There’s an undeniable excitement that comes with getting a new pet. But rather than buying a pure-bred puppy or kitten from a breeder, why not adopt a pet from an animal shelter? Here are six reasons to adopt and not shop in 2020.
Dogtown SA is a sanctuary for dogs who have either lost their families or been rescued from terrible conditions. Animals are given dedicated care in a relaxed environment until the day that they are adopted into a loving home. In November 2019, Dogtown celebrated 10 years of saving the lives of abandoned dogs and since its inception, it has rehomed 1 022 dogs and is currently working with 150 dogs and two cats with the ultimate goal of rehoming them.
“We are often thought of as the last chance for misunderstood and abused dogs and while that is true, our real purpose is to work with the dogs in our care so that they may be paired with a family and leave the shelter, making space for another abandoned dog,” says Dogtown founder Tracy McQuarrie.
Tracy’s motto is simple: save more lives. “We don’t need more animals coming into the world,” she says. “Instead of spending thousands on a pedigree puppy that must still be born, rather save a loving dog that is in desperate need of a good home.”
Six great reasons to adopt and not shop in the new year
1. You’ll save money
When buying an animal, you are not guaranteed to get one that has been vaccinated, dewormed, sterilised or treated for ticks and fleas. However, animal shelters do all of this for you and in many cases, your adoption fee even includes microchipping.
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These 4 little ones were brought in by Yvonne today, they were being manhandled while being sold on the side of the road in Cosmo. They were not in great condition when they came in, dehydrated, starving and weak. A good meal, a thorough bath by our students, dewormer and a good sleep and by this evening are playing, barking and excreting tons of worms. They are still nervous of humans but with lots of love they’ll get over that pretty soon.
2. You’ll be paired with a pet that suits you
“The 1 022 dogs that have been adopted from Dogtown were adopted by people who were carefully matched with the right dogs – dogs that match their lifestyle. These pet lovers also adopted them knowing so much about them from their time and enrichment at Dogtown,” says Tracy.
Pet shelters also do extensive home checks before and after allocating an animal to a family to ensure that their rescues are getting the best home for their needs. Most organisations will even keep in contact with the owners should they need advice or assistance.
3. You will be contributing to a good cause
Although most rescue organisations are pro-life, there are sometimes cases where animals must be euthanised. This is purely due to overpopulation and when no alternative arrangement can be made. By supporting a pet shelter, you are saving the life of one animal and making space for another.
Animal rescues also spend a large portion of their funds on sterilising their inhabitants to prevent more overpopulation in the future. So by donating towards them, you are helping them in this noble quest.
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Don't be the only one jumping for joy this year! Donating your birthday to @tearsanimalrescue means that all 250 of our dogs, cats, kittens and puppies will be celebrating with you!⠀ ⠀ There are lots of ways for you to celebrate your birthday for TEARS! We always have gaps that need to be filled. Here are some great ideas for how to use your special day for good.⠀ ⠀ Use @givengainfoundation to set up a fundraising project that your friends and family can donate to in your honour.⠀ ⠀ Get in touch with us to see what projects we have going on that we could use help with: we can use help with improving the Cattery enclosures with more entertainment or the doggies need an agility course. We've got lots of projects that we could use helping hands to complete.⠀ ⠀ Hold a donation drive! Right now, we can use polar fleece blankets and winter essentials like stable doors, hot water bottles and econo heaters.⠀ ⠀ Have all of your friends do a spring clean of their houses to find items that can be donated to our charity shops! ⠀ ⠀ Have a better idea? Let us know!! We'd love to get on board with your birthday donation! [email protected]
4. You will be getting a beautiful, loving pet
Often, the animals in pet shelters are there because they have been abandoned by people who could no longer look after them. There is nothing wrong with the dog or cat in question – it just desperately needs a good home and a loving pet parent. Many are already house-trained and are used to living with families, which means you won’t have to spend time and money on extensive puppy training.
5. It will help fight improper breeding practices
According to The Humane Society of the US, if you buy a dog from a pet store, online seller or on the side of the road, the animal is most likely from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of their animals. The dogs are usually kept in poor conditions and develop medical and behavioural problems as a result.
If you are buying a pet from someone you don’t know, insist on seeing the conditions in which your animal has been bred. Or (even better), adopt from a rescue organisation.
6. It’s good for your health
Animals offer unconditional love and they have even been shown to be psychologically, emotionally, and physically beneficial to their companions. Caring for a pet gives you a sense of purpose, and nothing will do this more than giving an adorable dog or cat a warm, nurturing home.
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Sweet boy Laziri has been waiting so long for his perfect human. He is such a gentle boy and one of our smallest woods currently. He would love to be your cuddle buddy! ❤️?❤️ * * * * * * * * #dargdays #supportthepaws #dogsofinstagram #dog #dogoftheday #dogstagram #dogstagram #dogsofinsta #doggo #rescue #rescuedog #rescuer #adopt #adoptdontshop #adoptchangealife #makeadifference #dogsofcapetown #dogsofhoutbay #capetown #houtbay
Animal shelters to adopt from in South Africa:
Even if you can’t adopt a pet, you can do your bit by volunteering at or donating towards these amazing shelters.
- Ark Animal Centre – arkanimalcentre.co.za
- Wetnose Animal Rescue Centre – wetnose.co.za
- Animal Anti Cruelty League – aacl.co.za
- TEARS Animal Rescue – tears.org.za
- DARG (Domestic Animal Rescue Group) – darg.org.za
- Mazarat Animal Rescue – mazaratanimalrescue.webs.com
- Woodrock Animal Rescue – woodrockanimalrescue.com
- 4Paws Animal Shelter – 4ourpaws.org.za
- Dogtown SA – barkingmad.co.za
- Paws R Us – pawsrus.co.za
- Kitty & Puppy Haven – kittypuppyhaven.org.za
- Sandton SPCA – sandtonspca.org.za
- Pug Rescue South Africa – facebook.com/PugRescueSouthAfrica
- A New Hope Dog Rescue – anewhopedogrescue.com
- Husky Rescue SA – huskyrescue.org.za
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue South Africa – facebook.com/StaffordshireBullTerrierRescueSouthAfrica
- Tin Can Town – facebook.com/TinCanTown
- Kitty Shelter – kittyshelter.co.za
- Randburg SPCA – spca-rbg.org.za
- Benoni Pet Rescue – facebook.com/pet.rescue.eastrand
This is just a handful of worthy organisations to support in South Africa, but there are many, many more.
“Pets are a lifetime commitment,” says Tracy. “Commit to a dog by adopting your pet from a shelter. It will be the best gift you can give yourself this year.”
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst