Should People Have to Take a Test to Own a Pet?

OK,† I know this sounds harsh, but should pet owners be allowed to own a pet without taking a written test first? The inner veterinarian in me often thinks, no!

A few weeks ago, Shalanon Brooks left her “support dog” in a locked car while she casually attended the Six Flags Magic Mountain park. Rumor is that the zipper on her dog carrier bag was broken, so Ms. Brooks elected to leave her dog, Malibu, in the car instead. (This, to me, is abuse of a “support” dog, but thatís a whole other blog!) While Ms. Brooks left food and water in the car, she only left the windows “cracked” open during an 80įF day.

Thankfully, the security personnel and staff from Six Flags found the dog, and thought Malibu looked visibly overheated. So, kudos to Six Flags for taking the initiative to rescue Malibu from the hot car and taking Malibu back to the parkís kennel area to cool down and hydrate. The bad news? Malibu recovered well enough to escape from Six Flags, only to be lost for several days.

But donít despair: A few days later, Brooks tweeted that her dog had been found and was returned to her.

That said, should Ms. Brooks have been allowed to have her dog back? After all, her poor decision making could have resulted in the death of her dog. Many animal advocates were fired up that she ended up getting Malibu back, as she didnít seem deserving of pet-ownership after nearing killing her dog with heat stroke. Had Malibu been a two-legged human, I highly doubt child services would have been as forgiving.

And what about Kisha Curtis, 27, the owner of Patrick the pit bull? This starved, 20-some pound dog (who was supposed to be 50+ pounds) was thrown down a 22-story garbage chute in Newark, NJ. He was left for dead: hypothermic, anemic, dehydrated and emaciated. Thankfully, Garden State Veterinary Hospital ó along with the support of countless animal lovers across the world ó was able to help him rally to a new home. Thankfully, Ms. Curtis didnít get the rights back to her dog.

So, readers, take this test. If you canít get the answers right, you are officially stripped of all pet-owning rights.

Which of the following methods best shows that you can be responsible for the life of a four-legged creature?

  • Throw it down a garbage chute.
  • Let it deep-fry in a car on a hot day.
  • Neglect veterinary care Ė after all, heís indoor only and doesnít need vaccines!
  • Love it the way it loves you: unconditionally.

Fire away ó what do you think – should potential pet owners have to pass a test to own a pet?

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Should Pet Owners Have to Take a Test to Own a Pet? originally appeared on

By Dr. Justine Lee, PetMD

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

I think yes, animals deserve a good home!

Sarah M.
Sarah M.2 years ago

This is animal abuse. If it were a baby she would have been arrested. With all the apathetic, selfish idiots in the world, a lot of people should be banned from having pets (not to mention children).

Tammy Baxter
Tammy B.2 years ago

I'm torn on this one

Kay Burnett
Kay Burnett2 years ago

Would be a great idea, some need a test for children as well.

deb s.
deb s.2 years ago

A test ,yes, also if technology can come about something placed on animal that can trigger someone who means to do harm like a chip that can read DNA and find out that person is an abuser of animals or children, criminal of any sorts this can give an animal an edge to get away or alert a caring body to help protect it from a perpetrator something has to be invented to give the edge for the animal to not be so easily captured abused tortured etc. Hey scientists can you come up with something?????

lori s.
lori sanders2 years ago

people with bi-polar and anger issues or cannot afford pet foods. should not aquire pets or animals they just want to have.

Irina Brenner
Irina Brenner2 years ago

can´t hurt

Cheryl F.
Cheryl F.2 years ago

People should prove they can be responsible for themselves before they are allowed to assume responsibility of another living creature.

katarzyna phillips

TOO MANY PEOPLE get a pet, without thinking about what it needs are-food, bedding, exercise, size on maturity, possible medical ailments specific to that animal/breed. also, they often have no thought about what happens if... and if they could still own and look after the pet properly.

EVERYONE should have to prove they know enough about what the needs of the pet is, especially if getting it from a 'baby' so how much food it'll eat and how big it'll be when it's mature, it's correct weight and size and to have time to exercise it. if people can't pass the test, then they don't qualify to look after said animal. that way, a lot of pets won't be under/over weight, restless due to no exercise, have correct size beds, have proper food that is nutritious and neighbours won't have a reason to complain as a starting off point

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Yes they should be tested.People buy a pet without thinking in important issues:who will take care during holidays,pets can live 15-20 years,food and plants can be poisonous, hazards in the house,etc