Brazilian pet store gives away rescue cats and dogs instead of selling ‘pets’

Rescue dog

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This little experiment tests the habits of people wishing to acquire a companion cat or dog and it is enlightening. For one day, a pet store was persuaded by Quatro Patinhas rescue organisation (“Four Paws”) to stock with rescue cats and dogs rather than their usual purchased animals, without telling customers.

The customers were stunned when told that the companion animal that they had selected was free. The customers went home happier than if they had purchased a purebred dog.

Two thoughts come to my mind.

  1. The joy of cat and dog companionship is in the companionship not in the appearance of the animal, which might have an impact for a while but which is soon overtaken by the loving bond between person and animal; purebred or not becomes almost irrelevant.
  2. One of the important differences between dogs and cats is that there are far more purebred dogs than cats. The difference in appearance between purebred dogs and random bred dogs or purebred-mixes is often slight. This perhaps makes the experiment more likely to succeed for dogs than cats.

However, it is also about habit. Many people wishing to acquire a ‘pet’ will immediately think of popping down to the local pet shop. If the habit of popping down to the local rescue was the norm, many people would be just as satisfied and the lives of many cats and dogs would be saved. That is what this experiment proves.

One slightly odd aspect of this experiment is that the shop was giving away the dogs and cats. Normally there is an adoption fee charged by the rescue organization. I wonder if the customers would have been as delighted if the shop had charged a fee?

They probably would have provided the cost was lower than the usual price. Also the big question is whether it would have worked in America. Americans are more tuned in to purebred companion animals, which may mean they are more fixed in their preferences. The USA is by far the biggest market for purebred cats.

There is a strong argument for giving it a try in the USA to see what happens. Perhaps someone has already tried it.


Source: Families Learn A Valuable Lesson When A Pet Store Secretly Replaces All The Animals With Rescues

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6 thoughts on “Brazilian pet store gives away rescue cats and dogs instead of selling ‘pets’”

  1. Interesting experiment on re-homing cats and dogs.

    Michael: I agree with everything you wrote 🙂

    Other than strays I’ve taken in, my cats have always come from rescues. The same is true of my friends and work colleagues. I’d assumed everyone did until my neighbour was surprised to learn Phoebe had come from a rescue. She said it had never occurred to her to look there for a cat. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to ask where she got her cat from, but perhaps it was from someone she knew or possibly a local advert. I don’t think there’s any pet shops nearby which sell cats or dogs. The last time I saw a shop like that was in the late 1980s.

    I do wonder sometimes if there might be a little stigma for some people about taking on a rescue pet. Could they be worried that there might be medical or behavioural issues which led to the animal being surrendered in the first place? People aren’t always so keen on older pets either. Personally I think that’s a shame because my experience is that the “golden” years with our pets are often the best.

  2. Adoptions are different in different places.
    I wish that freebies were safe to give out anywhere.
    In reality, here, adoptable pets have a price tag. The thinking is, that no abuser would spend money on a cat, for instance, just to torment when so many could just be swiped off of the streets.
    Strays and ferals are in abundance and everywhere. They don’t come with a price. They’re free too.

    • Do you think that if the rescues gave away cats and dogs but applied rigorous checks on adopters they’d adopt out far more? Or is the price tag on rescue cats mainly a deterrent to abusers?

      I sometimes wonder that the adoption fee from rescues is too high when you can buy purebred-mixes for about the same price and some purebreds for not a lot more if you buy from unscrupulous breeders.

      • Many times the fee for adopting a rescued animal includes vaccinations and spaying/neutering the animal. The sad thought is that many animals, free or with small fees, are used for bait animals in training fighting dogs. What a horrendous way to die!

      • It’s hard to fathom, I know…. But, cats are everywhere here. You would not be able to drive behind any store or restaurant without seeing multiple cats.

        Adoption fees for cats is around $50, which includes neutering, shots, and microchipping. That gives a little assurance that abusers would not be interested. They can pluck them off of the streets anywhere. So, why should they pay?

        Please explain why thousands of roaming cats, strays and feral, aren’t visible all over the UK, like here.


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