RSPCA Urges us to Adopt, Don't Shop this 'Adoptober'
The RSPCA is holding a special event this month, called ‘Adoptober’ encouraging the public to ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’ after recent figures revealed that the number of people searching for a puppy online “soared by 650%” during lockdown and dog imports into the UK doubled.
Dr Samantha Gaines, the RSPCA’s dog welfare expert explained the reason behind the Adoptober event:
“It’s wonderful to see that so many people want to welcome dogs into their families and we’ve loved waving so many of our own dogs off into their forever homes. However, we are concerned that some families may not be considering the long-term commitment of taking on a dog and how they’ll care for their new pet post-lockdown.
“We have lots of dogs waiting for their forever homes so please consider getting a rescue dog”
Sad dog Photo by Greg Trowman on Unsplash
Chris Sherwood, RSPCA chief executive added:
“We have seen a rise in people searching for dogs to adopt during lockdown, which is fantastic, but at the same time, there appears to be a rise in people looking to buy puppies.
“We know that there are not enough puppies bred in the UK to meet the demands of those who want to buy them and, worryingly, there appears to be a surge in puppies coming in from outside the UK. The problem with this is that, although breeders from countries like Romania are licensed, we have no way of checking the conditions those animals are being kept in and we fear that sales like these could be fuelling cruel puppy farms as well as exposing puppies to long and stressful journeys.
“We are all used to being able to buy whatever we want when we want it but we’re urging people to thoroughly do their research before committing to getting any dog and to make sure they don’t get caught out by people acting illegally or irresponsibly. We have lots of dogs waiting for their forever homes so please do consider getting a rescue dog.
“Although it is really tempting to buy a puppy, those from abroad may have been bred in poor conditions, leaving them with potentially serious medical and behavioural problems whereas adopting from somewhere like the RSPCA where staff have really got to know the dog, means you get the advice and support you need.
“If families would still prefer to buy a dog, we’re encouraging them to use The Puppy Contract. This is a free online toolkit to help those buying and selling puppies to do so responsibly – enabling people to connect with a responsible breeder and get a happy, healthy dog.”
Bathing dog Photo by Benjamin Lehman on Unsplash
Cats in Demand
It’s not just doggos that are in demand. There was also a huge surge in people searching for kittens online this summer too. Alice Potter, the RSCPA’s cat welfare expert had this to say about the trend:
"It's fantastic that so many people are interested in bringing a cat into their home this year. However, with such high increases in people searching for kittens online, it's important that prospective owners are doing their research and not buying a kitten on impulse. This means making sure they have the time, money and resources to care for a cat for the rest of their lives, but also ensuring that if buying a kitten they're buying a healthy and happy kitten from a responsible breeder.
Kitten Photo by The Lucky Neko on Unsplash
"It's true that we see much higher cases of puppy farms than unscrupulous kitten breeders but it does happen which is why it's so important to do your research and make sure you're buying from a reputable seller.
"Sadly, we do see cases of cats coming into our care who have been bought without the correct vaccinations, care or attention and the results can not only be devastating for the cats themselves but also the new owners who have to provide the time and cost it takes to look after these very poorly kittens. This is why the RSPCA and other cat charities have come together to create The Kitten Checklist to provide vital information, such as ensuring you see the kitten with its mum and siblings in the place where they were bred, and peace of mind for anyone looking to bring a kitten into their home."
This is why the RSCPA is urging people to adopt a cat this Adoptober. Cats are very popular pets and last year the RSPCA rehomed 24,095 cats, compared to 7,480 dogs and 2,569 rabbits. That’s one cat rehomed every 20 minutes!
Collie Photo by Sheri Hooley on Unsplash
Rehoming with the RSPCA
Under the current Covid rehoming rules, if you are interested in fostering or adopting an animal from the RSPCA, you should look at which animals are available near you and check with your local centre for the current process applicable in your area.
You can use the RSPCA’s Find a Pet service to look at cats and dogs online – and if you're not in a position to give a pet a home this October, you can still help thousands of animals in the RSPCA’s care by donating online, sponsoring a cat pod for just £1.50 a week, or supporting the work of your local RSPCA centre or branch.
Have you got a happy-every-after pet adoption story to share? Let us know in the comments section below.
Main Photo by Brad Lloyd on Unsplash