As we mentioned in the previous article, most shelters in the city house a much larger number of animals than they have the capacity to hold. In such a case, prioritization becomes a necessary evil, and they give preference to injured, old or very little animals, who might need food and shelter more than others, since they cannot fend for themselves.
The problem problem here is two fold. Firstly, the city’s neutering programmes have had some amount of success, but it hasn’t been enough to counter the rising population of mutts. Also, people have increasingly taken to abandoning their (possibly unneutered) pets when they tire of them or feel they cannot take care of them anymore, adding to the city’s already humongous stray animal population.
The other problem is that although these shelters run adoption programs to help match their inhabitants with suitable new owners, the adoption rates are not high enough because most people prefer to buy animals from breeders or pet stores.
So if you’re looking for a new pet, we’re going to try and convince you to adopt a pet instead of buying one:
Somehow, most choices seem to boil down to the same thing eventually; money. Adoption will only cost you a nominal adoption fee that goes towards the running of the shelter. After that, you may choose to donate further to the shelter if you wish, or not, if you don’t. Plus, most shelters keep their animals vaccinated and dewormed, so those are a a few expensive trips to the vet that you can forego. Even if you’re still willing to spend all that money on buying a pet, consider the fact that the fancier the pet, the more specific it’s habitat and dietary requirements are going to be. As a general rule, the more exotic the pet, the more its upkeep is going to cost you. Moreover, fancy pets also need access to a specially trained vet who has experience with exotic species, and i can tell you one thing, their fees are certainly not cheap.
If you’re still not convinced, consider the ethical and moral issues surrounding buying pets from breeders. Breeding in India, especially for common house pets such as cats and dogs is hardly a well regulated or monitored industry. As a result of the insane demand for animals with ‘pure bloodlines’, there have been numerous instances of horrific animal abuse and breeding practices. Prized females with a suitable bloodline are confined and made to give birth to one litter after another, confined all the time, from the minute they reach a suitable age till the time they die, or are incapable of breeding anymore. Due to the requirement of an impeccable pedigree for the animal to fetch top dollar, the gene pool is extremely restricted and inbreeding is common. The progeny such produces are susceptible to genetic anomalies, debilitating genetic disorders that may trouble them throughout their lives, developmental issues and short lifespans. And you can guess what an industry with such exacting requirements from it’s products does to the runts. But of course, the breeder isn’t going to tell you any of this. Unfortunately the ever growing demand for pedigrees and their role in society as status symbols means that the industry is hardly likely to shut shop any time soon.
Now, you might consider buying from a breeder as saving a poor animal from horrific conditions, but all you’re actually doing is further creating a demand for these animals. These people do not care why you’re buying an animal, as long as you’re buying one.
A common issue that shelters face is that babies are often the only ones picked, very few people choose to adopt a grown animal. And when they realize that the baby is going through an aggressive phase, as it is wont to do, and is chewing up anything withing his range, they return him. What people don’t realize is, is that baby animals need to be trained and disciplined before you can get them to behave like an ideal pet, but most do not have the patience required. Older animals, having outgrown their aggressive phases are in fact, much calmer and sometimes may be already be housebroken and trained regarding some habits, such as toilet training.
Keeping local species, or mongrels, may not be considered very in, but these animals can compete with imported breeds in every aspect and more. These animals are hardy and better adapted to the local climate, and are fiercely loyal. They are very intelligent and easy to train, and adapt very easily to family life. Coming from diverse gene pools, they have strong immune systems and are less susceptible to diseases.
So if you’re looking for a pet, go to your nearest shelter and look there for you r new best friend. Not only will you have a huge selection to choose from, you can also ask the staff or volunteers to suggest an animal regarding the desired temperament. Do you want a playful, active animal, or a quiet, peaceful one? They’ll have all kinds. And you can sleep easy knowing you did not contribute to the horrific abuse of animals and instead, gave someone a new home, and a chance at a new life.