Posted By Ann

     The obvious solution to the problem of surplus to demand dogs and cats surely lies at the beginning, not the all too soon end of so many lives?

      Puppy (and kitten) mills churning out endless cute babies to supply the Pet shops are one of the problems, legislation to stop pet shops selling puppies and kittens would help considerably here, These shops rely on impulse buyers, who in a very short time can become impulse disposers. Why pay boarding fees when you go away on holiday – take it to the local Shelter and go to the pet shop for another when you get home is a much easier solution. ALL dogs and cats kept as pets should be de-sexed. Vets and animal societies can help here by making it cheaper. A much stricter policing of breeders would also help.

      Get rid of sentimental and woolly thinking, it is NOT cruel to stop a cat or dog breeding, It is irresponsible and cruel to bring puppies and kittens into a world that has no room for them. Those who do let their dog or cat have a litter and then take the results to the local Shelter in the misguided belief they will be found good homes should be told the truth, They are much more likely to be killed, Less than 40% get re-homed and the older they are the less likely it is. People want a playful puppy or a cute kitty and when it very quickly outgrows that stage then it may well find itself unwanted again.

      Many years ago I bred cats, my only excuse that in those days a pedigree and a high price tag gave a puppy or a kitten some sort of security. Not any more. Purebred dogs abound in Shelters and you will find cats and kittens of every shade and shape and length of coat, as beautiful as any coming from breeders’ catteries.

      I found Lily in Ingrid’s Haven, a no kill cat shelter, she was one of literally dozens of kittens rescued at the eleventh hour, to be de-sexed and taken to the Haven instead of killed. Lily was lucky, she found her way to a no-kill cat shelter where she would be safe for the rest of her life even if no-one adopted her. She could have just been a statistic, one of approximately 60,000 kittens killed each year in Australia. Lily is now the cover girl on my new book, which is quite a step from the throw away kitten a breath away from extinction.

Lily

      She has made me re-think all my ideas and pre-conceived notions about the way we deal with excess animals. Lily is now an exquisite young cat, extremely intelligent, loving and mischievous. Above all she relishes life and gets the maximum enjoyment out of it. I question our right to deprive her, and others like her, of this.

      We who love animals must do something collectively to stop the huge death toll of puppies, kittens, cats and dogs. The really appalling thing is that numbers are rising – not falling – proving that the current practice of killing those who fail to find new homes quickly is not working. A good start would be if we all adopted the slogan:

DON’T BREED OR BUY WHILE HOMELESS PETS DIE

 
5 Comment(s):
Adore Animals Foundation said...
Hi Ann. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts ... if only we had less breeders and more people willing to adopt from shelters. We are continuing our Dog Rehoming project, which is aimed at rehoming dogs, but also helps rehome cats. Adore Animals Foundation’s shelter project aims to assist shelters by: • reducing stress on animals in shelters • increasing re-homing success • reducing euthanasia rates • creating standardised practice • creating alternative adoption points • making shelter adoptions a positive experience For those of you who think you can help out see www.adoreanimals.com and click on projects. Keep up the great work Ann! Kind regards, Lisa Louden, Managing Director, Adore Animals Foundation
March 29, 2010 3:44 PM
 
della earl said...
Dear Ann! Good on you for blogging such an important subject. The more people who can know of and experience the world of rescue, the better. Most people just don't realise how extensive the problem is and how it is made worse by backyard breeding and oversupply of pets sold in pet shops. I feel exactly as you do about the selfish and irresponsible attitude of humans who think companion animals are there for our amusement!! I am in Sydney and volunteer at the Sydney Dogs & Cats Home. I know that much could be done to publicise the and have heaps of ideas but I realise that everyone has their cause and it is difficult to get the right people on board to make it happen! sigh... Best wishes and huge respect! Della
August 1, 2009 6:02 PM
 
