UPDATED 9:40am: Fifty pets from the RSPCA Illawarra shelter have found a forever home, including all of its cats and “pocket pets”. It was also a happy weekend for two long-term resident dogs, Squid and Mrs Tweedy, who are now with their new owners. Across the state, 260 pets were adopted.
The RSPCA has launched a statewide adoption drive to help more animals find their forever families and allow space for the charity to continue its important welfare work, with the Illawarra shelter hoping to home dozens of pets of every shape and size at extremely discounted prices throughout the weekend.
Whether it’s the pitter-patter of paws, the purring of a cat or even the coo of a pigeon, finding the right animal can help fill your house with happiness, and when potential pet owners choose to adopt through the RSPCA they can also change the lives of these furry or feathery friends.
Now the decision has been made even easier with all adoptable animals going for just $29.
Illawarra shelter staff said they were sure there would be a special addition to suit everyone, with dozens of animals ready to go to a good home.
“We have dogs, puppies, cats, kittens; we’ve got a lot of pocket pets, like rabbits; we’ve got a really nice rainbow lorrikeet and a ringneck,” shelter supervisor Ashley Boje said.
“One of our favourites is a guinea pig – Hugh Pigman, he’s a legend.
“We also have a pigeon, Pineapple … and there’s a rooster, Connor McGregor,” senior animal attendant Emily Bosley said. “We have so many available and everyone’s going to find something, I’m sure of it.”
They hope by making some space in the shelter, more animals can come through and be supported.
“Obviously it’s a hard time of year for everyone with cost of living having gone up so we’re just really full and trying to get some animals out there,” Ashley said.
“If we can clear the adoptable animals out we can focus more on the animals that need our help and care,” Emily said.
Bringing more people through the shelter with events like this will not only highlight the incredible work the RSPCA does, but could also help potential pet owners form unexpected bonds with animals that might not have sparked their interest on paper.
“I think they also get a vibe of the shelter, they interact with staff and get a really good reading and when we talk to them about the animal’s needs and requirements they get more of a feel than sometimes you can get from online on a dog’s profile,” Ashley said.
“It’s a lot different when you meet them in person, I think they just steal your heart a little bit.”
And although the adoption prices are slashed, the lifelong commitment to and costs of keeping the pets still need to be taken into consideration.
“People still need to consider the veterinary care and such after this fee; yes, it is quite cheap, but to keep an animal in your home can be expensive,” Ashley said. “They need at least annual checks, vaccinations, their food and all that sort of stuff so although the adoption price is cheap you’re still going to have ongoing care for the rest of the animal’s life.
“We’re hoping to clear the shelter but there is going to be the normal adoption process so not anyone can just come in and say, ‘I want that animal’, they’ve got to fill out a ‘perfect match form’ if you want a dog and make sure that you meet the dog’s requirements so they get a perfect home,” Emily said.
But while drastically reduced adoption fees could help ease the pressure on your hip pocket, there is hope those who are able to might consider digging deep to help the charity continue its vital service.
“Some of our animals can cost up to five grand once we’ve done desexing, dentals, x-rays, to get them to a point where they are available for adoption,” Ashley said. “We do rely heavily on donations and the support of the public.”
The adoption drive runs until Sunday 5 November.
For opening hours or to contact the shelter visit the RSPCA website.