitute animals apart from yours. Take responsibility for your four legged family members. If you are still not convinced, you need to go to a pound and watch the corpses of unwanted dogs and cats pile up because nobody knows to whom they belonged and they are, after all, only animals and there are plenty more around.