With so many people wanting animal companions, there is a great demand for puppies, kittens and other baby animals being sold at markets, in pet stores and through online advertisements. There is a dark side to the cute little packages of fur and teeth however. That is the overpopulation of pets.
For every animal sold in a pet store, there is another animal in a pound or shelter waiting for a new home. And if they don't get that new home, they will be killed. In Australia, 250,000 healthy cats and dogs are killed each year because people are buying from pet stores and breeders instead.
Australians buy more than 600,000 cats and dogs each year, so there is room for these animals that are being killed. It is completely possbile for Australia to become a No Kill Nation; killing no cats, dogs or other companion animals each year. It simply requires education, regulation and community support.
What can you do about it?
- Adopt! Instead of supporting the overpopulation and irresponsible breeding of pets, adopt a cat or dog or guinea pig (etc) and help them find a forever home.
- Talk! Speak out about this issue. Encourage other people to adopt, or to desex their animals. Share pictures of animals needing homes.
- Donate! Donate to the National Desexing Network or a local shelter.
- Foster! Many no-kill shelters can only run thanks to people being able to temporarily care for a cat or dog that would otherwise have been put down.
- Volunteer! Some shelters require volunteers to clean, others require volunteers to talk to the animals and help them stay friendly.