Australia considers itself a nation of pet lovers, yet we treat these loyal and loving animals as disposable objects. Vast numbers of unwanted dogs and cats are dumped and abandoned in Australia every year. In NSW alone approximately 60,000 healthy pets are killed each year because new homes cannot be found for them. By breeding and selling more companion animals, the breeders, pet shops, and puppy/kitten farms are contributing to the over-population of companion animals. The animals you see in pet shops often come from puppy/kitten farms. Puppy/kitten farms are pet breeding factories where thousands of animals are kept in confined cages with very little space to move around. They pace back and forth due to boredom and are never walked, socialised or given any attention or love – they are simply treated as breeding machines. For more information on puppy farms please see www.oscarslaw.org/index.php and www.alv.org.au/issues/puppyfactories.php.
Animal Liberation ACT pet shop protest, Christmas 2009
Another key welfare concern is that pure-bred dogs often have life-threatening genetic defects. If you want a pet, please buy from a shelter, pound, or community rescue group – not from a breeder or a pet shop. In the ACT you can find animals needing to be re-homed at ACT Rescue and Foster (ARF) Inc., Companion Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARA) Inc., Canberra Pooch Rescue, and the Domestic Animals Shelter run by the ACT Government.
Did you know?
For more information on general companion animal welfare issues see here.
Photo by Anne Greenaway (2012), Lawyers for Companion Animals