ANIMALS 101 – WHY SAVING A LIFE THROUGH ADOPTION IS A GREAT IDEA!
South Africa is overflowing with unwanted dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, even rabbits, birds and other animals. It’s sad to think that most of these animals in shelters will never experience a loving home and the security of a family they deserve.
We have a massive overpopulation crisis on our hands because people:
- don’t sterilise their pets
- actively breeds animals
- support breeders/pet shops/animal dealers
- don’t take responsibility for their pets
- let their animals roam the streets
The reality is that there are just not enough homes for all the animals. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born find a forever home and millions of animals are euthanized (put to sleep) every year. More unwanted animals end up as bait dogs/cats/rabbits for dogfighting or get passed from one owner to the other until they eventually, if “lucky” end up in a shelter instead.
We understand that it seems easier to buy a pet, but let us share with you why buying a pet is part of the problem. The pet industry in South Africa is not regulated and pet shops do not promote responsible pet ownership (sterilizations, home checks, etc.). They make their profits by promoting IMPULSE BUYING. These animals can also come from a questionable source.
WHAT IS ADOPTION?
Many animals come in as strays found and other animals are dumped, abandoned or surrendered by their owners. If these animals are not claimed by their owners within the pound period, the shelter has two options namely, euthanize or adoption. Adoption is when you give an animal from a registered rescue organisation/shelter a second chance, as part of your family. You will pay an adoption fee and go through a process of responsible homing.
It is never just about a good home, but rather good placement for that animal!
There are many BENEFITS to adopting. You not only save a life but will also make resources and space available for the next one to be rescued. If you can do the math, you know you will save money by adopting! Pets are good for our physical and emotional health and adopted ones for the most part are already “trained”. You also help to lighten the load of a shelter that rescues animals and make the rescuers go on for just one more day.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE ADOPTING
- Are you ready for a pet?
- Can you afford pet care in the long term?
- Have you researched their specific needs and can you meet these needs?
- Does the animal fit your family’s lifestyle?
- If you live in a townhouse complex, written approval from the body corporate, that pets are allowed, must be obtained.
- Municipal By-laws must be adhered to with regards to allowed number of pets.
- You may never know their breed, medical history or behavioural history.
- You will have to pet-proof your home beforehand.
- Get the necessary items for your car and for travel.
- You will still need to buy beds, blankets, toys, leashes, deworm every 3 months, vaccinate every year, buy good food every month, this does not even include saving for an emergency!
- They need to be spayed/neutered and a form of identification added.
- Social animals should not be the only animals in the house.
- They might need some training and patients to build trust, more time to adjust and might not get along with all people or animals.
- If you think adoption fees are too expensive, then we will advise that you rather not get a pet. If you do the math a responsible pet owner would do, then you will know that the adoption fee which includes sterilisation and more, is at least half the price you would normally pay for everything which is included and that is excluding the animal itself.
Rescue is the best breed! We always advise you to go and meet the animals available at your local shelter. Shelter pets are not broken, they were only failed by humans. Adopting an adult pet can even be better than a puppy. You might just fall in love with one that you never thought of. Choosing the right breed for your lifestyle is however especially important. NEVER MAKE A DECISION based only on a dog’s LOOK or SIZE or BREED etc. The energy level of that animal should fit with that of your family.
If you like a particular breed, there are many different ones up for adoption through breed-specific rescues (e.g. google “Poodle” rescue SA). Be careful with any organisations that do not do responsible homing which should include sterilisation and a home-check.
Changing a life through adoption is priceless! ADOPT DON’T SHOP!
Next week we will look at how the process for adoption works.
WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!