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Monday, April 12, 2021

Paws for thought: ‘adopt, don’t shop’ this Christmas

Giving a second chance of happiness, spending less money and bragging rights are some of the benefits RSPCA ACT are reminding Canberrans of when it comes to adopting, not shopping, a pet.

Christmas can be a busy time for the organisation, and while impulse pet shopping is not encouraged, if you are ready to commit to a furry friend, adopting a rescue is encouraged.

RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson said it is important to consider a number of factors before jumping in headfirst.

“The most important is you must be ready to commit. You commit for the life of that pet, it’s not an impulse decision, it’s something you really need to think about,” she said.  

“The choice of your pet needs to fit with your lifestyle and, depending on your lifestyle, that could be a cat or fish, or it might be a specific breed of dog.”

Nationally, RSPCA took in over 110,000 animals this year, which have been lost or strays, surrendered or seized.

The ACT branch estimate they will take in 4,000 animals to its shelter, receive 2,000 animal cruelty complaints and prepare 150,000 pet meals next year.

Ms Robertson said despite common misconception, these animals don’t end up in the shelter through any fault of their own.

“In terms of what we see at the shelter, animals are victims of human circumstances,” she said.

“They end up in shelters not because of what they did or didn’t do but because of the humans who are supposed to care for them.”

Currently there are 325 animals in care at RSPCA ACT, not all of which are ready for adoption yet but soon will be.

Ms Robertson said in her experience, she found people mostly shopped for pets when they were after a specific breed and timeframe.

However, she said having a little more patience meant RSPCA may be able to help you on this journey.

“Anecdotally, things we see that could be contributing to people wanting to shop is they are looking for a specific breed or they are not prepared to wait,” she said.

“There are so many benefits to adopting but it means you have to be patient. We don’t know day to day what animals will come in, but we may be able to provide it in six months’ time.”

Ms Robertson urged those looking to shop a pet to do so responsibly.

“There are huge issues with over breeding, unethical practices, not in all instances but there could be, so shop from a reputable organisation to ensure you are taking a stance against that,” she said.

For more information, visit rspca-act.org.au

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