Don’t buy that puppy please!

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By MARK THOMAS

Puppy hawk­ers have lit­tle or no re­gard for the wel­fare of an­i­mals, who to them are sim­ply com­modi­ties of trade.

They rely heav­ily on the an­i­mal loving com­mu­ni­ties who will do any­thing to res­cue a puppy in this con­di­tion re­gard­less of the cost. Do not be emo­tion­ally black­mailed! In spite of your best in­ten­tions, buy­ing a puppy from a hawker per­pet­u­ates a cy­cle of abuse and cru­elty. Th­ese in­di­vid­u­als are likely to be breed­ing in­dis­crim­i­nately, with no con­cern for their breed­ing fe­males whose liv­ing con­di­tions are com­pa­ra­ble to puppy mills. The lit­tle ones are of­ten re­moved from their moth­ers at an ex­tremely young age, they are of­ten un­healthy and in some in­stances ge­net­i­cally de­fec­tive. Ad­di­tion­ally, pup­pies have in the past been stolen to per­pe­trate this illegal trade from loving homes in and around Gra­ham­stown.

You could also be un­wit­tingly in­tro­duc­ing dis­ease and par­a­sites into your home that could af­fect the health of your pets and your fam­ily! Mange is a zoonotic dis­ease that trans­fers to hu­mans as sca­bies. Worms and fleas can also be passed on to your fam­ily mem­bers and the chances are that the puppy you have just bought is not vac­ci­nated and po­ten­tially ill with Ca­nine Dis­tem­per or Parvo Virus – both deadly and ex­tremely con­ta­gious ca­nine dis­eases.

We are work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with law en­force­ment agen­cies to stop the illegal hawk­ing of an­i­mals and also look­ing to pro­pose amend­ments to the An­i­mal By- laws to en­sure harsher sen­tences for per­pe­tra­tors. So what should you do if you see a Puppy hawker? • The great­est as­sis­tance will come from mem­bers of the pub­lic not sup­port­ing this trade. By pur­chas­ing an an­i­mal from the street, you're cre­at­ing a mar­ket and the de­mand and sup­ply eco­nom­ics fac­tors are set in mo­tion. • In­stead, im­me­di­ately re­port the the puppy ven­dor with as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble.. • If any­body tries to sell you a puppy at a street cor­ner, please con­tact SAPS im­me­di­ately on 046603911, the SPCA on 0466223233 (or the 24hr SPCA Emer­gency Line 0648208496).

Re­mem­ber too, that if you are look­ing for a pet, you can adopt from the SPCA. We have healthy, loving pup­pies and adult dogs look­ing to be­come a part of a fam­ily like yours. You’ll find that while many are won­der­ful mix breeds, most shel­ters have pure­breds too!

An­i­mals are a life­long com­mit­ment and each year we see hun­dreds of un­wanted an­i­mals com­ing back from all kinds of back­grounds, where peo­ple ei­ther do not have the means or in some cases from stu­dents who are leav­ing Gra­ham­stown at the end of their stud­ies and sud­denly the an­i­mal is no longer part of their life. If you are a stu­dent, please be re­spon­si­ble by vol­un­teer­ing at the SPCA, which can give so much love to an­i­mals that need it with­out the long term re­spon­si­bil­ity of car­ing for one in your digs. Please help your SPCA to help all an­i­mals in need. – Mark Thomas is the man­ager of the SPCA

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