This post features images people may find upsetting.
You always get people saying that adopting pets is better than buying babies. It’s true. In 2016 the RSPCA alone rescued 129,602 animals. In one year, that is a shocking amount of animals being neglected, abused and abandoned. And we can make a difference to this.
In the U.S according to the Humane Society of The United States around 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are put to sleep in U.S shelters every year. If that number doesn’t make you feel angry or sad then you can’t be human. 2.7 million. That’s not okay.
Over the Christmas period in 2016 the amount of dogs that ended up in shelters was 25,000. That is such a crazy amount of animals. In Amersham, Buckinghamshire last November 4 puppies thought to have been bred on a puppy farm for the Christmas period were found dead in a bag, presumably because they couldn’t be sold. Disgusting.
How you can help.
There are always ways you can help reduce the amount of animals that end up in shelters:
Don’t buy puppies/kittens, or any baby animals for Christmas or birthdays for people – Owning a pet is a huge responsibility that takes a lot of energy and time. If you intend on owning a pet then you need to sit down and decide whether or not you have the patience, time, energy or financial means. If the answer if no, then now is not a time for you to get a pet. When people are bought animals for special occasions they don’t necessarily have the time to process whether they’re ready to have a pet. This goes for buying rabbits for Children at Easter. I know that Pets at Home ban rabbit sales for children at Easter.
Spay and neuter your pets – Spaying and neutering your pets prevents any unwanted pregnancies. Peoples excuses for not spaying or neutering their animals are that they only own same sex animals, but this is irrelevant. If you’re walking your dog and they meet another ‘intact’ dog and they mate then that can create a problem. Cats get out often and who knows where they go and what they do, you could end up with a pregnant cat. Having a pet that is pregnant can be a costly thing with constant vet checks, then the inevitable birth of the babies. You also put your beloved pet at risk of illness or even death. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t breed animals unless you’re willing to possibly lose the Mum.
Don’t support irresponsible breeders and puppy farms – If you intend to buy a puppy make sure you do your research. If the breeder has lots of different puppies for sale do not buy from that person. The likely-hood of them being a puppy farmer is very high. By not supporting/buying from puppy farmers causes the sale of their animals to go down meaning there isn’t a demand for their animals. This causes them to eventually stop breeding animals all together. Buying from pet shops, specifically chain pet shops, is also not a good way of buying animals. Animals sent to pet shops aren’t always ethically bred as they’re mostly bred for the money. Animals from pet shops often come with health issues that can be costly and some people can’t deal with looking after a pet with health problems. If buying a pet is your only option then you should always buy from breeders that have good reputations and where you can always see the parents. If you can’t see the parents then leave. You want to be able to see whether the parents are in good health.
Adopting an animal is rewarding – By adopting an animal in need you are giving that animal a second chance at a good life and the love it deserves. I believe that there is a pet out there for everyone, especially in shelters. These pets may not have had the best starts in life which means that some of them can have some issues, but even pets with issues deserve love. If you decide to adopt then you need to take your time and visit lots of breeds to find one that is the perfect fit for your family.
Shelters become over-crowded – With so many animals being rescued by animal charities and shelters they often get over-crowded and that’s when problems occur. If a shelter has too many animals then the pets either have to be euthanised or moved to another shelter. This can be stressful for animals and health and behavioural problems.
Can’t adopt? How can you help?
I’m very aware that not everyone can adopt, and that’s totally okay! There are ways you can help gives the animals in shelters lots of love and care!
Volunteer at your local shelter – Why not volunteer at your local shelter by walking the dogs there, or helping to clean up their cages. This is a particularly good thing to do if you personally can’t have a pet due to health, financial or living issues because it gives you the chance to help and love animals without spending any money. Walking dogs also gives you some exercise and gets you outside for some fresh air, it’s all bonuses!
Raise some money for your local shelter or animal charity – Most animal charities tend to be non-profit organisations which means they rely solely on volunteers and donations. By donating to a charity like this it gives them more chance to take on more animals that need care. Money donations also help pay for vet bills for poorly or elderly animals; vet bills can often me quite expensive so animal charities and charity shelters are always looking for money donations. Food and toy donations are also appreciated to any shelter or charity, so don’t think that just because you can’t afford to give any money doesn’t mean you can’t help! There’s plenty of ways to support and help.
I have a beautiful rescue dog named Tilly who had a pretty rough start in life. She was roughly 3 years old when we got her and she’s the most perfect dog. She is the best example of a dog that wasn’t treated fairly but still just wants unconditional love. She has slight separation anxiety, which is understandable as she was found abandoned in a flat, but that doesn’t mean we love her any less. She is the perfect companion for our other older dog, Herb. They get on like a house on fire and love each other very much.
Don’t be put off by dogs in shelters that aren’t puppies! They can make the best pets and are just as worthy of a happy ever after as any other dog. Just do your research on any breed you decide to adopt/foster and definitely make sure your new pet is the perfect fit for your new family. Always speak to the shelter and learn as much as possible about your new family member. Visit them lots of times so they can get used to you and you to them and I promise you you’ll never regret adopting a new pet. Their lives are precious and worthy of your love.
Here are a list of animal shelters/charities:
Last Chance Hotel (South West England)
Animals in distress
There are plenty I haven’t mentioned here so do some research and find one close to where you live and easily accessible. It’s a really great thing you can do.
I hope you consider adopting in the future instead of buying and giving one of these animals the life and love they all deserve!
Thank you for reading,