Herald Sun; Kelly Ryan; NOv 17th 2010
AUSTRALIANS are taking puppy steps to change the world – adoptions of abandoned pets are surging.
Leading social commentator David Chalke said people understood that they could make a difference by taking in unwanted pets.
Twice as many people are getting cats and dogs from animal shelters than a decade ago, data from the Petcare Information and Advisory Service shows.
“They know they can’t stop global warming or bring about world peace but they want to do something concrete and meaningful in their own lives and part of that is the rejection of pets as accessories and their elevation instead as family members,” Mr Chalke said.
Advisory service spokeswoman Susie Willis said that among many benefits, pets sourced from reliable rescue organisations have been health and temperament assessed, have usually lived indoors and have basic manners and toilet training.
Kirstie Law from Petcare said making a conscious decision to adopt an older animal from a shelter at this time of year made more sense.
Ms Law gave one of her three dogs, Nellie, 2, a home two days after losing a pet. She adopted Jai, 10, who she fretted would not find a home because of his age and Jock, 13, who was offered by a friend unable to keep the dog.
“The amount of devotion they have all shown to us, adopted as grown-up dogs and rehomed and on a new chance at life, makes them feel really, really loved,” Ms Law said.
Lost Dogs Home chief Graeme Smith said saving an animal on death row appealed to many people.
“There is a basic principle, which appeals to many prospective owners, that they are doing a good and special deed in adopting an animal which is in particular need of finding a stable, caring home and may otherwise have had difficulty surviving,” he said.
Cat Protection Society project officer Dianne Aitken said parents and children appreciated that shelter cats came desexed, vaccinated and microchipped, and had a health guarantee. “They particularly appreciate the help we give them,” she said.
PIAS recommends research to help match man and four-legged mate.