Proving that money DOESN'T buy you love, some big-time celebs have recently decided to adoptpooches into their family, rather than buy them. Check out the stories and adorable pics of their new best friends!
Miley Cyrus (or Hannah Montana, I never remember which one is real) and her Aussie fiancé Liam Hemsworth (who really only needs one word written on his resume: "HUNK") recently adopted a Chihuahua mix named Bean. Here's just one photo of the little fella; you can find about a million more on Miley's twitter.
And in Australia, the very talented and very lovely Missy Higgins went undercover recently in Griffiths, NSW to adopt Gizmo. I had to include three pictures of Gizmo - I hope you don't mind :)
So why am I always banging on about adopting rather than buying dogs and cats? "They're all the same aren't they??" Yep, you're right - they ARE all the same. There is nothing wrong or faulty with cats and dogs in shelters. (Did you see the dogs who were taught to drive in NZ to prove how wonderful shelter dogs are?) They've ended up there because someone who was meant to look after them hasn't been doing that. And that's not the dog or cat's fault.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds and thousands of these kissable critters stuck in pounds and shelters across Australia. Uncontrolled breeding, and worse - puppy mills! - have led to a massive overpopulation of dogs and cats. There simply aren't enough loving families for them to join. Buying from pet stores or online may mean you are giving money directly to someone whose only care about dogs and cats is to make money.
You can make a personal promise to all the dumped dogs and cats in shelters around Australia: that you'll always adopt rather than buy when you're ready to welcome a furry friend to your home. Take the pledge now.
I've heard of teaching old dogs new tricks. But teaching dogs how to drive? You have to see it to believe it ...
Two months ago, the SPCA in New Zealand launched a super-creative campaign. Their plan was to teach three rescue dogs how to drive cars. They did this to increase adoption rates by proving that rescue dogs are in no way inferior to any other dogs. Under the slogan, "Dogs this smart deserve a home", our three hairy heroes began their lessons.
And this is how it went. Get ready to smile!
Pretty awesome, hey?
Both Porter and the SPCA deserve a huge round of applause for what they've achieved. Encouraging people to adopt a dog is such a great idea. With 1000s of dogs being killed in pounds every year, choosing to adopt could literally save a life.
Find out more about adopting a dog; then promise to be a lifesaver yourself by taking the pledge to always adopt rather than buy when it comes to companion animals. And if you do that, then I think you deserve a round of applause, too :)
Has your dog got any funny or impressive tricks? My cat's best trick is luring people close enough to bite them. Can you beat that?
There's only one reason you'll ever need to adopt, rather than buy companion animals. And this video is it.
Forget asking, "How much is that doggy in the window?" You should be asking, "Where did that doggy in the window come from?" Because in many cases, the dogs you see in pet stores or for sale online have come from puppy farms.
There, the mother is locked in an empty cell, continually made pregnant, and never given the care, exercise and love that she needs. Her puppies are taken from her to be sold to pet shops or online to unsuspecting families. No animal deserves to be treated like that.
Puppy farms are also contributing to the shocking overpopulation of dogs in Australia, which is leading to tens of thousands of dogs being killed in pounds every year. The decision to adopt rather than support the cycle of abuse, overbreeding and death really is a no-brainer!
If you or your family are thinking about adding a new furry member to your home, you'll need to think seriously about these questions
Are you ready to make a long-term commitment? (Dogs can live to be 15 years old, cats even older!)
Will you be able to afford food, health care, safety and toys?
Do you have enough time to spend with your new best friend?
Is your place big enough for a companion animal?
If you've thought through all that, and decide to go ahead with welcoming a beautiful animal into your home, then here's some tips to get you started
Always adopt! You've seen the video, show it to your family so they know why adopting rather than buying is the right thing to do. You can even take the personal pledge to adopt and not buy.
Head to petrescue.com.au to find the perfect companion for you. They've even got an app!
Consider adopting an older dog. They're usually a lot more chilled and may adapt quicker to new environments.
