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 fiance 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.
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 :)
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.
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?
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.