Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator!
What is Rescuing and Adopting
Dictionary definitions are
res·cue rɛskyu verb, -cued, -cu·ing, noun –verb (used with object) 1.to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil. 2.Law. to liberate or take by forcible or illegal means from lawful custody. –noun 3.the act of rescuing.
a·dopt əˈdɒpt uh-dopt –verb (used with object) 1.to choose or take as one's own; make one's own by selection or assent: to adopt a nickname. 2.to take and rear (the child of other parents) as one's own child, specifically by a formal legal act. 3.to take or receive into any kind of new relationship: to adopt a person as a protégé. 4.to select as a basic or required textbook or series of textbooks in a course. 5.to vote to accept: The House adopted the report. 6.to accept or act in accordance with (a plan, principle, etc.). —Verb phrase 7.adopt out, to place (a child) for adoption: The institution may keep a child or adopt it out.
Those definitions tell us what the words mean, but do not tell us what the words mean when we speak of rescuing or adopting an animal.
In animal welfare circles, and on this forum, it is not believed that you can rescue or adopt an animal when you buy it from a petstore or breeder.
When you buy an animal, no matter what condition the animal is in, you may be helping one animal but dooming others to take it's place. This is not acceptable to animal lovers and welfarists. When buying from a petstore or breeder you are not a rescuer. You are a customer and your money or action goes to support the cycle of abuse.
To truly rescue an animal it must be removed from a situation without allowing the perpetrator to profit or enable them to use the loss of the animal to accommodate the suffering of more animals in it's place. For example. Taking a breeder's "culls" for free only creates more room for the breeder to keep breeding and create more culls. In this case you would be doing more damage then good.
To truly adopt, the animal must be in relatively safe and decent care and have come to be there because it was rescued, seized, or dumped. In some cases of hardship a normally good home may also need to rehome or adopt out their pet/s.
Adoption fees are not price tags. The money is used to support the rescue or shelter and their efforts or, in the case of a private party looking to rehome an animal (non-breeder), it is a nominal fee to discourage impulse "buys" and reptile feeders. The "adoption fee" is never used as a means of gaining profit.
Some petshops and breeders like to say they charge an "adoption fee" while in fact they are simply selling the animal. A good clue as to if it is an adoption or a sale would be the presence of an adoption application and if they breed themselves or buy from breeders and/or brokers to replenish their stock.
All decent shelters and rescues at least have a cursory adoption application so they have basic info on you, your other animals, animal care history, plans for your new pet, and your knowledge of your new pet. They never purposely breed or buy animals to have more available. The best rescues and shelters will also do at least one interview with you and home checks/inspections with the option of continuing these inspections for the rest of the animals' lives and, if possible, spay or neuter the animal. If there is no adoption application, and they breed or buy to replenish, then it is a sale. They are selling you a product they do not care about and have no interest in the quality of future care. This is not a person or business you want to reward with your money.
The next time you see an ill, abused or neglected animal for sale and you are temped to buy it (or even take it for free) please remember what you have learned here. Yes, that animal does deserve love and care but not at the expense of other animals suffering it it's place. Instead of buying the animal call the SPCA, Humane Society, Department of Agriculture and/or Health Department instead and keep up the heat, if necessary, to get them to do something about the situation. Keep the numbers handy in your cell phone. Carry a camera with you at all times to document abuse when you see it. By getting the petstores and breeders in trouble and hopefully punished for their deeds you will be helping more then just the one or two animals you may want to buy without removing evidence or supporting the abusive practices.
Last edited by VoodooJoint; 11-19-09 at 06:08 am.