Have you already saved a life by adopting? Was it a cat or a dog? What's his or her name? Tell me your story in the comments below :)
We've all given a dog a kiss at some point in our lives, but have you ever thought you'd have to give one the kiss of life? That's exactly the situation Hayley Bateup (superstar ironwoman) found herself in on the Gold Coast this week.
Now, because it's Friday and you've probably been reading all week, you can just watch the drama unfold on YouTube. Thanks YouTube!
Pretty amazing, hey? Would you have it in you to react as well as Hayley did?? (NOTE: letting a dog lick your face does NOT classify as "mouth-to-mouth resuscitation".)
You can be a lifesaver for dogs yourself, you know. By making the Unleashed pledge to adopt, not buy dogs or other animals, you'll be saving a life. More than a quarter of a million beautiful dogs and cats are killed in Australia every year just because there aren't enough homes and families for them.
If you or your fam are looking to welcome a fur-friend into your home and heart, then please adopt! You'll know forever that you've personally saved a life when you do. And that would be the best feeling ever ... for both you and the animal you saved.
And while we're talking about helping animals - head here and tell me your best tip to help animals beat the heat this summer, and you could win in Unleashed's latest giveaway.
It may not be groundbreaking news to you - but scientists have recently found out that dogs not only know when humans are sad, but they actually want to help us feel better! And if you've ever been licked on the face by a dog ... you'll know that they're pretty good at cheering people up. This weekend is your chance to give a little back to man's (and woman's) best friends.
In what sounds like a very adorable experiment, dogs (who lived with people, not lab dogs) were introduced to strangers who had to display all different emotions. When the person was pretending to cry, the majority of dogs would run over and try to comfort them. They would nuzzle and lick the person - apparently a doggie's way of saying, "there there, don't cry". Nawww. How sweet is that? Claims that the dogs would then offer to spend the night on the couch with the upset person eating soy ice-cream and watching Big Brother are yet to be proven. I bet they would though, dogs are that awesome.
This weekend you have the chance to return the favour, and help dogs who are in distress! There are rallies planned for Sunday in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to support Oscar's Law(a campaignto ban the breeding of dogs in puppy mills, and to promote the adoption of companion animals through shelters and rescue groups).
The conditions that dogs endure at puppy mills are heartbreaking. "Many dogs slowly go insane. They spin in circles or pace back and forth in their cells, some never see daylight, and the outside world is a foreign place to them ... They shy away from human hands as they have never known kindness. The dogs are deprived of even their basic needs as the current law is only concerned with food, shelter and water. The dog’s psychological and social needs are ignored on factory farms." This is just part of a description of puppy farms from oscarslaw.org.
Also, the breeding of more dogs on these puppy farms only adds to the dog overpopulation problem in Australia. Already 23 dogs and cats are killed every hour around the country because they don't have homes. This is a cruel fate for these animals who would love nothing more than to share hugs and pats with a family of their own.
So this Sunday, make time to help out dogs in distress. You can show your support at these places and times.
Melbourne: Parliament House, midday. Sydney: Belmore Park (opp. Central Station), midday. Adelaide: Light Square (Curry St.), midday.
p.s. Animals Australia will be holding stalls at all three rallies, so make sure you come and say 'hi!' and find out what else you can do to help animals.
Did you know that every hour across Australia, 23 dogs and cats are killed in shelters and pounds? How awful is that?? These poor animals have done nothing wrong, it's just that there aren't enough homes out there for them. To help stop this relentless death toll, July is National Desexing Month.
Check out all the benefits that desexing provides for dogs and cats: 1) less "unwanted" animals winding up in shelters where they may be killed if not quickly adopted. 2) no more leg-humping when guests come round. Aaawkward. 3) less tendency to wander and fight. 4) lower chance of certain types of cancer - which means a higher chance of plenty more years worth of fun together!
