'Treat Them Like Sh*t': Internet Rips Bad Pet Owners in Viral Thread

Internet commenters were happy to share what—or who—they have no sympathy for after a viral post shared in a popular forum prompted them to.

Published in r/AskReddit, Redditor u/Independent_Jeff-123 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) asked the subreddit's 35.3 million members a simple question: "What do you have no sympathy for?"

Posted on March 28, the viral post has received nearly 24,000 votes and more than 15,000 comments.

Responding to the original poster's prompt, thousands of Redditors offered up answers ranging from insects to specific people and the behaviors they exhibit.

"People who repeatedly dodge accountability," Redditor u/extrabees wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 30,000 votes itself.

"People that demand respect from others but don't give a sh*t about others in return," Redditor u/yogaman421 wrote, in a separate comment which has received more than 14,000 votes.

"Mosquitos," Redditor u/coffeebeezkneez wrote, adding levity and receiving more than 16,000 votes.

Amid a sea of comments pointing out people who yell at minimum wage workers and those who ridicule others based on appearance, however, were a pair of responses aimed directly at irresponsible pet owners.

"People who decide to have children/pets then not care for them/make them everyone else's problem," Redditor u/SpookyScaryLemon commented, receiving more than 19,000 votes.

Dog adoption
Commenters on a viral Reddit thread called out bad pet owners. fortise/iStock / Getty Images Plus

"People who adopt pets and then treat them like sh*t," Redditor u/fruitypants chimed in, to the tune of 20,000 votes.

Despite the narrative that the first year of the pandemic caused a massive spike in adoption rates for sheltered pets, the year-over-year rate of pets in shelters entering new homes declined 31 percent in January 2021, according to Spots.

Data collected by The Best Friends Animal Society and 24PetWatch also revealed that pet adoptions were down 20 percent in 2020 when compared to just one year prior.

Adding to decreased adoption rates, many among the 68 million pet-owning households in the United States have decided to surrender their pets to shelters across the country.

Each year, approximately 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats are surrendered to U.S. animal shelters, according to data collected by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) reports that pet owners who choose to surrender their animals usually do so for a handful of reasons, including a lack of time, a lack of money, unwanted behavior and housing changes.

In a series of responses to u/fruitypants' top comment, Redditors who say they have worked in animal shelters, or close to the pet adoption process detailed their own experiences with owners who were unable to keep their pets, owners who were unable to provide proper care for their pets, and owners who should never have had those pets in the first place.

"[I have no sympathy for] people who get pets without doing any prior research and don't like to hear about what it really means to add one to your family," Redditor u/feshroll wrote in a comment which has received more than 2,000 votes.

"Like, no I promise a Samoyed will not be happy sitting in the house all day, even if you'll 'allow turning on the [air conditioning]'," they added.

Redditor u/OW2000, who said they volunteered at an animal shelter, also said that some people who adopt pets have no intention of providing them safety and companionship.

"The lack of accountability some people have when it comes to pets and animals is disturbing," they wrote.

"There were several times where a dog would get adopted and then get abused or even one time left bloodied on the side of the road by the people that adopted her," they added. "It was just too infuriating to constantly deal with people that think it's okay to act that way."