According to an article in the Spinoff in June 2019, animal rescue organisations in New Zealand are overworked and overflowing with stray animals in need of a caring home.
Every year in New Zealand The SPCA takes in over 40,000 animals, and with rescue organisations all over the country full with abandoned, dumped or stray pets, New Zealand has a serious surplus of animals in need. Between 2013 and 2018 Auckland council alone council euthanised 16,666 dogs. A review of welfare issues affecting greyhound racing in New Zealand revealed more than 1440 were euthanised in just four years. But alarmingly, there were also 1271 dogs unaccounted for.
Although it’s pretty tricky to get reliable statistics, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that about 3.9 million dogs go to shelters and 1.2 million are euthanised in the USA each year.
What can we do for rescue pets?
We’re looking at the issue of rescue pets because according to The Humane Society of the United States in 2013, only 30% of pets in US households come from rescue facilities. I appreciate that the USA and Aotearoa are two very distinct place, but the plight rescue pets is probably much the same.
Shouldn’t we do more?
Many people would like to help our orphan animals, hence the Remember Me Thursday Awareness Movement.
This campaign is all about rescue pets
On September 26, 2019, and the third Thursday in September each year, Remember Me Thursday is out to get the entire world talking about pet adoption: to help bring attention to the millions of adoptable pets waiting in shelters and to remember those pets who never got a second chance.
Let’s take social media by storm for orphan pets!
Tweet, tag, post and share the beauty and life-saving significance of pet adoption on social media.
Going into its seventh year, Remember Me Thursday® aims to be a voice for orphan pets in need of forever homes.
Uniting the World for Orphan Pets
In previous years, 180 countries supported the movement with hundreds of thousands of individuals and more than 700 separate animal welfare organisations around the globe holding candle-lighting ceremonies, spreading the message on social media, or visiting the Remember Me Thursday website and lighting a virtual candle.
What we can do in New Zealand
- Use social media to share the “opt to adopt” message to save orphan pets. Any of the following social media ideas will help spread awareness for pets waiting in shelters for rescues. They need your voice to advocate for them.
- Share your rescue pet on #RememberMeThursday. Share pictures and shine a light on orphan pets with pictures of your own rescue pet(s).
- Spread the word about Remember Me Thursday through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels using the #RememberMeThursday hashtag.
- Light a virtual candle on Thursday at RememberMeThursday.org
- Organise a candle-lighting ceremony of your own.
- Hold a pet food donation fundraiser for a local rescue facility.
- Download the official Remember Me Thursday song on iTunes, “This Candle Burns Bright” by Stevie Woodward.
- Consider adopting rescue or shelter animals rather than buying from a pet shop or breeder. We’re not saying rescue animals suit everybody, but at least think about it and also, please, please de-sex your pets.
Pet adoption in New Zealand
There are many agencies and organisations in New Zealand helping orphan pets and we have listed a few below.
Please also be aware that adopting a pet does not mean they come free; many have an adoption fee.
What is an adoption fee?
An adoption fee helps cover the costs for de-sexing, the first vaccination, a vet check, up-to-date flea and worm treatment, micro-chipping and registration of the chip to the companion animals register. An adoption fee for a dog is typically between $150.00 and $200.00
The 10 golden rules for adopting rescue animals
Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself these very simple questions and if you can’t commit to them it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means that adopting a rescue pet as a companion might not be right for you at this stage of your life.
Can you answer “Yes” to these questions?
- Can you give a pet everything it needs; this is much more than just an impulse thought?
- Are you ready to make a long-term commitment to this animal? This means for its entire life!
- Do you know what type of pet is right for you or your family?
- Can you afford a pet? That includes its food, shelter and health. In 2015, the NZ Companion Animal Council estimated that caring for a cat costs around $670 a year. Costs include food, veterinary (vet) care, regular flea and worm treatments and care of your cat while you are travelling.
- Will you make sure you allocate quality time with your pet every day?
- Who will pay for your pet’s health challenges?
- Are you willing to put the time, effort and money into training your pet?
- Can pet-proof your home and garden?
- Is your home adequate for a pet and if you rent your home will your landlord allow you to?
- Does everyone in your family want to add a pet to the mix?
What should you do with your pet when you go on holiday or you’re at work?
If you travel for work or go on holidays, you need to consider who is going to look after your pet. Our boarding kennels and cattery will keep your pet safe and you can relax while you are away and our doggie daycare can look after your dog while you’re working.
If you’re looking for a comfortable, safe and secure environment where you know your pet will be well looked after, call us on 09 299 7415. Inspections are welcome between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm each day.
There are lots of things to think about when it comes to getting a pet, and all the issues are impacted by your own lifestyle and home environment. While there is no guaranteed way to choose the perfect pet for you and your lifestyle, understanding your expectations as well as what is involved in being a pet owner will help you bring home a pet that can adapt to its new environment and be the pet that you want too. Choose a pet well and then treat it well and you’ll be in store for a heap of loving.