OneKind

Registered Charity Number: SC041299
Edinburgh

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Is it fun being a pet?

Date posted: 24 Jun 2015

My family and I have recently made the decision to add another pet to our family and we are all so excited. We already have a German shepherd called Jett and we all just adore him.

Working with OneKind this week Iíve had the chance to study their Pet Origins Campaign and itís certainly given me a few things to think about when getting a new pet.

What to think about when buying a family pet:

When buying a new family pet, a good place to start is your local rescue centre. There are thousands of lovely friendly animals who need re-homed and one of these animals may just be right for you. However, if buying from a breeder it is best to go to a private breeder rather than commercial breeder. A private breeder who invests a lot of their time into taking care of their animals is better than a commercial breeder who purely breeds for financial gain and does not care about the welfare of the animal.

Itís always best to ask the breeder to see the mother of the puppy. If the breeder says no, there could be a chance that the puppy may have come from a puppy farm and the mother may have been badly treated and kept in horrible conditions. Would you want your puppy to have come from a place that didnít care about its health? I wouldnít! There are also many breeders that over-breed their dogs. Female dogs should not have more than one litter a year, for the goodness of their health; female dogs should not be bred to excess.

There are specific 'must dos' that you should ask when buying a puppy. Alongside asking where the mother is, you should always be given a birth certificate for your puppy and information about the mum and dad. You must also ensure that there is no advertising for swapping a puppy for goods such as a phone, watch or other item, or for a service. I know that when my family and I get our new puppy we will take all these things into consideration. We get a lot of fun from our pets Ė it seems only fair that they should enjoy it too!

To find out more about what to do when getting a family pet read this.

OneKind Pet Origins campaign

The Pet Animals Act 1951 must be updated to protect animals that are sold via the internet, by breeders or in pet shops. OneKind are trying to make changes to this law. There are also certain exotic pets that people may enjoy having at home but arenít meant to be living in a home environment such as snakes, lizards, chipmunks and terrapins. They all have specialist needs and private owners may find it impossible to reach.

Would you rather have your exotic pet living in its natural habitat? Or would you rather it was confined in a small environment where it doesnít the space it needs to behave naturally. I know what I prefer!

For instance, a gerbil living in a small cage for the rest of its life instead of living in its natural environment is not the way we want this animal to live. Gerbils are referred to as exotic pets because they naturally come from the desert in places like Africa and Asia. Gerbils spend most of their time in burrows and tend to only come out when they need food or water. Itís not fair to keep them confined to cages.

OneKind would like to see a positive list for the pets that you can have. The positive system identifies those animals that are suitable for private keeping and stops the keeping of unsuitable kinds of pets. Reducing the types of non-domesticated birds, mammals, fish and reptiles that could be kept privately would take the most vulnerable or potentially risky species out of circulation.

What Iíve learnt this week

ēWorking with OneKind has made me much more interested in helping to change laws to protect animals.

ēOneKind Pet Origins Campaign aims to make the public aware of the potential suffering of some animals and is aiming to put a stop to this suffering.

ēSupporting OneKindís Campaigns would mean you are helping OneKind to become one step closer to achieving their aims, and are helping them fight for the changes that they want made in the law.

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