Lyn said...
Hi Anne, Just popped in this morning to read your latest and wanted you to know I'm loving your blog. Your compassion and love for animals shines through with every word. Lovely to see the adorable picture of Lily featured here too. I must add that I was listening to ABC radio in the background and, just as I entered your site, heard an amazing story of a dog who went missing in Brisbane that has been found nine, yes NINE years later in Melbourne. Brought in to the RSPCA, the dog had a microchip and so its owner was located and dog returned and is now home again with his overjoyed family. Surely a reminder of the importance of microchipping our four-legged friends. Got me thinking of how many dogs' and cats' lives may have been saved by this inexpensive and so vital little piece of technology.
July 30, 2009 8:06 AM
 
Anne Lindsay said...
Dear Ann, What a good blog! I adore the picture of priceless, princess Lily, whom we had already spoken of so enjoyably. How lovely that she is your 'cover girl'.. I bet if she could understand, she would relish that ; ) Such a beauty is meant to be admired by many. I am appreciating your thoughtful views on no-kill shelters, all of which I feel are valid. Until a few years ago I had never heard of the concept or knew of the existence of so many, large and small. In the USA, "Best Friends" is the one I first came to know of, after their fantastic work rescuing animals post-Hurricane Katrina, and they are excellent folk. Grew from nothing-a group of like-minded animal loving friends who pooled resources- to magnificent sanctuary at Utah, over 25years. It has inspired and supported shelters large and small all over the world, and continues to do so... there goal is "No More Homeless Pets". You know, that 5 million deaths is awful, but B.Friends say that when they started, at least 15 million animals were 'euthed' in shelters annually in US, so that is a big step towards the goal. But still a long way to go - much work, and a paradigm shift, to be achieved. The many smaller shelters run by incredibly committed, devoted people (including in Aust. of course our fine friend Ingrid), are also working on transforming attitudes and saving lives, one by one. The big shelters have their role, but there HAS to be another way, than euthing poor creatures who are surplus to demand, or too old, to expensive to treat, too nervous, abused, too 'something'. These legitimate concerns, for 'non-mainstream' animals that fall outside the larger shelters 'brief' for adoptability, must be met if needs be by other groups, if the larger shelters are unable or unwilling to invest time, staff and money into it. And to be fair, they are often overwhelmed by the constant influx of animals, and unable to see any other way, other than the 'practical', so-called 'necessary' one of killing off the 'extras' or anyone who doesn't get rehomed within a horribly short time frame. For the sensitive staff members too, it is surely depressing and demoralising, even if they presently don't see an alternative that is 'practical'. I have also seen inspectors start to cry at what they have seen and rescued a poor animal from ... they don't want to see it destroyed after all that, and often months of fostering whilst the court case is waiting to be heard, etc. So I guess we all have to show that there are ways to make shelters truly places of refuge and support, and advocate and lead where feasible by example, and spread the message of love and kindness to all in whatever way we can. Eg. cheap/free spey/neuter, education, maintaining (not destroying) neutered 'feral' cat colonies.. etc. Donating to and supporting as best we can humane alternatives to euth. and publicising worthy just causes to reduce unwanted animal populations, such as via pet shop sales and/or 'puppy mills'. You know all more about all this than me for sure. I do hope that in Australia, with our smaller human population, we can likewise find ways to save, and especially to cherish, our animals, like you have Lily, Stoffy, and all the rest. I am in my idealist way wanting each an every companion animal to have not only 'life', but a good, safe, cared for, loved life! If 'saving' a life means prolonging an animals life in an abusive situation where it will eg, be chained up all day and night in isolation and outside in all weathers and semi starved.. .like some so-called factory guard dogs are... and NO-ONE can do anything about it, then perhaps it is more humane and compassionate to end that creatures life with kindness and peace. After all we all have to die sometime. But that would be the last, and not a first, resort, ideally, in my view. OK! I'd better conclude now. Best wishes with all the writing and thanks for your kindness, intelligence and wisdom. x Anne.
July 11, 2009 10:13 PM
 
Cassie said...
Another wonderful "adopt first" sanctuary is www.petshaven.com.au at Woodend
July 10, 2009 10:36 PM
 
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