How did we get here?

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I’ve been waiting for the calm after the storm, but it just does not seem to come. Usually around Christmas and new year’s we see so many dogs wandering the streets, having gotten lost. Social media is filled with posts of people looking for their dogs. Previously, this started to calm down around the middle of January, but we are in the middle February and all I see when I open my social media pages, are lost dogs. It seems to be getting worse. How did we get here?

The first evidence of treasured pet dogs date back up to 12 000 years ago. Where dogs received burials, some of them were buried with valuable items and some were buried with their owners. Scientists suspect that is is around the time where dogs were becoming domesticated animals, and some of them became very much loved pets.

In the past, during the 17th and 18th century being able to own a pet dog, was a luxury. The wealthy had dogs, some for pets and some to work like hunt or catch vermin. For whatever reason, dogs were highly valued.

Somewhere between then and now, something went terribly wrong and the laws that have been put in place to protect our animals from harm are easily discarded. The majority of people are breeding dogs and selling them to the consumers who continue to buy them whether they can take care of them or not. People continue to add more dogs to their families, whether the dogs themselves can cope or not, and if they can’t they have to be re-homed.

They say, charity starts at home. In order to make a difference and to prevent overcrowded shelters and streets, we need to take care of our pets at home.

  • Firstly, by making sure that all pets are sterlised.
  • Making sure all pets are micro-chipped, that the chip works and that the details provided is correct. So many pets are found with chips, but the contact numbers do not work.
  • Make sure your pets are on a healthy diet, receiving good quality food, this will already prevent weak immune systems and illnesses.
  • Keeping your pets vaccinations up to date, we are currently dealing with a distemper outbreak in Gauteng, not too long ago there was a Rabies outbreak in the KZN. By vaccinating your pets frequently you keep your pets safe from these illnesses, and you assist in preventing outbreaks.
  • All of the above can already be costly for one pet, keeping in mind that most of the above mentioned must be maintained throughout your pet’s whole life, which could be up to 15-years. Before you add another pet, make sure that these costs can be covered for him/her as well.

Encourage your friends and family to rather adopt dogs, than buying them. Most shelters vaccinate, deworm and microchip the dogs in their care, the adoption fee that is required often does not really cover those expenses. But for you, it’s much more cost effective. There are many breed specific rescues, if you are looking for a specific type of dog and that includes puppies.

Wouldn’t it be great, if we could restore the world as it should be. Where every pet has a home.