Dogs can make wonderful companions, but the question is do you have what it takes to give one a good home?
It depends on who's weighing in -- though, we could all probably agree that college students forcing a puppy to do keg stands will not give her a good home.
A recent column by Sandy Banks about a controversial dog rescue has elicited more than 800 comments from passionate animal lovers. And the follow-up column has more than 200. A recurring theme in those comments was a notion of responsible ownership, but there wasn't really a consensus.
Many commenters insisted responsible owners have their pets chipped and spayed or neutered and that those who don't shouldn't be allowed to keep their pets. And, as many pointed out, there are high costs in having pets -- they can cost a lot in time, energy and money.
If you go the route of adopting a rescue animal, qualifying can be an arduous and unexpectedly intrusive process, with applications up to a dozen pages.
Some call such intense scrutiny elitism, others a necessary step to ensure the safety and nurturing of the animal.
Spend lunch with us at noon Wednesday as Sandy Banks explores the question of responsible ownership in a live video chat with Jessica Landesman, executive director of What's Up Dog! L.A.; Robert Cabral, founder of Bound Angels; and Ed Boks, who previously served as general manager of L.A. Animal Services and director of the National Animal Control Assn.
You can weigh in as well. Tell us what you think makes for a responsible pet owners or ask your own questions here in the comments or by Tweeting with the hashtag #askLATimes.
Follow me at @mmaltaisLAT
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times