Don't Buy Pets
Why Adopt Rather Than Buy (especially in Shanghai)
Without any animal welfare laws, cruel pet markets and breeding farms flourish.
The only way to stop the cruelty is to stop the buying (of animals and products & accessories). If inhumane treatment of companion animals were not profitable, it would end.
- When you buy a pet here, you REALLY don’t know what you are getting
Many breeders/pet stores get their animals from cruel puppy/kitten farms where the animals are bred as many times as possible and babies are torn away from their mother before they are fully weaned.
Pet markets, pet stores and so-called breeders (there is no oversight in this for-profit local “industry”) routinely pump animals with antibiotics to give the impression they are actually healthy.
Most stores and markets will not even deal with buyers whose animals soon end up sick or dying. You are on your own. At SCAA, we regularly hear horrific stories about pet purchases that have ended badly.
Supposedly imported purebreds sold at an extortionate price are no exception – an RMB15,000 feline with common fungus usually found on the sickliest rescued street kittens is just one example.
- When you buy from a pet market, you are aiding and abetting a cruel industry
Even if you are fortunate enough to buy one of the few animals that does not fall seriously ill or die soon after purchase, every purchase encourages inhumane breeding, keeping and selling practices. Every time you buy one, they just go get another.
It breaks all of our hearts to walk through the pet/wet/bird markets in Shanghai. Many cats, dogs, kittens and puppies are on the brink of death, literally dying of thirst, crying out for us to buy them. That is what these sadistic vendors have in mind; to appeal to our hearts to pay to save these animals. Either that or for someone to come along and buy them to cook or to use their pelts for clothing, stuffed toy fur, etc.
Walk past these barbarians, scream at them if you must, but do not buy these animals. Do not buy anything from these markets and stores. Better yet, don’t even go to the markets: boycott them; then contact SCAA. Adopt and save a life. Our canines and felines are in as much need of love as those big eyes staring at you at the markets.
- Not all animal rescue organizations are the same
We won’t name names, but not all animal rescue organizations here in Shanghai are the real thing. Although some local groups are doing good work on a case-by-case basis, there are others that are simply scam artists and are using the goodwill of their target audience and expatriates to “adopt” out animals that have not received adequate medical care and that have also been bought from markets at cheap prices to “adopt out” at higher prices. Adopters beware!
Since its inception in March 2005, SCAA has adopted out nearly 600 animals that have received international-standard medical care from PAW Veterinarian Clinic. Potential adopters are provided with accurate information on an animal’s medical history and, for any special needs animals, long-term medical care concerns.
To date, not one animal has been returned for medical reasons (except due to adopters' allergies!). Our policy is that if for any reason an adoption does not work out within a reasonable adjustment period, we will welcome back our beloved wards. If an adopted animal had an illness we were not aware of on adoption, we would provide the most appropriate response we could. Our animals’ welfare is our only concern and our supporters know this.
|Happy and healthy rescued foster kitten enjoys some attention from SCAA Founder Carol Wolfson at Adoption Day
- There are no advantages to having a purebred animal as a family pet
Based on the well-established principle of “hybrid vigor,” a mixed-breed animal is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a pure breed. Many purebred dogs are prone to developing health problems ranging from breathing difficulties to hip dysplasia to an enlarged heart.
Moreover, an adopted pet is every bit as loving, intelligent and loyal as a purchased pet, even if you get an adult or older animal. Our foster animals are proven pets - they have enjoyed the care and attention of foster parents in loving homes and have given much loyalty and affection in return.
Overall, this is issue is much larger than what a small organization like SCAA can take on. These are issues that only the Chinese government can change from the top down. It is when policies change and animal protection laws are implemented and enforced that the conditions for animals in China overall will improve. This takes time and education, but it is slowly happening....remember it wasn’t so long ago in Western countries that animals did not (and in many areas of the world still do not) have legal rights for protection.
There are more and more local people who are starting to have pets for the first time and conditions will indeed change. It may take a generation or two, but animal conditions will improve; that is why we are targeting the education system with information on general pet care, compassion for animals and the absolute need for spaying/neutering—it is today’s children that will change the future, here in China and worldwide.