For all these reasons, the National Desexing Network (NDN) (organised by the Animal Welfare League of QLD) has teamed up with vets around the country to offer discounts and deals to families who want to help. So if your family (or someone you know) has a cat or dog that should be desexed, let them know that this is the month to do something about it. Animals Australia is pleased to have provided sponsorship to assist promotion of this initiative.
The other way you can help to save a life is if your fambam is considering welcoming a dog or cat into your lives - adopt from a shelter, rather than buying. Bieber and Hannah Montana can't do it all themselves, you know! There's even an app to help hook you up with a shelter dog or cat!
PS. If you're lucky enough to be in Sydney in July, why not make some time to visit the My Human Family photography exhibition at Pine Street Gallery. The exhibition has photos and stories of rescued or adopted dogs which are guaranteed to brighten your day. Yep - guaranteed!
I've got an app that makes my phone a flashlight (doesn't work), and one that promises to give me ripped abs (also doesn't work). But finally I found something useful! PetRescue has released an app for iPhones that matches shelter dogs and cats with potential new families. It couldn't come a moment too soon either, with over 200,000 cats and dogs being put down in shelters around Australia every year ... simply because they couldn't be rehomed.
This sensational new app was developed by two NSW based programmers -- Brandon Cowan and Wei Zheng. The impressive thing is that Brandon is just 18 years old! These two guns developed the app entirely free of charge for PetRescue and now you can grab it at the bargain price of ... absolutely nothing! That's right; it's free for you to download. What a couple of legends Brandon and Wei are -- donating their time and energy for our lovable furry friends.
This app really makes my tail wag. I'd encourage any family to adopt rather than buy, so if you, your family or anyone you know is considering it, then make sure they know about this app.
And while we're on the topic - do you know of any other cool apps to help animals? If you've got one in mind, why not talk it up with a comment below!
Some of you may have been following the story of Oscar, a small dog kept for breeding on a property in remote Victoria. Found cowering in the back of a small dark cage, Oscar's fur was thick and matted, he had fleas and mites in his infected ears and his teeth were so infected he couldn't eat. He was rescued from this nightmare by a woman named Debra Tranter.
After being treated by a vet, shaved and desexed, he weighed only 1.6kg by the time he got to what should have been his new home. Then in what could have been a scene from a movie, police raided Debra's house in the middle of the night, arrested her, seized Oscar and returned him to the miserable puppy factory.
It was this awful experience that inspired the birth of a nationwide campaign against puppy farms known, as Oscar's Law. While Oscar was again languishing alone in a cage, caring people would keep fighting to save him and the thousands of others like him.
Puppy factories are just like factory farms – only for pets.Dogs are kept in small cages for breeding. They hardly ever get patted, or have their bellies rubbed and they almost never get veterinary treatment. Often living in their own filth, both parents and puppies can suffer from various diseases and illnesses that can often go untreated.
Why do puppy farms exist? People want puppies. It's as simple as that. Most people don't realise that when they buy a puppy from a pet shop or from an ad in the paper, they are usually from these hellholes and the parents are living a life of confinement and misery.
What else? If you're looking to bring a four-legged friend into the family, then make sure you adopt from a shelter. There are millions of healthy animals in shelters across the country just waiting for a new home. So huge is the dog and cat overpopulation problem in Australia that each hour, 23 dogs and cats are put down just because they haven't been able to find a home. By adopting from a shelter, you not only save the life of an animal in need, you can take your new friend home happy in the knowledge that you haven't contributed to a cruel industry.
Whatever became of Oscar?
In July, Debra donned a disguise and headed back to the dreaded puppy farm after seeing a newspaper ad selling adult dogs. Knowing the cage, she found Oscar straight away, trembling in fear. The puppy farmer considered him "no good" because he had been desexed, so sold him for a "discount price" of $400. Oscar is finally safe and in loving arms!
But Oscar's friends still need us. You and everyone who cares are the animals' hope for an end to their suffering in puppy farms and for safety at last. For more info head to www.OscarsLaw.org. See you on Sunday!
