Every year, hundreds of thousands of dogs are abandoned in Australia. In an effort to rescue these dogs and find loving homes for as many of them as possible, dog adoption centres have been established throughout the country. Some of these, such as the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals) are affiliated with large international organisations. Others are smaller, regional centres that are privately funded and run by volunteers. Why should you look into adopting a dog from one of these organisations? How can you be sure that the dog you adopt will be healthy and well-adjusted? This guide to dog adoption is designed to introduce you to these organisations and give you some insight into how they are run.
Finding a Reputable Dog Adoption Centre
The first place that comes to most people’s minds when they think about animal shelters is the RSPCA. Sometimes, those who have never been to an RSPCA centre get the mistaken idea that they are filled with scruffy “street dogs” that won’t make suitable pets. While it is true that many abandoned or mistreated dogs may not make suitable pets, those that are offered for adoption by the RSPCA are dogs that have been thoroughly screened and given all necessary veterinary care.
The RSPCA is by no means the only reputable place to find a dog to adopt. There are many not-for-profit volunteer organisations throughout Australia that take in and care for unwanted dogs until a good home can be found for them. When they take an animal into their shelter, it is screened by a vet, who gives the animal its necessary vaccinations. The animal is well-fed, kenneled in a clean, healthy environment and given regular exercise. In many cases, a network of volunteer care givers look after individual dogs until a permanent home can be found for them. As a potential dog owner, adopting a growing or adult dog from one of these centres has many advantages:
- You know the dog has had veterinary care because all the records are made available to you.
- Because they are not-for-profit organisations, the cost of the pet will be minimal: usually you just reimburse the organisation for vaccination, desexing, microchipping and/or other necessary procedures.
- If a dog has been living in the shelter, the shelter can provide you with information regarding the animal’s temperament.
- If the dog has been living with a temporary care giver, it is as if they have taken it for a “test drive” for you. Are you looking for an active dog that likes to play with children and chase balls or do you want a more sedate animal to snuggle up next to you on the couch? The temporary care giver will be able to tell you all about the dog, sparing you any unpleasant surprises.
One great place to start looking for a dog to adopt is right here on Pet Pages. Check out our articles and resources pages. You will find valuable information from and about reputable organisations such as the RSPCA, the Animal Welfare League and the Australian Veterinary Association. Whatever you do, make sure that the organisation you adopt a dog from strictly adheres to the highest legal and ethical standards. This will help ensure that the dog you adopt will be a healthy and happy one and encourage all pet adoption agencies to take the best possible care of the animals they provide shelter to.