Owning a pet is great fun – you not only gain a great companion and friend, but also add a new personality to your home to enjoy. However, the decision to bring a new dog or cat home should not be entered into lightly. Your family, your finances and the pet itself will be greatly impacted by your decision and it’s best to have all the information at hand before you decide. At Gumtree, we strongly recommend that you consider adoption rather than purchasing an animal – for good reason:
- It’s cheaper to adopt
You cannot bargain shop for a pet because pets are expensive. You might be able to buy a puppy or kitten cheaply from a breeder or advertiser or neighbor, the selling price is the tip of the iceberg. Puppies and kittens may require testing for illnesses such as Parvo and Feline AIDS, especially if you are not purchasing from a reputable breeder, but beyond that, they will require inoculation, deworming and sterilization. (Not inoculating or deworming your pets is not an option – animals can easily transmit diseases to humans). This can cost upward of R2000. Most animal shelters will charge between R450 – R600 for adoption, but this includes the cost of sterilization, testing, inoculation and deworming. (Small puppies and kittens may not be sterilized, but you can return them to the shelter when they are older to be sterilized free of charge as part of the adoption fee.
- You know what you are getting with an adopted pet
This is especially true for older pets – the shelter or “foster home” where your pet was raised or kept will be able to tell you exactly what kind of dog or cat you are getting. They can tell you whether the new dog is good with kids or cats, or if the cat you like will enjoy cuddles and being indoors or prefers to roam outside freely. If you are mostly sedentary, you’d do best getting a dog that’s older and doesn’t require training, whereas if you are an avid runner and hiker, an energetic pup that can keep up with your pace would be better suited.
- You are doing your part
Whenever you adopt a pet, you are saving a life – and creating a space for another animal to find shelter and respite within a welfare center. This not only helps curb overpopulation in shelters, but overpopulation in poorer areas of the country where animals are living in dire conditions.
- You CAN find your ideal pet
There is a real myth that shelters only consist of “pavement specials” and “mutts” – there are organisations that specialize in specific breeds…Dobermans, German Shepherds, Ridgebacks, Pugs, and Huskies with long pedigrees. It may take a longer time to find your specific breed, but they are out there. In addition, you can also find hamsters, pigs, rabbits, snakes and other animals up for adoption in animal shelters.
To find out more about adopting pets, feel free to contact any of the shelters that are currently advertising on Gumtree in our Pets section.