1. Adopt a pet:
Adopt don’t buy!
Wherever, possible, if you are looking to add a pet to your family, adopt instead of buying from a breeder or pet shop. Adopting a pet saves lives in pounds and shelters. It gives the pet a second chance at a long, happy life. As a consumer, be aware of the cons of buying puppies from stores and online. Many of these puppies are bred in puppy farms or mills in inhumane conditions. By buying an animal from a pet store, you may well be funding this inhumane industry without even realizing it. Make sure the pet store only sells rescue animals before you buy from a pet store. Read more on adoption
2. Desex before puberty:
(4 months for cats and 5-6 months for dogs)
Desexing is one of the greatest gifts you can provide your pet, your family and your community. These routine medical procedures not only reduce the number of animals who enter shelters, but they may also prevent medical and behavioral problems from developing in a cat or dog, allowing your pet to lead a longer, healthier and happier life. For example, breast cancer is reduced in dogs desexed before their first oestrus cycle, and aggression is lower in desexed dogs and cats. Click to read more
3. Pet Identification:
For many lost pets, impoundment occurs only because there is no physical ID tag to link the pet with their owner. If you have an ID tag on your pet, they are much more likely to be reunited with you without ever entering a pound or shelter. Microchip identification with up to date contact details is added insurance for your pet. It will significantly increase your chance of being reunited if your pet gets lost.
Only a veterinarian or shelter or pound have scanners to check for a microchip. An ID tag could ultimately save your pet’s life. If an animal is admitted to a municipal pound or shelter there are often high costs and fees associated with returning the pet to its home. These fees can be avoided by an ID tag, allowing other members of your community to return your pet. Click to read more
4. Safe confinement:
Confining your pet to your property has many benefits for you and your pet. It reduces the risk of your pet getting hurt, getting lost, annoying neighbors, fighting with strays and other neighborhood pets, getting mistaken for a stray, and reduces the risk of it being admitted to a municipal shelter or pound and being euthanased unnecessarily. There are many ways to stop your pet from leaving your property including, fencing, both physical and nonphysical, and pet enclosures. Click to read more
5. Begin searching immediately
If your pet is lost, do not wait to begin searching for them, even for cats. In most Australian states, the minimum holding period is only 3 days. After that date, an unidentified pet can be euthanased. Click here for effective ways to search for a lost pet.
6. Enriching Pet Lives
You are the keystone of your pet’s life, and you are healthier and happier because of your pet. Engaging and playing with your pet is important. Whether it is playing with your cat or walking your dog, together you enrich each other’s lives.
Pets improve people’s lives. They have been shown to:
- Encourage exercise
- Decrease stress
- Improve mood
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
The health benefits are wonderful, in fact you may be surprised as to how much.
Pet owners use doctors 11% less often than their non-pet owning counterparts, easing the stress on the health system by 2.8 million doctor visits and saving $1.25 billion per year!
Click here for some interesting facts about how owning a pet benefits the greater community.
7. Transparency in saving lives
Did you know that not all shelters are transparent in the number of animals euthanased? Were you aware that almost no council in Australia reports their euthanasia statistics on their website or other public documents, except Victoria. Councils generally will not provide the public with their statistics, unless you use the Freedom of Information process.
Euthanasia rates for councils vary greatly, depending on their commitment to saving lives.
Lobby for your local pound and shelter to be transparent in its performance, and to engage the community in helping achieve zero euthanasia of all healthy and treatable dogs and cats. Transparency saves lives. Click to read more