This series is intended to inform and highlight the importance of adopting and rescuing animals rather than shopping at pet stores or “pre-ordering” your new family member directly from breeders.
There are numerous ways to adopt or rescue a fur friend including rescuing a local animal you found, going to a local shelter, adopting through organisations that work to rescue animals from vivisection1 laboratories or give them a loving home after they have been “retired” from testing facilities.
In addition, this series will seek to educate about the vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet for your fur loved ones.
The industry of breeding2 and animal testing3 are sad, but true realities with many terrible consequences. Often the health of the animals is seriously affected, not to mention the suffering they undergo4 on a daily basis and the social mentality that views these beings as “products,” as is evident from this quote (taken from DogBreedHealth.com) under “What to do if your dog is suffering from a genetic disease:”
“If your dog’s breeder does not fall into any of the above categories and did not supply a pedigree, the only redress you have is normal consumer protection. You were sold a ‘product’ which turned out to be faulty, so you should be entitled to a refund of the purchase price of the dog. This can be done through the small claims court.”5
Whether they’re a stray, having been abandoned and are now homeless, or have been used in animal testing facilities and are being “disposed of,” there are plenty of animals in need of a forever home.
If you’re interested in adopting a fur family member, it’s important to get educated first, which hopefully this series will help with. Next, take some time and get in touch with local shelters, making sure to find a match that works well with you and your family. This is a life long committment to more than just a “pet” or a “cute gift.”6 They are a member of your family, so make sure it will last!
Adopting your new family member.
Here are a few resources to help you find a shelter or rescue organisation:
Pet Finder (USA)
Canada’s Guide to Dogs (CAN)
Rescue Dogs Europe (Europe)
Adopt a Pet (Australia)
Of course there are more animals in need than just dogs (cats, bunnies, hamsters, …), so spend some time looking for a quality adoption place that will help find the right rescuee for you and your family.
You can also look into organisations such as Beagle Freedom Project that helps rescue Beagles and other animals commonly used in animal testing labratories after their experimentation days are over, along with working to pass legislation to protect more animals from such a fate.
Here are some facts about animal homelessness:
- Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
- The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
- Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1.
- Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes.
- Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
- According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
- 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
- About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
- It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
- Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
- Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
*Source: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-animal-homelessness (further sources provided on their site)
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Resources & more info:
(You’ll find for more resources throughout the series)
The Adopt Don’t Shop series is comprised of interviews with vegans and their fur loved ones, with the first rescuee featuring Anne-Marie & Mr. Shenanigans, from Meat Free Athlete!
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