Listen: Serena Faber-Nelson chats to Katrina Roe about adopting a pet, in her ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ segment.
If you’re considering buying a pet for your family, take a moment to listen to the plea of orphaned, rejected, and less-pretty pets everywhere: “Pick me! Pick me!”
While it’s easy to pass them by, those animals that aren’t quite as cute as pet-store kittens, have many positives.
Animal lover and pet blogger Serena Faber-Nelson of PrettyFluffy.com told Hope 103.2’s Katrina Roe that by adopting a pre-loved pet, you not only give an animal another chance at life—you also get a very loyal and loving friend. She wants to encourage would-pet lovers to think of pet adoption as a first option.
“I’m a huge believer in every animal deserving a good home,” Serena said.
Local council animal shelters and the RSPCA offer pets up for adoption. All RSPCA adoption pets have been assessed for their health and had their behaviour and safety checked out. They’re also desexed, microchipped and vaccinated before they are put up for adoption.
Consider the Less Pretty Animals
But before you head out and pick the cutest fluff-ball in the animal shelter, consider going an extra step, and adopt a “less-adoptable” pet.
These are the least popular animals, the ones that regularly get ignored: older pets with greying hair, black cats (which some people fear because of superstition), dogs that are big, or have a disability, or are going deaf or blind, and less traditional pets like rabbits, chickens and guinea pigs. Dog breeds that are less cute and cuddly than others can also find it hard to find a home, such as pit bulls and greyhounds. Yet they are just as in need of love and care.
Greyhounds may have a bad reputation but they’re actually very good as pets, according to greyhound rescuers.
One American organisation, Petfinder, was so keen to promote the benefits of less popular animals that it launched an annual event called “Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week”.
“Animal shelters were finding that while the puppies and kittens and cuter, smaller dogs were being adopted, the older pets, bigger breeds and animals with special needs, weren’t finding homes,” Serena explained.
“For a lot people when they’re looking for a pet, the idea of a puppy or a kitten is something they have their heart set on. People also look at bigger dogs as problematic, or animals with health conditions as expensive. But it isn’t always the case.”
The Benefits of Less Popular Pets
Serena said less popular pets actually have far more going for them than people realise.
“The best benefit is, if you adopt a pet that’s older, you’re lucky to be getting a more mature pet that doesn’t require as much training,” she said. “Because a lot of these pets have been surrendered because their owners have died or their situations have changed – which means these pets are often house-broken and well-trained. You don’t get those few weeks of the cuter cuddlier puppy or kitten, but you do get to miss out on the two years of chewed-up shoes and carpet cleaning.
“Also these pets are often so appreciative to have a home, that they’re model family pets. They’ve got a lot of love for you. They’re often the pets that will adore you and do anything to please you.”
Teach Your Children Compassion and Kindness
For families with children, adopting a less-fashionable pet is a good lesson in inclusion and compassion, Serena said.
“In a way it’s a really good thing to show your kids that just because these animals may not be perfect on the outside, they still have so much to offer as a family pet,” she said. “It’s about getting people to look at not only what they want, but what their home can offer a pet. It’s not only a compassionate choice, it’s also a hugely rewarding thing to offer a home to an animal that may not have found one otherwise.”
Adopt a Rescue-Pet
To adopt a pet that’s in need of a new home, check out some of the following websites.