Every year in Australia, hundreds of thousands of kittens and puppies are born in unwanted litters, far more than ever can be placed in good homes. Those who are not adopted– at least 200,000 healthy cats and dogs in Australia each year– must be euthanised.
Every time someone buys an animal from a store or a breeder, it takes away a home from a shelter animal.
The adorable puppy we find eagerly greeting us at the local pet store probably came from a “puppy mill” –a breeding kennel that raises dogs in cramped, crude, filthy conditions. Dogs raised in puppy mills are constantly confined and deprived of adequate veterinary care and socialisation.
As long as there are animals dying in shelters, there is no such thing as a “responsible” breeder. The huge numbers of deaths of homeless animals could be decreased and even prevented altogether through spaying and neutering, but because of breeders, countless puppies and kittens are born every day. Many of these may end up on the street. Others occupy homes that could have taken in homeless animals, who will instead be destroyed.
Never buy from pet stores, as they usually obtain their animals from puppy mills. If there is a pet store in your local shopping centre, urge the store manager to work with an animal shelter and adopt their animals rather than selling those obtained from breeders.
Always adopt your companion animals from reputable shelters, and encourage everyone you know to do the same.