Daily Telegraph; Alice Coote, Dec 18 2010
ALL these dogs want for Christmas is a loving home. And before you buy a dog, the RSPCA is urging you to rescue one instead.
Their NSW shelters are full and they are so keen to rehome animals that they have halved adoption fees until tomorrow.
Among those waiting for a home are 617 adult dogs and 295 puppies.
RSPCA spokeswoman Marianne Zander said adopting a dog this Christmas was a better option than buying one from a pet store.
“One of our big concerns is when people go to pet stores they don’t know where the dog is coming from,” Ms Zander said.
“It’s often the case they are from puppy farms and puppy factories.”
Ms Zander said there are many benefits to adopting a dog from the RSPCA, and many breeds and ages to choose from.
and other animals.”All of our animals are behaviour checked before going up for adoption to make sure they are appropriate to be rehomed,” Ms Zander said.
Christmas is the busiest time of year at the RSPCA, and for many animals it’s not going to be a happy time. Between December 2009 and last February, the RSPCA NSW was inundated with 2783 dogs, 1313 puppies, 1348 cats and 3879 kittens.
There are a number of reasons why animals are surrendered.
At this time of year some are surrendered because their owners haven’t planned ahead for their holidays and have been unable to find a kennel or a friend to look after them. Others were given as gifts before being abandoned.
“If you’re going to give an animal as a gift, speak to that person and make sure they want an animal,” Ms Zander said.
Lorrisa Arnold, 19, from Menai, fell in love with a dog at the RSPCA when she was volunteering there in 2008. She told her mum, who surprised her with the now six-year-old shih tzu just before Christmas that year.
Lorrisa said Abigail now means everything to her and has become “really spoilt”.
Lorrisa urged people to rescue a dog, especially older ones, from the RSPCA.
“So many dogs are there for a long time and people don’t give them a chance,” she said.
“All the dogs there are beautiful dogs. If I could take them all home I really would.”
Adopting an animal isn’t the only way you can help. For the third Christmas, the RSPCA is running Project Guardian Angel to raise money for animals in shelters.
People can give money or donate on behalf of someone else and make them a Guardian Angel.
Call the RSPCA on 9770 7555 or visit http://www.adoptapet.com.au