A journalist for the Daily Mail sparked controversy this week when she revealed in a column that she abandons dogs when they grow and are no longer “cute puppies.”
“Over the past four years I have fallen in love with four puppies and, on each occasion, driven miles with hundreds of pounds of cash in my pocket to buy them,” Shona Sibary wrote in her Daily Mail column.
“Then, months later, I have turned my back on them and given them away. I admit this is strange, not least because no one is more welcoming and loving to a doe-eyed little puppy than me."
In the column, Sibary told of her dog, Juno, who was given away after the writer found a puppy she preferred. Her most recent dog, a 7-month-old cocker spaniel, isn’t long for her household either.
“If she continues to leap onto the kitchen counters to steal food I’ll probably get rid of her, too,” she wrote.
Stunningly, the woman admitted that her habit of giving away dogs isn’t normal.
“I admit there must be something mentally wrong with me. Why else would I keep buying dogs only to wave goodbye to them a year or so later?’ she said.
“In every other area of my life I'm a fairly grounded adult. But show me a cute ball of fluff and all common sense flies out of the window.”
Following her shocking piece, Sibary garnered criticism from readers and animal rights activists. Dogs Today editor Beverly Cuddy said she was “speechless” after reading Sibary’s column.
“It sends shivers down my spine,” she said. “The problem is when you get a puppy, it's ready to learn. If, in its first home, the dog doesn't learn and hasn't become sociable, when it enters the rescue world, it's a dog with a whole lot of problems, a dog that's not easy to love.”
“Even if you find it a new home with other people, very often it will ricochet several more times around other owners and rescue centres unless it comes across a wonderful person willing to spend time to undo those mistakes,” Cuddy added. “It will be very hard to rehabilitate."