Each year in Australian shelters more than 150,000 animals are euthanased, the majority of them dogs and cats. Most shelters are stretched for resources due to the sheer number of unwanted pets.
There are more than 220 shelters and care organisations in Australia; most of them are small or individually run. They have sprung from an overwhelming need felt by these individuals to help abandoned animals. Most of them are under-funded and continually stretched for resources to care for their animals.
The logistics of rehoming animals is often a full-time job in itself. There is little time for finding resources and funding, or for investigating the latest research in adoption techniques or the logistics of implementing new programs to match.
Our Dog Rehoming Project
We aim to help shelter and rescue organisations in two key ways:
• by providing them with an easy and effective method of fundraising
• by developing an adoption program designed specifically for their needs, based on proven research for successful adoption
As well as improving the rehoming success of animals in shelters, the adoption program aims to reduce euthanasia rates, create standardised practices and alternative adoption points and make adopting from shelters a positive, enjoyable and long-lasting relationship for all parties.
Adore Animals Foundation’s shelter project aims to assist shelters by:
• reducing stress on animals in shelters
• increasing rehoming success
• reducing euthanasia rates
• creating standardised practice
• creating alternative adoption points
• making shelter adoptions a positive experience
We aim to support shelters and rescue organisations in achieving measurable programs which are standardised Australia-wide and rolled out in stages. Each stage will be supported by educational and practical instruction materials and, where necessary, hands-on demonstrations. The Adore Animals Foundation aims to facilitate relationships to implement these programs.
We also aim to work with appropriate pet stores who are willing to take shelter dogs (and cats) for readoption in their stores. In 2008 we successfully facilitated a meeting between Pets at home (now Petbarn) and the Lort Smith Animal Hospital which has resulted in Lort Smith Animal Adoption Centres at Petbarn Victorian stores.
From our knowledge of the industry, although there are willing parties, there is also some reluctance from both sides. Many shelters disagree with pets in pet stores, and many pet stores only want puppies. It is an emotionally charged debate. Some traditional pet stores, like zoos, have come a long way in recent years in improving animal welfare, of course, while others still have a long way to go; many simply offer good advice and don’t stock pets at all.
In many ways, however, we believe responsible pet stores may be part of the solution to the huge oversupply of animals in shelters. The rise in internet sales of live animals is alarming: equally so, the rise of backyard breeders. These practices promote an industry unconcerned about animal welfare and concerned only with profit; where there is little in the way of regulation, accountability or health checks.
Of course, many steps need to be in place before adoption from pet stores can occur. If adopting shelter animals from pet stores can be a positive experience for all involved parties, then this provides another solution to Australia’s massive oversupply of dogs and cats.
We know that independent shelters need funding and we also know they don’t have time to find it because they’re so busy looking after their animals.
The Adore Animals Foundation’s Dog Rehoming Project is an holistic, collaborative approach to a massive problem. The Foundation views this project as a well-reasoned, intelligent and pragmatic approach to solving the crisis of unwanted dogs and cats in shelters. We know people working in shelter adoptions are working with the very best of intentions. We aim to provide them with a comprehensive program which will ensure positive outcomes not only for dogs and cats, but for all animals, industry and society.
We’ll keep you posted as we progress with this Project …