Many of us treat our companion animals as important and much-loved members of the family but not all animals are this fortunate. There are thousands of unwanted and abandoned animals in rescue centres awaiting a new home.
Despite sanctuaries being full of animals needing homes, many thousands more are purpose-bred for the pet trade, often by unscrupulous breeders. People are encouraged to impulse buy animals from pet shops, particularly cute puppies and kittens, without giving adequate thought as to how they are going to care for them. As a result, animals are often neglected, or abandoned altogether, once the novelty has worn off. In fact, the number of unwanted animals is so great that many are euthanised (killed) because there are simply not enough homes for them all.
Purchasing animals from pet shops keeps the cycle of breeding, abandonment and euthanasia going, as the stores continue to buy or breed replacement animals. If you do have the time, money and energy necessary to bring an animal into your home, adopt one from a shelter.
Caring for a companion animal can be time-consuming and expensive, so before taking on this responsibility please be sure that you have the commitment necessary to give an animal a loving home for the rest of his or her life.
Spay and Neuter
With so many animals in sanctuaries and rescues in need of a home, the last thing the world needs is even more animals being born. It is a myth that a female animal ‘needs’ to have at least one litter and should only be spayed after that – this is simply not true. Nor is spay/neuter ‘cruel’. Not only will it prevent the birth of even more unwanted animals who may end up being neglected, abandoned, and euthanised, it is also in your animal’s best interest. Female rabbits have a very high chance of developing cancer of the uterus if they are not spayed and spayed female dogs have reduced risk of mammary tumours and womb infections; male dogs and cats will roam in search of a mate and may get lost or hit by a car, and un-neutered tomcats will often get into terrible fights over territory.