At the start of COVID, news sites and social media were abuzz with the record breaking increase in pet adoption. Now, however, many are giving up a pet to a shelter because they can no longer care for them. Pandemic pressure has taken a toll on people and pets, with shelters once again becoming overcrowded.
In some instances, abandoned pets are being destroyed in a manner no loving pet owner would wish on any animal. The shooting of 15 rescue dogs and puppies is one such example. Many of these dogs and puppies could have had successful happy futures in good homes. But they weren’t given the chance.
In response to the incident Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst has tabled a bill to put an end to “convenience killing in pounds”. Just one week ago the bill passed the NSW upper house – that’s one small step for people and one giant step for pets.
Giving up a pet to a shelter. Why?
With a pet in almost two-thirds of Australian households we’re a pet loving nation. So why would anyone be giving up their pet to a shelter?
There are many reasons this can happen. For example, the pandemic put lots of strain on our lives, both financially and mentally. Many Australians have had to downsize their job, and even their home.
These types of unforeseen pressures can also have knock-on effects. Financial hardship can cause mental strain and in some relationships can even lead to break-ups. In a break-up, pets often aren’t looked after the way they were (read pet prenup to safeguard against this). Or they may simply move to a new rental that won’t allow pets.
Not everyone giving up their pet to a shelter wants to, but often they have no choice. What’s important is that these pets deserve a second chance. This is why for those looking for a new pet, it’s always a wonderful idea to consider pet adoption.
Some are giving up a pet to a shelter but others can adopt
Anyone planning on becoming a first time pet owner should consider adopting from a shelter. Shelters don’t always have a particular breed or very young puppies, but then again they sometimes do. And even when they don’t, they may still have that one special dog that’s just waiting to be your best bud.
When you adopt a pet you’re doing it for you. But you’re also doing it to give some future furry member of the family a loving home. Not to mention helping reduce the pressure on animal shelters.
Here are some quick links to things to know when you’re adopting a pet:
- Bringing home an adopted dog
- Older dogs for adoption
- Retired greyhounds for adoption
- Dog adoption checklist
- Ready to adopt a cat
Emma Hurst’s new bill means councils will need to work with rescue groups to rehome animals that would otherwise be destroyed. As an adoptive pet parent, you’ll be helping her cause and make Australia a safer space for all animals.
If however, you’re hooked on buying a purebred dog, then make sure you’re not scammed. Being a responsible pet parent starts with buying your pet responsibly. Here’s how…
How to buy a pet responsibly
The effect of COVID on pet safety has been far reaching. Not only must one safeguard against giving up a pet to a shelter, but when buying it’s easy to fall prey to puppy scams. COVID made it harder for buyers and sellers to reach one another and generally put a kink in the supply chain.
The knock-on effect was that pets suddenly became valuable commodities, and a new black market of pet trade started. This resulted in a plethora of stolen dogs, taken to breed or resell. Puppy farms and fake sellers capitalised on our deep desire for companion animal company during lockdown.
However, like with any black market, if no one supports it, it will eventually fold. Read about avoiding puppy mills and finding a reputable breeder and how to buy a puppy safely to avoid being hoodwinked.
10 ways to build trust with your new pet
Whether you decide to adopt a cat or dog, or buy responsibly, here are some tips to set you both up for a happy lifelong friendship.
1. Use reward based training
Obedience training for dogs via the positive reinforcement method has been proven to make your puppy happier and more obedient.
2. Playtime, socialisation and training are a must
Playtime for dogs is not just nice, it’s necessary! Read why positive reinforcement dog training is getting good results. Now that lockdown is over you could also consider a puppy training school – it’s a valuable way to teach your pup many useful doggo skills and to teach them how to socialise with other dogs and humans.
3. Establish a routine
Pets respond well to the security of routine. Establish when playtime, exercise and feeding time are early on so yours can get well settled in. For an adopted pet, this is especially important because they’ve had to lose a home, wait in hope and now need to learn what home means over anew.
4. Socialise your new and old pets
5. Make time for bonding
Take time out to bond with your pet each day. No matter how fast life seems, knowing you and your pet will get through the thick and thin together helps make it all worthwhile. If you have a rescue pet know that patience is a virtue. They may’ve had a rough time and need that extra reassurance everything is going to be OK. If they seem to be struggling, consider a pet behaviourist to help set them on course sooner.
6. Create a pet sanctuary
Give your pet a den they can call their own, somewhere they can retreat to that has all their favourite things, from toys and bedding to one of your worn T-shirts!
7. Use a pet pheromone diffuser
Pet pheromones mimic the scent of their mummy cat or dog and really help them feel mellow. Buying a spray is worth the small spend if it will help settle your new BFF.
8. Get your pet supplies before you get your pet
Make sure to stock up on basic supplies before your furkid comes home. You’d rather hang with your new pal than be standing at the checkout buying pet food. Bringing home an adopted dog? Read this.
9. Keep cats home for the first few weeks
It’s clever to keep your new kitty indoors for at least a week at first, if not more (dogs not so much). This will help them settle in and orientate and prevent them from straying or getting lost.
10. Microchip your pet
Seriously consider microchipping your pet, which will make it much easier for them to be returned to you if they get lost and end up at a shelter. Here’s what you need to know when you microchip a dog and about microchipping a cat.
Pet insurance: kind to pet and your pocket
When your pet gets sick or injured the last thing you want to have to do is weigh their value against the cost of the bill. This is why having pet insurance is key to keeping your pet safe from harm. A dog insurance or cat insurance plan will help you cover costs for medication, surgery, hospitalisation and much, much more.
If you go with a Classic or Deluxe pet plan, you also have the option to purchase the add-on wellness package. This covers your pet for things they need when they’re well too, like microchipping and desexing.
If you buy online with us, you get your first month free. Why wait a moment longer – press the button below and get your quote now.