There’s an epidemic of abandoned pets and pop culture is driving it.

There’s been a disturbing trend in the news lately with stories of people abandoning their pets, resulting in overcrowded shelters. Several of these tragic trends directly relate with what’s going on in pop culture, like holidays, hollywood, or this viral video of a woman in Coachella throwing a bag of puppies in a dumpster. As despicable as that may sound, I heard those puppies were actually plotting to steal Christmas. Not this year Max.

It’s also tough to hear because animals from shelters are awesome! Some of them already come housetrained, are already spayed or neutered, and are way cheaper than pets sold in stores or by breeders.

Take for instance the increase of abandoned bunnies coming off of Easter weekend. According to a report from Reuters: “In Northern California alone, thousands of stray and unwanted rabbits end up in the municipal shelter systems, and the majority of these rabbits are under a year old.” And just like my recent purchases of Kanye West’s Coachella socks and a Singapura kitten with tinnitus, these rabbits are often victims of impulse purchases where the new owners have done little to no prior research in animal care. Turns out that rabbits are high maintenance pets, they don’t like to be held, and breed like…themselves! Not to mention they’ll chew on anything. Including electrical wiring, furniture, and vegetables. So if you’re going to own a rabbit you can only buy smart devices, metal furniture, and vegetables. No more carne asadas, ever. If you want one of these long-eared, land beavers make sure you’re prepared, otherwise I know some people in red jumpsuits that will “take care” of them.

Bunnies aren’t the only animals to blame pop culture trends. The rise of husky abandonments have correlated with the popularity of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The husky is similar in appearance to the show’s direwolves, a wolf the size of a small horse. So you can imagine how the new owners would be disappointed when they find out they can’t ride their new dog.

Stars of the show Peter Dinklage and Jerome Flynn have advocated for people to adopt from shelters that have seen a spike in Huskies, and to urge people not to adopt unless they have the means to do so. That’s right nerds. A live animal won’t save your mediocre Jon Snow cosplay for Comic Con. Also San Diego is no place for a husky, or any fan of professional sports.

There is some good news though. California became the first state to ban pet stores from selling commercially bred rabbits and other pets to encourage adoptions from shelters. Also the Coachella puppy-dumpster lady was arrested and the puppies are safe.

Remember if you’re going to adopt a pet, make sure you’ve done your research so your little bunny or pupper is one happy floof.



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