Why “Adopt, Don’t Shop” is more important than ever

Adopt Don't Shop | Pigments by Liv

October marks one year since we welcomed Jynx, our rascal of a rescue cat, into the family. In my 23-years we’ve adopted two cats, Izzy and now Jynx. Both are shining examples of why people should give “Adopt, Don’t Shop” a second thought.

Did you know October is also Black Cat Awareness month? Sadly, black cats have significantly lower adoption rates than other felines, mainly due to silly superstitions! So, it seems fitting to explain why it is now more important than ever to “Adopt, Don’t Shop”.

Why are there so many pets in rescue centres?

According to the RSPCA, they receive 18 calls about a stray or abandoned cat every single hour. One of the reasons so many cats end up in rescue centres is because the UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis. Hence why people are being encouraged to spay their cats as soon as possible. The crisis is becoming so severe that many charities are offering to spay your cat for free as a long-term solution.

Dogs are no different. Dog Trust estimates that 130,000 dogs end up in rehoming centres every single year for many different reasons. I can’t even begin to imagine how it must feel to be left alone by your family. All these dogs need new forever homes. They might not necessarily be pedigrees, but that doesn’t mean they’ll love any less.

In the UK many rescue centres have the policy that they will never put down an animal regardless of how long it’s been in their care. However, in the US it is estimated over 4,000 animals are euthanised every single day because there’s simply not enough resources to look after them. I don’t know about you, but this fact messed with my head.

Why is "Adopt, Don’t Shop" more important than ever

The Pandemic Pet Boom

During lockdown did you notice quite a few people on Facebook and Instagram got puppies? With many of us spending more time at home, it’s unsurprising that many families decided now was as good time as any to bring home the puppy they’ve always wanted.

If you’ve ever dabbled with economics, you’ll know if there’s a surge in demand, prices go up. Some breeders have almost doubled the price for their pedigree pooches. Only yesterday I heard the price of a bulldog had risen to £6k a puppy. Check out the prices for these popular breeds below.

Dog Breed Prices | Adopt Don't Shop | Pigments by Liv
Source: Pets4Homes

We all know the phrase “A Dog’s for life, not just for Christmas.”. The slogan is based on an actual phenomenon called the ‘Christmas Puppy Purchase Rush’ which starts next month. This seasonal surge in demand met by unethical puppy farms across Europe, who breed dogs in poor conditions, get vets to falsify papers, and smuggle them into the UK. Now the prices for these pups have almost doubled, these Smugglers are likely to be licking their lips at the thought of making a bit of extra cash.

Dogs Trust have already reported a rise in the number of dogs they’ve taken in at their centres when lockdown began to ease in the summer. Sadly, for many a dog was nice to have but only during the pandemic. All this, plus a recession and many pets losing their beloved owners to the virus, has been estimated to result in more than 40,000 homeless dogs. Therefore, the Adopt, Don’t Shop movement is more important than ever before.

9 Reasons You Should Adopt, Don't Shop

1. You save a life

As I said earlier, thousands of cats and dogs are euthanised every single day because they haven’t managed to find their forever homes. Rather than just looking for a kitten, give an older cat a second chance.
Izzy adopted rescue Tortishell cat | Pigments by Liv

2. They are up to date with the vets

We adopted Jynx from Colchester Cat Rescue, and they, like cat charities all over the country, will neuter your cat for you. They also are unlikely to let a dog or cat leave the shelter if they aren’t cleared by a vet first.

3. It’s so rewarding

You’ve opened up your home to someone who lost theirs. Whenever I look at Jynx, I can’t understand how anyone could have let such a lovely animal go in the first place. I’m so glad we found each other. Who doesn’t want a cat who’s favourite snack is cucumber?
Jynx | Pigments by Liv

4. Older pets could already be house-trained

Jynx wasn’t allowed to leave the rescue centre until they were certain she was trained to use a scratch-post. This is quite a difficult skill to teach in my eyes! I’m sure most charities will make sure dogs only poop outside and cats in a litter tray before they let them go.

5. They’ll love you just as much as any pedigree would

Adopt Don't Shop | Pigments by Liv
Your pet won’t care that you may not be a pedigree, they’ll love you regardless. Even cats will occasionally give you eye kisses.

6. You donate to a charity

Most rescue centres will ask for a voluntary donation when you adopt a pet. Instead of lining the pockets of inhumane puppy farmers, you will be donating to a good cause. If you’re a bit suspicious of where your money’s going, have a look around the rescue centre, you’ll be able to see clearly where the money goes.

7. You help stop the overpopulation crisis

Rather than encouraging breeders to make more puppies and kittens, you’re giving one that already exists a home.

8. You might find the pet you never knew you needed

I love British-shorthaired cats, but when I met Jynx for the first time, I knew she was the one. Nobody could ever replace Izzy, our previous cat, but it felt good to give this little bundle of fur the home she deserved. We make each other happy, for example, and that’s what’s important.
Adopt Don't Shop | Pigments by Liv

9. Your home will always be better than a shelter

The sanctuary we got Jynx from was immaculate, each cat had a conservatory each. However, no dog or cat wants to stay in one room or their life – they need stimulation. I’m not sure if Jynx was an outdoor cat before, she was very cautious when she first starting exploring our garden and seemed to have no understanding of how to climb a tree (let alone how to get down). Now, we can’t stop her chasing birds around the garden – she loves it!

I could go on forever, but hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of my it’s more important than ever to Adopt, Don’t Shop. Spread the word!

‘Til next time!

Liv

xxx

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