Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of positive news about people adopting and fostering animals whilst they are at home during the quarantine, which is fantastic. There was even a video of a shelter in the United states completely empty for the first time in their history! This is amazing because there are so many animals that are in shelters and rescues looking for their forever homes, so to see so many people using their time at home as a chance to help animals is great. We hear how important it is to adopt animals rather than buy, especially with puppy mills being such a serious issue still, so I do hope people are really seeing the benefit of adopting or the potential to adopt through fostering.
Of course having an adorable puppy or kitten is always a lovely idea, but now more than ever we really need to help prevent puppy mills, as well as constant breeding of dogs. I myself was unaware growing up of just how badly animals have been treated due to the puppy industry, nor did I really know just how much profit they make! People can make a lot of money from selling animals and the only way to stop the abuse that can occur, is to stop the demand. If you feel like you must buy from a breeder, then ensure you take steps to make sure that this is a legitimate sale. The Dog’s Trust has a great in depth list of what questions to ask and what to do. I have included some of these below, but follow the link here to see what the experts advise in full.
- Speak to the seller on the phone before visiting.
- Ask lots of questions about the puppy.
- When you arrange to meet, make sure you do it at the puppy’s home. You should be suspicious if the seller wants to deliver the dog or meet at another location.
- When you meet your pup for the first time, ask to see their mum. It’s important that you can see your puppy interacting with their mother and other litter mates (if any).- This is a good sign that they’ve been bred properly.
- Ask for a full health history of both parents.
- Visit more than once. Don’t feel pressured to make a snap decision.
- Walk away if something doesn’t look or feel right.
- If you have any concerns about the welfare of any of the dogs you see, please contact the RSPCA
- Ask for proof of any vet checks, vaccinations (where applicable), microchipping, and/or pedigree papers.
- Be aware that the puppy should be at least eight weeks old at the point when it goes home with you.
- A responsible breeder would never send you home with a puppy younger than that.
These animals don’t ask to be put on this planet, and yet many people will buy an animal only to give it away when it becomes a hindrance or too much hard work. Sometimes this is for the best if the animal won’t have a good quality of life, however this has led to so many animals without homes. It honestly breaks my heart to see so many without their forever home. I’ve seen animals in rescues, and yes I did cry each time I saw them, because as loved as they are by the fabulous employees and volunteers, this isn’t enough.
There is a worry that these animals that have found new homes during quarantine could be returned, which does happen sadly. Some people have the best intentions, but find that it’s hard to look after an animal like they thought they could. As well as this, animals that come from abandonment or abuse take a whole lot of time, love and patience before they can settle with a new owner or family.
What I hope is that the animals that have been taken in have found their forever home and more people are inclined to adopt in the future. I know that adopting isn’t easy, there are many checks to be done, visits and more. But if you can imagine how long these animals have waited for a home, how much they have wanted to be in a home and not a shelter, then you know that the last thing the rescue centres want is for the animals to be returned to them. These checks are there for the best interest of the animal and for the potential owner to fully understand what they are undertaking.
If you are looking for a family pet, then why not check out some of these centres and organisations below, or if you can foster maybe do that first to really see if you can find the right pet for you.
Virtually adopt- WWF
A pet can change your life so much, but one thing is for sure, they will love you everyday, unconditionally, so before you decide to take that step, please ensure you can offer them the same in return.