Misconceptions About Adopting a Rescue Pet

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One of the most rewarding things in life is adopting a rescue pet and giving it a second chance at a forever home.

But there’s often a misconception about adoption animals – they must’ve been surrendered because of behavioural problems or they didn’t respond to training. The truth is, any change in circumstances can sadly see a dog or cat end up in a rescue centre:

  • The owners have a baby and their priorities change.
  • The owners move houses or into an apartment without space for pets.
  • Sadly, owners may pass away or move into a retirement village.
  • The owners can no longer afford to care for their pet.
  • Most commonly, the owner has not given careful consideration to the time, expense and effort involved in keeping a pet.

Though rescue organisations like RSPCA and PetRescue do an amazing job rehousing animals, they’re not miracle workers – not all rescue pets come fully housetrained, well-mannered and eager to fetch your slippers! But, when you think about it, neither do puppies and kittens.

So before you shelve the idea of adoption, we address a few common misconceptions about rescue pets:

I don’t know where they came from – they’ve already got problems from their previous owners

Most rescue pets have been loved house pets in their previous lives and have been toilet trained, socialised and have basic manners.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

My dogs would tell you otherwise! Dogs are eternally forgiving creatures; it’s one of their finest qualities. In fact, most adult dogs are far easier to train as they have a much longer attention span than a rambunctious puppy. All dogs benefit from training, so find a class that suits your new dog’s age and ability.

We don’t know their health history

All rescue pets are vet checked, fully vaccinated, and have been desexed. If you buy a puppy, you’ll need to cover these expenses yourself.

I can’t find what I want at a rescue centre

The most important consideration when choosing a pet should be what pet would best suit my lifestyle? Every dog or puppy, cat or kitten is unique and rescue groups make it their job to match you with the perfect pet, regardless of breed.

But if you do have your heart set on a particular breed, there are breed-specific rescue groups for almost every breed in Australia and hundreds of purebred dogs find themselves in shelters looking for a new home every year. Keep in mind buying a particular breed doesn’t necessarily mean your pet will have textbook personality traits, so it’s worth keeping an open mind.

I really want a puppy or kitten

There are hundreds of puppies and kittens waiting for new homes in shelters and rescue groups every day.

Adoption pets are free

When adopting a rescue pet you’re required to pay an adoption fee. Ranging from around $50 to $500, adoption fees help animal rescue centres cover the cost of essentials like veterinary care, vaccinations and food.  And remember, all rescue pets receive a full vet examination, are fully vaccinated, desexed and microchipped - all of which is covered by the adoption fee. If you buy a puppy or kitten from a pet shop, expect to pay for vaccinations, desexing and microchipping on top on top of the cost of the animal.

If you're interested in adopting a rescue pet, tradingpost.com.au has teamed up with RSPCA and PetRescue to help pets find new homes. Check out the rescue dogs and rescue cats currently available for adoption. But it's not just dogs and cats looking for new homes - from guinea pigs to horses, and roosters to goats, there are plenty of other animals available for adoption, too.

And what’s the best thing about choosing to adopt a pet? Not only do you get an amazing pet who suits your lifestyle, but you are saving a life.

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