With spring officially in the air and spirits lifting out from the cold wintery hibernation blues, a lot of families are looking to share their lives with a furry companion or add to their existing menagerie for those walks in the park, hikes up the mountain or runs on the beach.
Before you commence your search however, I thought I would share some facts with you.
FACT: Two of the top ranking search phrases on Google are “puppies for sale” and “kittens for sale”.
FACT: Puppy and kitten season is officially upon us in South Africa. Shelters and rescue organisations around the country are already starting to fill up with unwanted, neglected and abandoned litters.
The answer to the above question is simple. Don’t be part of the problem by buying a puppy or a kitten … be part of the solution. ADOPT from your local shelter or rescue organisation.
Here are some reasons why adopting a pet from a shelter is a much better choice than buying puppies or kittens for sale.
- Be a hero to two souls - By adopting a pet from a welfare organisation, you have rescued not one, but two lives. The life of the pet you have just adopted and that of another that will fill the place freed up by taking your new family member home. Hundreds of thousands of pets are surrendered to shelters around the country each year. Of those pets less than half are adopted whilst the rest are euthanized in order to make room for others that continuously come in.
- Get a healthy pet – Shelter dogs and cats have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated and dewormed before they are adopted out. Many are even microchipped. You will need to check with the rescue organisation that you are adopting from what their policy is.
- Save some money – The fee for adopting a shelter cat or dog is normally merely to cover the medical expenses for the services listed above. The adoption fee is a fraction of what it would normally cost had you gone through other channels and still done the responsible thing with regard to vaccinating and sterilizing your pet.
- A lifetime of love & loyalty – Rescued pets, that have had less than ideal lives before arriving at the shelter, are immensely loyal and affectionate when taken into a loving and caring environment. Perhaps they intuitively know that they are being given a second chance by a loving and caring family.
- Boost your role model status – Teach your children, family members and friends the value of offering second chances, and how one person can make a significant difference in the life of a pet through compassion and caring.
- Become a myth buster – Prove that not all pets that end up at shelters have behavioural problems. Whilst some may need some extra care, the majority are normal and will soon become well adjusted to your home and environment. Most shelters work closely with animal behaviourists that screen the pets for behavioural issues prior to adoption and will help you through any challenges that you may experience with your new family member should they arise.
- Myth busting cont – There are plenty of pedigree dogs (if that’s your thing) that can be found in shelters and rescue organisations throughout the country. All you have to do is enquire at your local shelters and you’ll be amazed how many are surrendered. Alternately you can also ask faithful Google by typing eg: “border collie rescue” or “labrador rescue” etc … for the local rescue groups and organisations in your area.
So before you type, “puppies for sale” or “kittens for sale” into your next Google search, please pause for a moment to reflect on the points in this article and take the first step in making a real difference in not just one, but two lives by Google searching for “pet rescue” or calling your local SPCA!