The best way to help the Society is to give one of the animals a loving home. Pet ownership is a big responsibility however, and should be considered carefully before making such a commitment. Some homes are unsuitable for certain pets and personal circumstances must be taken into account before taking an animal home.
Some things to think about before adopting:
Pet adoption is a long-term commitment
A pet may be with its owner for a very long time. It is a fact that dogs can live from 10-15 years, and cats for up to 20 years. There may be many changes in the owner’s life – moving house, marriage, the birth of children, new jobs and new houses – but a pet will be a permanent part of that life. Since dogs and cats can bond deeply with their families, it can be heartbreaking for the pet – and for the family – should that bond be broken for any reason.
Spending time with your pet
A family should consider whether it is able to spend enough quality time with a pet? Dogs thrive on regular exercise and companionship every day, and dogs which are constantly left alone can develop behavioural problems. Cats are healthiest and happiest kept indoors with their human families. Felines who live outside face dangers from other animals and people, and may prey on wildlife.
Pet health and safety
The cost of owning a dog or cat is a more than just the initial adoption fee. When estimating the total amount, basic and emergency veterinary care should be included as well as food and toys.
Choose the right type of pet
Dogs and cats are not right for every household. Problems such as allergies, apartment restrictions, or moving issues should be explored before adopting a new pet. Large dogs may be too strong or active for small children, while small pets may be too delicate for active children or toddlers. It is best to ask the Shelter staff what animals they recommend for individual householdsand lifestyles.
The Society is opposed to any degree of confinement which is likely to cause distress or suffering to the animals concerned, including restricting animals in cages, tying up on short leads or leaving them unattended for extended periods of time. Dogs are not permitted to go to homes where they will live in the garden. The Shelter dogs are not guard dogs; they need the same love and affection that would be given to children.
The Society is also opposed to the inappropriate breeding of cats and dogs. The Shelter is full of animals that need homes so it stands to reason that these animals should be homed first before bringing any more into the world.
Each application for adoption is judged on its own merits and the Society has the right to refuse any adoption application for various reasons, including those mentioned above.
The BSPCA has a strict policy regarding spaying and neutering cats and dogs and urges people adopting from the Shelter to share in the responsibility of controlling breeding of unwanted puppies and kittens. All animals over six months should be spayed or neutered. All male animals over six months are neutered before they are put up for adoption.