EDITOR’S NOTE: At SpareFoot, we absolutely love dogs. They are welcome in our office, so furry BFFs can be seen running around here at least a couple of times a week. We are heartbroken to hear when storage units are used to inhumanely ”store” animals. Just last month, 13 dogs were rescued from a New York storage unit after authorities were tipped to a possible puppy mill. Guest blogger Marty breaks down why this is the worst idea ever.
by Marty Reardon
It should go without saying that a self-storage space is not the right place to keep your pet. Not only is it illegal, it is also cruel and inhumane. But sadly, it is not uncommon to hear a story about animals – often puppies – being kept in a storage container.
Though some of the people treating their storage container like a kennel are illegal breeders looking to profit off the puppies, others may consider a storage container to be a short-term solution during a move. A pet owner may reason that they leave their pet alone at home all the time, so what’s the difference? Well, there are a lot of differences.
Keeping animals in these airless spaces puts their health in jeopardy in a number of ways. Unlike homes, storage spaces are designed for inanimate things, not living ones. Therefore, they often have a lack of ventilation, and may have extreme temperatures if they aren’t climate controlled.
Puppy mill dogs found in these conditions are also usually underfed, malnourished and living in their own excrement. This total absence of sanitation creates the perfect environment for parasites that can benefit from the animals’ lowered immune systems. These poor neglected animals, even when rescued, are sometimes beyond aid— not just due to physical ailments, but because of the emotional trauma of being housed in a storage unit. Even those who survive can become unusually fearful or aggressive, making them unadoptable. Sadly, many end up euthanized.
Did those mental images convince you that this is a bad idea? If not, consider the consequences for you. Culprits of this kind of egregious animal abuse have been charged with animal cruelty – one count per puppy – and other crimes that are punishable with large fines and prison sentences.
In Illinois, for example, a person can be found guilty of Cruel Treatment to Animals for abandonment or failure to provide food, water and humane care, and can go to jail for up to a year and be fined as much as $2,500. California has specific laws prohibiting confinement of animals in a way where they don’t have access to food and water, punishable by jail or a fine of up to $20,000.
It’s important to remember that pets are living, breathing things and need the same basic things that humans do: Oxygen, a comfortable temperature, food and fresh water. If the conditions would threaten the health of a person, they are probably dangerous for animals, too. Because of this, storage units are not the right place to house a pet, even for a short amount of time.
Marty Reardon writes for Next Door Self Storage, a company with self storage facilities in Illinois. In addition to working in the storage field, Marty enjoys photography and spending time with his two black labs.
Photo courtesy of Jacksonville.com.