ADOPT A PET
For some time RSPCA has been putting on displays in pet shops however this latest move is a partnership with the large Petbarn chain of pet shops. The new initiative will see a designated area of Petbarn stores throughout NSW set aside for they are calling "Pet Adoption Capsules".
Petbarn recently came under criticism from the animal welfare community for allowing a pet breeder to promote their undesexed rabbits and rabbit kittens in one of their stores.
It is unclear at this stage whether or not the practice of pet breeder displays will be widespread and continuing or if the new partnership with the RSPCA will provide them with the foot traffic they need in their pet product stores as the public are tempted to shop there with the advantage of a friendly pat or cuddle with an abandoned dog or cat awaiting adoption.
The "Pet Adoption Capsules" will house dogs and cats, puppies and kittens supplied by the RSPCA. These pets will live in the store and be cared for by pet shop retail staff. The staff will undergo a training session relating to RSPCA care and adoption guidelines. Adoption costs will go to the RSPCA. RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said that the Petbarn retail staff "will follow the same adoption procedures that operate in RSPCA NSW shelters".
The RSPCA Petbarn "Pet Adoption Capsules" have been piloted since March 2012 in Sydney Petbarn stores at Brookvale, Caringbah, Chatswood and Wetherill Park as well as in the Bathhurst store. Initially these are only for cats and kittens for sale while the first dog and puppy, cat and kitten pilot was launched in April in the new Dubbo Petbarn store.
ADOPT A RABBIT
Future plans might also include guinea pigs and rabbits for adoption. Some rabbit welfare groups have concerns about rabbits being displayed in small cages in pet stores due to their need for large areas to exercise in. Rabbits are know to run fast and jump and twist (known as doing binkies) which would not be possible in pet shop small cages. According to a rabbit rescuer, "Displaying rabbits in small cages as was the case in the Dubbo Petbarn rabbit breeder stall gives people the impression that it is okay to keep rabbits in this way."
Currently people in NSW can adopt a rabbit from the Rabbit Rescue Sanctuary in Northern NSW or look on our Adopt a Pet page to see what dogs and puppies the dog shelters have listed there.