5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
When most people think of a rescue animal, they picture a dog. Dogs are the most popular animals to have and they’re also some of the most overpopulated animals out there. So, choosing to adopt a rescue dog instead of paying someone to breed more puppies is crucial for saving the lives of many dogs. But sadly, it doesn’t stop there. There are so many animals out there that are hurt or killed for no reason, so it’s important for humans to help make a change.
Can Other Animals Be Rescues?
When Molly was looking for an axolotl, she first assumed that she could only buy one from a pet store or breeder. Being a rescue dog advocate, that didn’t feel right to her. So, she quickly discovered that axolotls can be rescues, which is how she found Wooper, my axolotl sister. After adopting Wooper, we realized that nearly any domesticated animal can be a rescue if you look hard enough.
Cats and bunnies are the most common non-dog rescues. Inhumane breeders, such as puppy mills, will often breed kittens and bunnies as well. That’s why you will often see these animals sold beside puppies at pet stores. And if you don’t know by now, you should never shop at a pet store that sells puppies because they are likely working with a puppy mill. But what about pet stores that don’t sell puppies? After all, many of them still sell plenty of other small pets.
While most pet stores that don’t sell puppies aren’t bad, the customers who shop there often make bad decisions. A lot of people naturally assume that small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish are much easier to care for than a dog or cat. In most cases, that’s true, but they’re still living creatures that have a lot of specific needs. So, many humans will buy these animals because of how cute they are, but then surrender them, give them away, or even release them into the wild if the animal turns out to be more work than they thought. But if you’re looking to surrender a domesticated animal, NEVER release them into the wild. Most of these animals won’t survive a day because they’re used to living in captivity or because your location isn’t their natural environment.
I had no idea that humans got rid of animals so quickly until I learned about Wooper. The rescue we adopted her from was created by a man who was sick of seeing innocent animals be released in the wild and sent to their death. So, he made his rescue easily accessible for anyone looking to get rid of an animal that traditional shelters and rescues won’t take.
How Can We Help Them?
The best way to keep domesticated animals safe is to be extra cautious before bringing one home. Before you bring any animal into your home, you should do plenty of research and have all their supplies set up. In other words, you should be as much of an expert as you can beforehand to make sure that you’re truly ready to commit to that animal. And I mean real research, not just the stereotypes you hear (such as how Betta fish are thought to only need small tanks even though they thrive best in tanks at least 4 gallons or larger.)
You can also help by not supporting businesses that appear to treat their animals poorly or only breed them for money. A pet store or breeder should be very knowledgeable about the animals they sell, and they should be able to tell you all the supplies you need for that specific animal. If there’s any chance that they could be treating the animals in inhumane ways, please shop somewhere else. The same is true for pet stores that sell puppies: even if you’re not planning to buy a puppy from them, don’t buy any products from them either because you’d still be supporting them.
Also, if you know anyone that’s looking to rehome an animal, make sure they know how to properly do it. Talking to rescues and reaching out to other pet parents are much better ways to give away a pet than to simply release them. So, make sure you educate others about how to properly care for pets and how to properly surrender them. That way, less innocent animals will be hurt by thoughtless humans.
When in Doubt, Adopt!
After realizing that so many animals can be rescues, Molly decided that she never wants to bring home any animals unless they’re rescues. She feels much more at ease knowing she saved an animal rather than potentially supporting a bad business. So, we’re encouraging others to do the same. If you’re looking to add any new animals to your family, no matter what species they are, please look for rescues first. Check out PetFinder or look at Facebook groups to see if you can find one that needs a new home. And if you end up not having many exotic rescues near you, make sure you at least turn to a pet store that’s humane and that truly cares about the animals in their care.
As always, we also want to remind everyone to do their research before adopting an animal. Even smaller animals can be big commitments in terms of time or money. Animals are not meant to just be cute things for you to enjoy, but instead, they’re living creatures that deserve plenty of love and care. If you’re bringing home an animal only for your own sake and not for that animal’s wellbeing, then you’re doing something wrong.
Do you have any animals that aren’t dogs? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
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