Thanks to Debra Tranter for use of photos
UPDATE18/9/11-- Thousands of people attended the rallies for Oscar's Law in a huge show of support for a ban on puppy farms. In Melbourne, the guest of honour was little Oscar himself. Thanks and well done to everyone who helped to send a clear message to our politicians that cruel factory farming of companion animals must end!
I just discovered a very sweet song by a very sweet lady about a very sweet subject. I give you – "The Dog Song" by Nellie McKay.
Clearly Nellie loves her pooch, but the song has a great message too; "Just go right to the pound/ And find yourself a hound/ And make that doggie proud/ 'cause that's what it's all about."
This is great advice! In Australia 23 dogs and cats are put to sleepevery hour because there aren't enough loving homes for them – it just makes sense to get a dog from a shelter and save a life (rather than buying from a pet store or breeder). Not only that, but you'll end up with a very loving and loyal companion.
I was pretty impressed with this cute song so I looked up the singer. It seems Nellie has also written a song about the vivisection that goes on at Columbia university and is involved in the campaign to ban horse drawn carriages from city streets. Sounds like the animals have a very talented friend in her!
So I just discovered that across Australia, 23 dogs and cats are euthanised every hour because there just aren't enough people willing to give them loving homes. I knew the stats were bad, but I had no idea they were that bad!
Puppy mills that supply pet shops aren't just blatantly cruel, they've caused the unwanted pet population to explode. The 'designer dog' phenomenon also adds to the problem. And this just gets multiplied when companion animals become unexpectedly pregnant because they haven't been desexed.
That's why I was really pleased to find out that the National Desexing Network has declared August to be National Desexing Month! This initiative of the Animal Welfare League of Qld has arranged for almost 100 vet clinics around Australia to offer subsidies, discounts and special deals on desexing your beloved pets.
If your animals are already desexed – Well done you! Give yourself a gold star! If they aren't, then now's your chance! Click here to find a vet near you offering a reduced price! And if you know anyone who hasn't had their furry four-legged friend fixed, direct them to the website, to take of advantage of the discounts while they still can!
Still not convinced? Desexed animals are more sociable (no spraying or humping my leg thank you very much!), less prone to wander or fight, have reduced risk of getting cancers in the reproductive organs, and (the clincher for me) generally lead longer, healthier, happier lives. Who wouldn't want that for their best friend?
Plus, you'll never have the extra burden of having to find homes for unexpected bundles of fur, or worse, taking them to the pound in the hope that they will do it for you (don't forget that opening stat!).
And finally, if you're thinking of giving an animal a home, please don't buy. Visit a shelter. I promise you'll find your new best friend there, and save a life at the same time. I did! :)
I probably don't need to tell you Lea's onto a good thing. Adopting an animal from a shelter, rather than buying one from a pet store or breeder, is a great way to help animals ... For so many reasons!
For starters, you're giving a needy animal a home. Every year across Australia, over 200,000 dogs and cats are put down in shelters because a loving home could not be found for them. Every time a dog or cat is bought from a pet store, or a breeder, that's one less home for an animal in a shelter. And to add insult to injury it also creates the demand for even more dogs and cats to be bred :(
If that weren't reason enough, then puppy mills certainly are! Puppy mills are like factory farms for dogs. Imagine dozens or even hundreds of dogs kept as breeding machines - each dog confined to a small enclosure and given little exercise. These animals rarely get enough opportunity to socialise with other dogs or humans. Investigations of puppy mills have found dogs huddled in enclosures without proper shelter or bedding, and have found sick and weak dogs without proper vet care.
Many pet stores sell puppies from puppy mills. It's heart breaking to think that while the furry little bundle of joy that families buy at a pet store is on his way to his new home, his mum and dad are probably still suffering in a puppy mill.
