Your dog really landed on its paws. It has a loving family, regular food, a comfortable home, heaps of toys and proper health care. But sadly, not all dogs are so lucky. In fact, there are currently 200,000 or so homeless dogs either on the streets or in animal shelters.
Many of these have been abandoned and now face a frightening and uncertain future. And tragically, 20% of them have no future at all and will end up being euthanized.
But this story isn’t an unremittingly bleak one. Across Australia there are amazing people running shelters for abandoned dogs and trying tirelessly to find them a furever home. It's a full time job and takes a lot of energy. And the demand for their help has never been higher. Angela at QSAR (Qld Staffy and Amstaff Rescue) told us they get over 50 requests a day for dogs in need.
This winter we're lending a helping paw where we can and have pledged to give a coat for every coat purchased online (more on this later). Now more than every, rescue shelters need all the help, promotion and support they can get (psst, all the dogs in the image below are currently looking for homes).
Why do dogs become homeless or are surrendered to shelters or rescue services?
- Time factor: Many owners purchase their dogs on an impulse without considering the implications. Suddenly they discover that their dog needs to be fed, walked, trained, socialised, entertained, taken to the vets and loved. Tragically, these people feel unwilling or unable to make that kind of commitment and the dog ends up being abandoned.
- Changed life situation: Sometimes, we lose a job, get divorced, have a baby, get sick or move to a place that doesn’t allow pets. These situations are no one’s fault. But sadly, that doesn’t help poor old Rexy who ends up left out on the street.
- Boredom/Disinterest: Kids want a dog. But then it all becomes too hard and they lose interest. And when that happens, well, you know how it ends.
- Behavioural issues: Dogs that are not properly trained can sometimes be aggressive, noisy, needy and destructive. Sadly, in many instances, their owners don’t know how to fix these issues and end taking the dog to a shelter.
- Financial issues: Unfortunately, some people don’t do research into the cost of owning a pet before they buy one. Next thing they know, they are hit with a wave of additional expenses such as food, bedding, vet bills, toys, training, clothing etc.
- Lack of experience: Some dog owners don’t know how to take care of their pooch and quickly find themselves out of their depth.
Animal health and age: Dogs get sick and need more trips to the vet and more medicine as they get older. This requires more of the owner’s time and more of their money as well.
Regardless of the circumstances, abandonment can lead to feelings of guilt and failure in the family that having to give up their former family friend. So, if you are considering getting a dog, please research the pros and cons thoroughly before committing.
- Can we afford this?
- Do we have time to look after this dog?
- Does this breed and size of dog suit our home, yard and lifestyle?
- Is there room in our house and our hearts for one more?
- Am I prepared for the dog to have behavioural issues?
- Do the kids understand that a ‘dog is for life?’
- Do we live in a place that is dog friendly?
- Have I got sufficient knowledge to look after a dog properly?
- Can I commit to regular exercise every day?
Life on the streets
Many abandoned dogs are not lucky enough to end up in shelters. Instead, they are left on the streets to fend for themselves. This is hugely distressing for them as they suddenly find themselves in an unfamiliar place without their owners.
Theirs is a life of constant fear and uncertainty. Harsh weather, insufficient food, fights with other dogs, no veterinary care, at constant risk of injury and disease.
Sheltering them from harm
Dogs that are lucky enough to be taken into a shelter obviously fare better. For starters, they get food, water, shelter, medicine and love. And for many, a short stay in a shelter is the stepping stone to a new life with their furever family.
Shelters in Australia are overburdened with pets that have been surrendered post-pandemic. The number of dogs being abandoned each year is increasing at an alarming rate. Many no longer have space and rely on foster families to offer temporary homes to care for the pet whilst they look for adoptive families.
Thankfully, more and more Aussies are considering fostering as an option to give dogs a temporary home and a second chance at life.
OUR PLEDGE: BUY A COAT. GIFT A COAT:
In an ideal world we would find furever homes for every stray dog out there. But sadly, that’s not possible. What we can do is make the lives of those dogs in shelters a bit better, with our ‘buy a coat gift a coat’ offer.
This winter, every time you buy a coat for your dog, we will gift another one to a dog in a shelter. So at least they can be warm and snuggly in the cold winter months.
We are committed to giving away 100 coats a week for 5 weeks.
If you'd like to learn more and support or donate funds, head here: