The Animal Welfare Society Port Elizabeth (AWS(PE)) does not give away animals nor do they sell animals, our animals are ADOPTED from us. This may seem like we are playing word games but there is a big difference. Let us explain. All cats and dogs that are adopted from AWS(PE) will be:
- - sterilised to prevent them from having any unwanted babies;
- - they will be vaccinated to safeguard them from contracting diseases such as distemper or parvovirus;
- - they will be dewormed to assist in the elimination of internal parasites,
- - they may also be dipped to ensure that there are no external parasites;
- - and they will receive a form of identification (a collar bearing an ID disc for puppies and dogs).
This is what prospective owners are paying for whenever they adopt an animal from AWS(PE). The actual animal itself is for FREE!!
If you take into consideration that simply to sterilise a dog at your local veterinarian can cost anything between R1,600 and R2,200 and that a vaccination and deworming can cost R350 and upwards it quickly becomes apparent that the R300 to R700 adoption fee that we charge, covering all the above and ,more, is not expensive at all.
The public may argue that to purchase a puppy or kitten from the local pet shop does not cost as much as adopting an animal from us. It should be reiterated that the animal does not cost anything when adopting it from us, the fee charged merely subsidises (and does not even cover) the cost of the care and treatment provided to the animal. Anyone purchasing an animal from a pet shop or breeder must have the animal sterilised. The Municipal Bylaws in the NMBM state that it is illegal in NMBM to own a dog or cat over 6 months old that is not sterilised. Only registered breeders with the correct certificates from the Municipality may breed. It is also illegal to sell puppies.
Domestic animals deserve to be loved, cared for, taken to the vet when necessary, played with, taken for walks and more. AWS(PE) is careful to ensure that these aspects are provided for in all prospective homes. This is why we do not home dogs just for security and rather advise people to contact a security firm and hire a guard if they are concerned about safety. Our animals are homed as PETS.
Members of the public have asked the question "If AWS(PE) have so many animals, why do they not give them away for free?” Whilst this question has already been answered, it should be added that if a prospective owner cannot afford to pay the modest adoption fee, how would they be able to pay for quality food, veterinary fees and other costs that arise in providing the best level of care for a pet? We home animals responsibly as we intend for homed animals to remain in that same home for the rest of their lives which may be in excess of 10 years. In an attempt to ensure this, all properties are inspected when an AWS(PE) animal is adopted. This is to establish that the property is large enough for the species of animal being homed, that any animals already living on the property are in good condition and will accept the animal being adopted, that the walls and gates are high enough to keep the animal in (obviously this particular concern would not strictly apply to cats, but they would still require a safe environment) and to ensure that there is some form of suitable shelter for the animal. No animal will be homed if it is going to be chained, not even a running chain, as this is no life for any animal. It may seem that the criteria for adopting an animal are stringent, but they are entirely in the best interests of the animal.
There is a saying that goes ‘Owning an animal is a privilege and not a right'. The animals that come into our care are either strays that have become lost or been abandoned as well as cats and dogs that are unwanted and are handed over to us; and of course animals that have been neglected and ill-treated and removed by our Inspectors in order to find new loving homes where they will never again be subjected to any form of ill-treatment. We take this difficult responsibility very seriously and AWS(PE) cannot permit any of these animals going to a home where they will be anything else but loved and cared for. As an animal welfare organisation we cannot be part of letting these animals down.