Well, it’s December and that means the silly season is upon us once again.
Today I wanted to talk about one of the silliest campaigns that continues to plague each silly season.
That campaign is the “A dog is for life, not just for Xmas” campaign. The campaign that sees many shelters and pounds all over the country close their doors so that people don’t adopt a pet at Xmas.
However is adopting a pet at Xmas such a terrible idea?
It’s a time when the children are at home rather than school to form relationships with the pet. It’s also a time when many take holidays from work to spend with their family. With everyone at home is there any better time to introduce a new family member? I can’t think of one.
Adding a new member to the family is an adjustment for humans and animals alike, so a time when most of the family will be there to adjust and learn from each other is an opportunity that should not be missed.
However instead of embracing this many shelters and rescue centres close their doors on the off-chance that these families may discard their dog after Xmas. Like the time of year is what determines a dog dumpers behaviour.
A look at the facts show quite the opposite. Figures obtained by the RSPCA in South Australia show no spike in the number of dogs entering the pound system in the Xmas Season. The spike in cat numbers is due to biology as it is the cat breeding season, nothing to do with Santa.
So what does closing down the shelters and pounds achieve?
What it actually does is send those wanting a pet straight into the pet store. Those that would have adopted a rescued dog instead find themselves the customer of a puppy factory through one of their agents in a local shopping centre. The very people we tell everyone all year to not purchase from are laughing all the way to the bank when we leave customers no other option.
The dogs at the council pounds, what awaits them at Xmas with no chance of adoption?
Most are given the “Green Dream” an injection of Lethabarb, some in a vein, or if the vet is lazy or can’t find a vein they stick it straight in the poor dogs heart, either way the result is the same. Killed on site so that staff won’t need to care for them over the holidays. Apparently some appear to think that killing a healthy dog is more humane than letting a family adopt them at Xmas.
Seriously, are we really that stupid?
Animal Welfare League in Queensland aren’t. They actually ramp up the promotion of their services to ensure that they adopt out all their animals before Xmas. Normal checks apply to ensure animals go to the right homes, however many fees are waived or reduced to ensure rescued animals receive the gift of a bright future. I hope others follow the Animal Welfare League’s lead.
At this time of year we should be beefing up and pumping out the “Adopt Don’t Shop” message rather than encouraging the exact opposite by making foolish decisions.
To those looking to add a new member to your family before the year ends, congratulations on your decision, it is one that will keep on rewarding you for years to come.
I hope you will go the extra effort of finding a way of adopting rather than buying the product of a puppy factory and helping a hideous and immoral industry stay afloat.
Let’s hope this Xmas those who adopt out rescued dogs to families don’t make it too hard for the ethical consumer this year.
For those who are serious about adding a pet to the family, Pet Rescue have a very detailed search engine on their site that will help you find the right fit no matter where you are located.
I hope you find what you are looking for.