Too many companion animals are put to sleep each year by overstretched rescue groups

Adelaide Now,Tory Shepherd; September 24 2012

English bulldog

It is not as easy as you’d think to work out why the RSPCA’s ‘kill rate’ for companion animals is so high with oversupply, negligent owners, mistakes, feral animals and stretched resources all being part of the equation. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

MY childhood dog, Neddy, had manky bald bits and he’d scoot across the lawn on his bum whenever we had company.

He was partial to trying to have sex with inappropriate things. But we could dress him up and he’d sigh with martyred forbearance and let us photograph him.

Our cats were called Soft and Stupid, and Hard and Hairy.

Now we have Sangio, and even thinking of him dying makes me ache (though after last week I hesitate to use the words “dog” and “love” in the same sentence).

He’s a little crazy, a little too clever. When I write at home he lies across my feet and when we go away without him he takes days to forgive us.

When he was younger he’d get so excited to see us, or visitors, that he’d lose control of his bladder.

 This unfortunately generally coincided with the moment at which he was jumping up on them, so several people have been victims of this firehose-like spraying. It’s a sign of affection, of course.

Most of us love our pets and treat them like part of the family. But animals are an industry, so selfishness and profit creep in.

The RSPCA kills tens of thousands of pets each year; around a third of the dogs it gets, most of the cats, and almost half of the “other” animals.

It’s not as easy as you’d think to work out why the “kill rate” is so high. It’s partly oversupply, combined with negligent owners, mistakes, all those feral cats and stretched resources in shelters some think may be a little too quick on the kill switch.

We don’t have all the answers. But here are a few things we should do:

1). Stop puppy farms. Stop ruthless, cold-hearted, bastard, backyard breeders who have no concern for the conditions in which they keep their breeding machines.

2). Stop pet shops from selling animals. Only properly licensed and trained breeders, who know the mum and dad, who know all the circumstances of the animals’ lives, should be allowed to sell those lives. And they should be encouraged to vet the people.

3). No pet should be allowed without education to go with it. Puppy school should be mandatory, to socialise the dog and the owner. And all cat owners should be taught about how to stop their cats killing native animals and should pay to spay.

4). All pets should be microchipped, with the owner to bear the cost. If you can’t afford the education and the microchip, you can’t afford the pet. Regulations right now are a patchwork across the states.

5). We need to work out what to do about feral cats. It’s these, not owned cats, who create the bulk of the problems for the shelters.

6). Help those people who find new homes for pets.

We need to stop the oversupply of animals, the profiteering, the unthinking “impulse buying” of pets, and this slaughter of often healthy animals.

As Michelle Williamson of Pet Rescue (a not-for-profit which finds permanent homes for homeless animals) will tell SBS’s Insight tonight: “(What) we want to see an end to is killing, which is killing for convenience, killing for space, killing because we haven’t got time or we don’t want to invest in rehabilitation.”

Original here



Filed under Abandoned animals, Breeders, Desexing, Pet shops, Puppy Mills, RSPCA

3 responses to “Too many companion animals are put to sleep each year by overstretched rescue groups

  1. Jan Baker

    I want to ask why these puppy farmers can have licences after authorities see the way in which these dogs are treated…disgusting, filthy places that these poor animals are living in…why is this allowed to go on….why does the government not stop this money making disgusting trade. We are a proud Country & have always been humane & very protective of all our animals…but this Government should hang it’s head in shame to allow this to go on….change the laws to protect our animals….NOW!!

    • VickiPS

      I agree that sub-standard puppy farming should be stopped if possible, but honestly I doubt that there are very many “properly licenced and trained” breeders. My (admittedly limited) experience of breeders (one of whom was a past president of the state CCC) is that they’re sometimes impossible to distinguish from the despised puppy farmers.

      Much as I agree that acquiring a companion animal is a serious undertaking that shouldn’t be left to the vagaries of impulse shopping, I would equally hate to see us become as obsessively neurotic as, say, the USA about our animals: nor would I like to live in a country where animal companionship is the exclusive province of the comparatively affluent.

  2. Annelies Craig

    I would also like to see animal care of both domestic and wildlife brought onto every school curriculum. Most and I say most – not all…Australian families of today’s society, do not have any idea on how to look after domestic pets, or the issues in regards to wildlife. We as a society are getting further and further away from these issues, yet they share this earth with us……..I’d also like to see a National Database established (I know I have said all these things a million times) so that those that use/abuse/cruel to animals get their name recorded, so if in the near future they want to purchase/acquire a pet – they are unable to. I’d also like to see a group set up so that all those people that are advertising pets ‘free’ or otherwise to good homes..within local newspapers/billboards – get a courtesy phone call in regards to establishing why are they depositing these supposedly ‘family pets’….perhaps referring on to subsidized desexing etc etc….I’d also like to see Landlords give a bit as well in regards to allowing people to keep their beloved pets with them, rather than having to give up pets due to living standards. I’d also like to see only a certain number of Licences given to breeders, with only a limited number of litters per year, and along with the purchase of these pups a condition of sale stating that they must be desexed and follow-up on these…bringing back responsibility onto the breeders. . Last but not least I’d like to see the abolish of pets out of shops all questions asked. I’d also like to see owners of cats, keep their cats in at night as well as all cats being desexed, as well as dogs. My thoughts anyway…………

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