Owning a pet is a very rewarding experience. You get loyalty, friendship, fun and love; your pet gets all of that plus regular food and a safe, warm place to live. Whether you prefer cats or dog, small mammals like hamsters and guinea pigs, birds or fish, if you have the space, time and energy to take in a pet then here are some great reasons why you should adopt rather than buy.
There are too many animals needing homes already. If you buy a pet from a pet shop or breeder you deny a home to an animal living in a shelter, and you encourage further breeding by people wanting to make a profit from selling animals.
- There are too many animals to be cared for by charities and many healthy animals are put to sleep simply because there isn’t the space or money to care for them. Save a life and adopt an animal.
- Your animal will be healthy. If you buy a pet, you will usually be responsible for making sure it is in good health and that it gets vaccinated and treated for parasites. Adopt an animal from the RSPCA and it will have been checked by a vet for any signs of ill health and will already have been neutered/spayed, vaccinated and treated for worms and fleas; it will also have been micro-chipped.
- You will know what sort of temperament your new pet has. The staff at the RSPCA will have taken steps to get to know the animals in their care and will have a good idea of which animals will be suited to which sort of home environments. Want a dog that’s good with children? The staff can point you in the right direction. Few breeders will tell you that their puppies are not friendly or are prone to aggression. Staff at a shelter won’t place an animal for adoption if they think that the placement will not work – they don’t want to give an animal another temporary home and have it returned to them when the placement fails.
- You’ll get a new best friend, and be able to set a good example to your children in how to care for pets. You’ll also feel good about the fact that you have given an animal a second chance at a happy life.
There are animals that are less easy for shelters to find homes for. Older pets, certain breeds of dog, and small mammals tend to be difficult to place, because few people think of adopting them. If you think that you have what it takes to offer a good home to these animals then please do make enquiries of your local RSPCA shelter about how to adopt an animal from them.
You can find details of animals that are available for adoption from your local shelter or nationally online, or call into your local shelter to speak to staff and find out how to go about adopting an animal.