Adopting a new furry friend from a shelter can be an incredibly rewarding experience. And it is all the more rewarding when you know that you've given a needy animal a loving home. Fingers crossed Lea's stickers reach a lot of people (and I'm sure she'd be happy for you to print them out and help make that happen - click on either image to get a larger version).
Have you adopted an animal?
Got something you're doing to speak up for animals?
Have you heard about Nadya Suleman? Last year she grabbed worldwide attention when she gave birth to octuplets, bringing her total number of children to 14!!! Gosh, I have enough trouble keeping my own affairs in order, let alone looking after a football team's worth of kids! While Ms Suleman's situation might seem highly unusual, sadly in Australia there are many other mums giving birth to litters of children who may never have a proper home. Yup, I'm talking about dog and cat overpopulation.
The harsh reality is that every year over 200,000 cats and dogs in shelters across Australia will be deemed 'unwanted' and be euthanized. Now if that's not a big enough number for you to sit up straight, remember that there are also at this very second an estimated 10 million stray cats around the country. So it's easy to see that we're in a bit of a pickle!
But there is a solution (hoorah!)... The catch is that to make it work, everyone with companion animals has got to do their bit. A simple snip & sew (ie. desexing) by a vet will be a huge help to prevent even more cats and dogs suffering a life on the streets.
So if you haven't already, book your little guy/girl in for an overnight trip at the local vet. It isn't all too expensive, and it'll spare you the grief of having to deal with your own litter of octuplets!
This is my own little ambassador: Charlie, whom, due to being incredibly gorgeous and irresistibly handsome, is definitely a ladies' man dog. Although I'm sure he knows he won't father children... it still doesn't stop him from trying ;)
Tis the season to be jolly, no doubt. But as we edge towards Christmas, I couldn't help noticing all of the pet shop windows filled with animals. And this got me thinking that sometimes the best of intentions can have tragic consequences.
Australians love their pets—53% of households have a furry friend. And there's no denying it's easy to fall for those cute little animals in pet store windows … (they don't call them ‘puppy dog eyes' for nothing)! Yet, most people have no idea where these animals come from, or the sad fate that awaits so many of them. So in hoping for a kinder Christmas for animals this year, here are 5 things you should know about giving animals as presents.
Animal shelters and pounds are already beyond capacity with abandoned and orphaned animals. Every year, some 250,000 healthy cats and dogs are killed around Australia, simply because there is no one who will take them in. When people buy animals from backyard breeders or pet stores, they literally destroy the chances of a shelter animal finding a home, and they put money in the pockets of those who are creating the overpopulation problem.
Sadly, most animals in pet stores come from puppy mills—factory-like facilities where animals live in miserable conditions—the mothers are treated as nothing more than breeding machines, until they reach their limit, and usually die. Puppy mills are factory farms for dogs and cats.
Post-Christmas, animal shelters receive more animals than at any other time of year. Why? Because adopting an animal is a lot of responsibility, and many people don't consider the commitment they are making, or that they are obliging someone else to make by giving them an animal. Consider this: Will you have enough time to exercise and train them? Will you have the money to feed them and cover vet bills? Do you have the space? These are important questions, and not easy ones to answer for someone else.
An Unpleasant Surprise:
At some point we've all opened some present and thought “Oh god! What am I going to do with this?”, but unlike that shirt you'll never wear, or that book you'll never read you cannot pack an animal in a box and forget about them. Many people don't have the time, patience or desire to look after an animal. So that cute little fur ball may not give your loved one the pleasant surprise you'd hoped.
Adopt & Desex:
Giving an animal as a gift is never a good idea, unless you've consulted the person who will be looking after the animal first. So if you're certain they tick all the right boxes and they've said they want a furry addition to the family, then here's how to put a smile on someone's dial and save a life: adopt from a shelter. Adopting from a shelter gives a home to an animal in need and helps to reduce pet overpopulation. And be sure to desex—desexing does more good than you can ever imagine. The world doesn't need any more dogs and cats—we need homes for the ones who are already here.
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.