Don’t Buy Pets on a Whim: RSPCA


Michaela Meade

Pets can add life to owners, but buying them shouldn’t be made on a whim, said Dr. Liz Walker, General Manager of RSPCA Victoria.

According to Dr. Walker should be given careful consideration before bringing a pet into a home.

“Pets make our lives so much better,” she says.

“They’re really good for our mental health and wellbeing, and they’re also very good for children and teenagers.

“But we strongly recommend that… if you are thinking of getting an animal for someone, please make sure they want one at all.

“Take her on a trip to a shelter if you’re considering adoption … and talk to the staff there.”

Dr. Walker said it was important to consider elements such as the animal’s needs, the costs associated with that animal, and its life expectancy.

“The key question we need to ask is, ‘Is everyone willing to take care of this pet for a lifetime?” Said Dr. Walker.

“If it’s a cat, it could live to be 20 years old … smaller dogs can live to be up to 20 years old.

“There’s affordability, of course, and how much care the animal will need and the shelter it will need.”

If you are considering reaching out to a breeder to buy a pet for your family or loved one, Dr. Walker that it would be advisable to consult the RSPCA Victoria Counselors for Puppies and Dogs, and for Kittens and Cats.

“Essentially [the guides say] go to the place where the puppy is [or kitten] was born, ”she said.

“Meet the mother and father when you can to make sure you are happy with the conditions.

“We’re really lucky in Victoria because we have the Pet Exchange Register, which is run by the state government.

“[It] promotes responsible breeding and means that everyone who sells an animal must have a so-called source number.

“If the person selling you the animal doesn’t have a source number, you are not allowed to buy it [the] Animal.”

Dr. Walker said prospective pet parents can visit the Pet Exchange Register website to review the breeder’s credentials.

The buying guides are available online.

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