I get asked that a lot at work. As in "what would you do if it was your pet?" Most of the time I can't give a truthful answer to that question. That's because the people asking are usually not in the same frame of mind as me. Usually the pet in question has been allowed to deteriorate to the point of no return, is terribly injured from being hit by a car, has a very expensive condition to diagnose or treat, or is otherwise in a position I would not have allowed my pet to get into. I usually answer with what is best for pet, even if it's euthanasia.
The bottom line in most cases is that people are financially or otherwise unprepared to own pets. This may be offensive to some people but quite frankly, in my opinion, having a pet or child should be a privilege, not a right. It's not ok to get a pet because you want one and then let it suffer with fleas, arthritis, dental disease, or other conditions when you can't afford to treat it. Pets, even (perhaps especially) free ones come with basic needs that need to be attended to and cost money. Yet I see so many people who are unable or unwilling to afford even the basics, mush less dental care or minor surgery. If only I could impress upon people the importance of preventative medicine-it's so much cheaper and better and for your pet.
I understand that not everyone has unlimited funds to take care of their pet but letting things get out of hand and allowing the pet to suffer is not acceptable. Pet owners need to be prepared for the basics from the beginning and have some money set aside or credit card or something for the incidental costs of having a pet.
And unfortunately society seems to foster this idea that everyone should have a pet. Pet stores, most breeders, and even some shelters do not screen people before adopting out or selling them a pet. I can see this happening with those stores and breeders who are in to for the money but seriously there is no excuse for a shelter or "rescue" adopting out a pet to someone who only wants to give it a rabies vaccine and nothing else, or has multiple pets in their house who aren't on heartworm prevention or receiving other basic care. I realize there is a pet overpopulation but does that mean we let pets go to bad homes to make adoption rates look better? I don't know the answer but I do know that it's a frustrating problem.
End of rant. Thanks for listening.