BY SARAH WHITTON
Imagine what your beloved pets life was like before you bought them. You would expect them to be loved and in a happy, safe place. That is more than likely a very big lie.
If you have bought your pet from a pet store, there is a 95% chance that it was living on a puppy farm or factory, which are large-scale, intensive dog-breeding facilities.
Breeding animals are often kept for their whole lives in pens or cages where minimum standards required only allow enough room to stand, turn around and lie down. They did not require dogs to be socialised, bathed or exercised.
These conditions cause stress, depression, early death rates and life threatening illnesses. The saddest fact is, that almost half of pet dogs in Australia started their lives in similar conditions.
Allie Jalbert, RSPCA Animal Shelters Manager, said most people who chose puppies from shops would be horrified to realise they were inadvertently supporting commercial-scale puppy farming.
“People need to be mindful of where these puppies are coming from and the horrible conditions in which they are farmed,” she said.
“We want people to make the choice, pretty much by refusing to buy from these places, to put the industry out of business. It’s about highlighting the truth behind these animals in the pet shop windows.”
Surprisingly, there are many ways that we can help, the simplest way that the public can end this industry is by refusing to support it. Every pet shop puppy that’s purchased perpetuates this industry.
SO WHAT WE CAN DO?
Don’t buy from pet stores..
There are so many other ways that you can own pets, other than buying from pet stores. Rescuing animals from animal and dog pounds, cat havens, RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations/charities, gumtree, the newspaper, online charities and organisations are just some of the ways you can consciously find a pet.
Know where you are buying your puppy or other animals from…
When buying a new pet, you should know where they are coming from. You can ask to visit the pet and place where it is living to see how the conditions are, and if the breeder you are buying from says that you can’t visit, then I wouldn’t trust what they are say.
Supporting animal welfare organisations…
You can help by rescuing your own pet, donating to the organisation, or even volunteering at the shelter. You can help an animal live the life it deserves by helping these organisations in any way you can.
Educate yourself, friends and family to spread awareness about this issue…
The only way people will know what happens in pet shops is if they learn about the issue. Educate others about the issues with pet shops when they are looking to buy a pet, so that they can help an animal in need too.
Rescue animals just want a loving home, help them out and give them one.