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.
Adopt, don’t shop!
Rescue centres and sanctuaries are full of animals needing homes. Despite this, many animals are bred for the pet industry or to be sold by backyard breeders. People are encouraged to impulse-buy animals from pet shops or through online advertising (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 or breeders 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, please 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 rescue centres 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 it cruel to spay or neuter animals. Not only will it prevent the birth of even more unwanted animals who may end up being neglected, abandoned, or 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 a reduced risk of mammary tumours and womb infections. Un-neutered tomcats will often get into terrible fights over territory. Protect your companion animals by spaying and neutering.
Dogs die in hot cars!
Sadly, there are still people who think it’s acceptable to leave their dog in their car – not least in hot weather. If you spot a dog who has been left alone in a hot car, please take action immediately. Their life could depend on you. Read more here.
In hot weather, it is best to walk your dog when it is cooler – so first thing in the morning and later in the evening and leave balls and toys at home. Please also make sure that when out and about you have enough fresh water and a water bowl for your dog to drink from.
For further advice, see here.