No festive cheer for abandoned animals

Northside Chronicle (Canberra),
By Nicole Rogowski ;Tuesday, 14 December 2010

THE RSPCA will feed and house about 800 abandoned pets this Christmas and with the countdown now on staff and volunteers are gearing up for a very hectic time.

For RSPCA ACT chief executive Michael Linke the festive season will not provide a break from his duties.

The animal lover has been getting up at all hours of the night to bottle feed three three-week-old kittens which were handed over to the shelter without their mother.

“Cats and dogs don’t know it’s Christmas,” he said.

“I will be on call between Christmas and New Year with the shelter closing on public holidays. However, there will be staff on site every day.” Mr Linke said he did not expect many adoptions from the Weston shelter prior to Christmas Day.

Continued page 12

From page 1 COME the end of January a predicted influx of animals bought as Christmas gifts will be surrendered to the charitable organisation.

Mr Linke said the crux of the problem was animals bought as impulse Christmas presents, often from pet stores, online or classified advertisements, that did not fit into the environment or family they were purchased for.

To add to this problem animals bought through these measures are “So if you are lazy we match you with a lazy dog, active dogs go with active people,” Mr Linke said. otten sold unclesexeci, which results in a spike of unwanted litters in March, April and May.

“It is illegal to sell animals undesexed and there is a massive problem policing this,” Mr Linke said.

The shelter is planning an adoption campaign for January with an emphasis on responsible ownership.

The RSPCA interviews those who wish to adopt a pet to talk about their lifestyle and all animals are pretested against a set of criteria to match a suitable family.

“The problem with buying a dog from a pet store is you don’t know its personality or needs and invariably they end up at the pound or here,” he said.

“So in January we want people to adopt a pet for the right reasons. We want to have positive adoptions and home animals for life.” The shelter is also planning a special Valentine’s Day theme adoption program for February.

Successful adoptions are made when you choose a dog or cat that matches you. Blue dog families are often first time dog owners. They have limited time or ability to train and exercise their dog, and want a low maintenance relationship.

They may or may not have children. Green families are happy to live with dogs that like a bit of action, but also like to relax and chill out with their dog. They are amenable to putting in some training and extra time in the early partnership to establish household rules. Orange families have a passion for dogs they could be dog trainers or are dog training enthusiasts with a library of dog books to read. They have enough time to enjoy daily walks, games and training with their dog. They put their dog to work via mental stimulation. Blue cats are sociable with people and other pets. They fit into most households with ease. Green cats are social cats some may need to seffle into a new environment while others will race in to liven up the household. Green cats are suitable for the owner who likes to have a cat that wants to be a constant companion. Orange cats can be very independent cats that are happy spending most of their time by themselves, or shy cats that need a secure place to hide from when things in life become daunting.

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