If You Are Thinking of Getting a New Pet...

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Babs_2012

Meet “Babs”, a French/English Bulldog mix who was lucky enough to find a lovely home and a caring owner. Despite her difficult childhood she had, Babs loves to play, making her a perfect and sweet companion of Anthony.

Babs and Anthony
Last year, Anthony was seeking a friendly companion and considered buying a puppy from a pet store. Being a volunteer for the Toronto Humane Society when he was younger, Anthony knew how many incredible pets needed a new home and reconsidered buying. “People mistakenly think that by adopting they’re bringing home a “damaged” pet with behavioral issues, but that’s very seldom the case,“ said Anthony, ”often times pets are surrendered because of financial or lifestyle changes that make it impossible for the previous owners to care for them.”

Anthony found Babs, an 18-month-old French/English Bulldog mix who originally was abused at a puppy mill in the Southern US where she was forced to be a “nursing dog”. She was rescued by an animal shelter when one of these mills was taken down. Despite her difficult childhood she had, now Babs is still playful and sweet, which make her a perfect and lovely companion of Anthony.

Rescue Shelter Network in BC – Support and Limitation
For BC residents, there are several different types of animal shelters in the Lower Mainland. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) being the largest and most popular is the most established organization to provide welfare for animals in need in British Columbia. Other than SPCA, there are individual shelters that take in surrendered pets – no questions asked. Some of the examples of these individual shelters are RAPS and Carried Through Animal Rescue and Education (CTARE). Some individual shelters, such as CTARE, operate out of the owner’s house or basement – these owners provide a home with love for rescued pets. On the other hand, RAPS being a city shelter for Richmond, can accommodate more variety of animals with a larger facility. Other than the regular shelter, RAPS also has a Cat Sanctuary which shelters hundreds of animals that were brought in from the streets where they were starved and injured from an unsafe environment. All of these shelters together give animals in need a home with safe protection, food and most importantly, love.

Animal shelters such as Richmond Animal Protection Society (RAPS) take the utmost care for their animals but face resource shortages that constrain their animals’ living conditions. RAPS in particular takes in all (by all we mean ALL) animals that they can help continue living lives. One claim people make for getting pets from pet stores is that they generally want a specific breed of a pet. However, animal shelters today operate in a strong network, which can help find the right companion for you.

Distorted Perception of Shelter Animals
“Sometimes, people stereotype shelter animals as used, diseased and aggressive,” explained Sandy, the owner of CTARE, “so they don’t often expect to find healthy, pure breed puppies in the shelter. What they don’t know is that there are so many different shelters regarding to their function, size and scope.” In CTARE, Sandy has animals aged from 4 weeks to 25 years old. In addition to shelter rescued animals, she also breed animals for adoption, not for sell. “We don’t make profit by breeding pets, this would be conflicted with the core value of CTARE and other animal shelters. Animals are being abused because too many people are trying to make money out of these poor, helpless animals,” Sandy clarified her point with a warm and assertive smile on her face. The minimal adoption fee covers primary vaccines, microchipping, spay or neuter and other necessary healthy and veterinary care costs for an adopted dog.

Why isn’t there enough pet adopters, yet still great demand in the pets market? By not offering these abused pets a second chance, are we blaming them for our own fault? We need to remind ourselves the fact that we can not see pet as a commodity, like a piece of furniture. Pet brokers acquire animals from puppy and kitten mills, and their sole purpose is to profit from the production of expensive breeds. This practices is categorized as animal cruelty which disregard animal quality of life and result in animal diseases. After being caged for an extended period of time, puppies and kittens will be showcased in pet stores, again to make money. Animal “caging” is when pet is left unattended for extended periods of time. Then, pet stores utilizes all marketing tricks to profit off people making impulse purchases which can likely result in careless owners. In addition, pet stores do not screen what type of people purchase animals – in many cases people buying pets are unfit for animal possession, which can result to more cases of animal abuse.

Benefits of Adopting Pets
Besides limited fees, there are many advantages to adopt pets. In RAPS, there is only one ultimate goal: successful adoption. “Most of our successful cases show that adoption create neat and stronger bonds with pets,” said a volunteer in RAPS, “you are saving a pet that went through difficult living conditions to a loving one – it is such a content feeling! Finding the right companion for you or your family is a process, and RAPS will do everything we can to support you through this process.” It is unlikely to receive this unconditional support during a transaction only for profit.

Limited fees – significantly low compared to buying a new pet from breeder or pet store. when you adopt, you’re getting a pet that has undertaken all necessary check-ups, vaccinations, spayed/neutered and tattooed for identification.

Return policy – for any reason should you not be able to continue caring for your pet, most animal shelters allow the return of your pet. They want to assure their pets are passed on to a safe and loving environment.

Full supports from shelter to assist the adoption process and transition.

Convenience – Sophisticated website available to assist you in finding the right pet and you can easily search by size, breed and location.

Rescued pets would make wonderful companions. Do you still picture these pets as old, decrepit and in rusted cages barely able to even keep their eyes open? It’s time for you to flush that image down to the toilet. Hundreds of adorable pets are currently looking for their new homes, and now all animal-lovers can help, starting from giving these pets a second chance.

Visit www.petfinder.com to find your perfect pet and relevant adoption information. Or contact your local animal shelters for ways you can help out!

How could you not want to take these cuties home!?

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