Owning a pet is a big commitment, lasting years. Unwanted pets that have proved too demanding to be looked after by their owners form a significant amount of the shelter population and euthanasia cases, representing a significant welfare problem. Children and parents often don’t think about the practical and financial aspects of pet owning, such as cleaning up after it, feeding and walking it, giving it sufficient housing and protection, paying for vets fees, inoculations, pet insurance etc.
This series of books, with each book focusing on a different species of popular pet, will encourage responsible pet ownership from a young age, outlining the needs of pets and the responsibilities of owners, in a fun and authoritative way. The reader is the detective, assigned to investigate and work out whether the pet is right for them based on it’s needs, and if not identify which pet is a more appropriate choice. The animal’s needs will be defined by the 5 freedoms – to food and water, shelter, freedom from harm and distress and to exhibit normal behaviour.
The book includes a virtual pet research section where children are encouraged to live with an imaginary / toy pet with a real pet’s needs for a month before acquiring a pet. The whole emphasis of these books is to get children to think about and practice owning a pet before purchasing one and making a long-term commitment.