RSPCA Victoria has recommended people take the time to research a selection of breeds or crossbreeds before buying any animal, so they are positive their choice of pet will be appropriate for their lifestyle.
Chief executive Dr Liz Walker said knowing the breed of an animal before bringing it home was essential, as breed would play a role in determining likely dog size, life span, exercise requirements, some personality traits, and predisposition to different inherited disorders.
“RSPCA Victoria does not support breed-specific legislation, nor is there evidence that breed alone is a reliable predictor of undesirable traits in an animal,” Dr Walker said.
“Still, it is essential to thoroughly research the breed-specific requirements of any potential pet to ensure you have the capacity to meet the physiological, behavioural and social needs of the animal.
“Owning a pet can be extremely rewarding, but it is important to remember that pet ownership is also a huge responsibility.”
‘LOVE knows no breed’.
That’s the tagline under the name of every prospective adoptee on the Pet Rescue website in the lead-up to National Pet Adoption Day, instead of breed labels.
PETstock Assist and Pet Rescue are hopeful the short-term measure will help overcome preconceptions about breed characteristics and rescue pets.
“Just like humans, personality is individual and it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” Pet Rescue co-founder Vickie Davy said.
“Breeds come in and out of fashion and unfortunately the stereotypes around them can lead to people choosing the wrong pet for their families.
“Not all cute fluffy dogs are great with kids and overlooking a big boofy dog (who loves children and naps) might mean you miss out on the perfect family dog.
“I hope by encouraging people to look for an individual pet rather than a particular breed we can educate people on the incredible benefits of adopting a pet in need.”
Saturday will be the fifth annual National Pet Adoption Day.
The campaign aims to find 1000 pets forever homes – double the number of pets adopted in 2018.
Animal behaviourist Dr Kate Mornement said many well socialised and trained pets found themselves in need of a new home.
“Even those pets that may not have had a great start to life can become wonderful companions. With some love and guidance, their personalities shine,” she said.
She said a pet’s personality and temperament were determined by many more important factors than breed.
“Personality and temperament are also influenced by previous experiences and individual differences,” Dr Mornement said.
“This is why you get so much variation both within and between breeds.”
About 200,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australian pounds each year, according to PETstock Assist and Pet Rescue.
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