I've known a couple for several years now, and I used to enjoy my time with them, but now I feel as though I'm spending the entire time talking them out of buying new pets to, in my opinion, torture. Awhile ago they bought a dog, despite my concerns that they had no time. It was kept on a chain on their front lawn on feces that was never removed, and as far as I can discern, was walked maybe once a week. I was concerned when they called me to complain some neighborhood college kids had tried to steal the dog, claiming they were rescuing it, and when I drove there it was in the conditions I described. It was quite a chore convincing them to find a good home for the dog, but I did, and felt that would be the end of their pet experiments. Since then, I've talked them out of buying a macaw (no time for a dog, so how could you have time for a parrot?), a shark (they didn't know salt water did not mean you could sprinkle some table salt into a fish tank), and bantam chickens (they wanted a pair to keep in a ten gallon aquarium in their bedroom). They have bought hamsters, rabbits, cats, and ferrets, and each time I was there to explain what needed to be done, have my advice ignored, and then wind up trying to find a home for them after the couple had decided to give up on them. Recently, I wasn't there to answer the phone with advice when they called, so they are now the owners of a duckling, being kept in a DVD box that a DVD player came in, and being fed pasta scraps from the kitchen table. When they told me, I was too shocked to think, but I gave them the address to this forum in the hopes they would realize there's more to keeping a duck than what they think, and either adjust accordingly or find a home for it. It's been several days, and I've called them back and from what they've said the duckling is in the same conditions. I'm worn out by these people. If they were strangers, and not friends I've known for years (I was her maid of honor), I would not have hesitated to call animal control on them. I don't understand where this new obsession with obtaining pets has come from, they have never been animal people, but it seems like they have become the sort to simply look for another animal as soon as one has been denied them. I finally broke down and wrote a long letter explaining why it would be best for them to take up a hobby that did not include animals, and received a huffy reply that just because I had all the time in the world did not mean I had a right to judge people who have to work (grr, major offense taken at the implication that I do not work), and they do the best they can and can't understand my objections. How are people like this handled? Can they be handled? What would you do? I know if animal control showed up, they'd realize it was me who had called, and I'm sure even a fine would do nothing to keep them from acquiring a new pet as soon as the mood struck. As it is, at least they still trust me, so I have opportunities to keep them from some of their impulse buys, and I fear the trust would be gone once they knew I was calling authorities on them. This whole situation is making me sick.