15 October 2015

Adopt Don't Shop | Personal Musings

Adopt Don't Shop
Image from: StockSnap

For the longest time, whenever someone I watch on YouTube mentions (even in passing) that they are thinking of getting a dog I see that the comments are filled with people begging the person to adopt from a shelter instead of "shopping" for one. I always found it frustrating because I was sure that people were aware of the options they have when it comes to bringing a new pet into their home. If someone wanted to rescue a dog, they would get one. If they didn't want to and decided to go with a breeder, then that's what they would do. This past week my mentality has changed. 

Recently I visited my local pet store to pick up a few things for my puppy. None of the pet stores in my area sell animals, apart from fish, anymore. Instead they often have rescue pets for adoption. These pets come from places like the RSPCA or local foster groups. Last week I met a sweet cat that I completely fell in love with. I have never owned a cat in my life, nor ever thought of myself as a cat person. This cat however made me think differently. It also made me realise that there are so many animals in Australia without homes. 

Thousands of animals are picked up as strays off the streets or handed in for rehoming every year. Many end up in pounds and never make it out. This may be due to medical or behavioural issues, but sometimes it's about space and cost issues. It is still legal for shelters and pounds to euthanise animals in Australia. I recognise that sometimes this is in the interest of the animal, for things such as medical problems, but this is something I wish could change in legislation. 

Everyone has the ability to help. Adoption is the number one way to save these animals. If you're thinking of getting a new pet, visit your local pound, shelter or RSPCA and view their animals. Alternatively there are hundreds of rescue and foster groups who bring unwanted animals into their lives and then look for the best possible home. These people get to know the animal and can give you a good idea of what the animal is like and how they could fit into your life. In Australia, many groups list their animals on PetRescue

Fostering animals is also a great option. Pet Foster lists some great reasons to bring a foster animal into your home and the awesome thing is almost anyone can do it.

Volunteering at a shelter or the RSPCA can help animals too. I know that my local pound has volunteers walk the dogs. Donating to animal welfare groups and foster groups is also extremely helpful, as most groups are non-profit and use their own money to rescue animals. Any little bit helps. Research your nearest foster group and see how you can help. 

I understand that adoption is not an option for some. People often have their heart set on certain breeds or do not know if they can care for an animal that may have come from difficult circumstances. My family, for example, wanted a breed that we knew was important to raise from a puppy to prevent behavioural issues. However, I now wish we had looked into adopting a dog instead. Maybe in the future when I adopt my own pet, in my own home, I can use the opportunity. 

Hannah x


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