Battersea Dogs & Cats Home says that their adoption figures for both dogs initially and now cats are down and they blame Facebook. This is despite Battersea’s excellent presence on Facebook with almost 700k followers. They must do a lot of ‘business’ themselves on social media. I am surprised that they blame Facebook.
What they say is that more people are now ‘buying’ pets from unregulated auctions on social media. This leads to more than the usual number of adoption failures because adopters realise that they can’t cope. They then relinquish their cat or dog.
Peter Laurie, Battersea’s chief exec. says that:
“Our dog rehoming has been declining for years – last year we rehired 8% fewer dogs than 2016…Now we are seeing similar trends for cats too. We were rehoming growing numbers of cats until last year when numbers fell 16%.”
They say that dog for sale adverts online are being created rapidly which is affecting the adoption of unwanted cats and dogs.
The charity seems to be referring to adverts on social media sites such as Facebook for dogs and cats for sale despite the adverts being in violation of Facebooks commerce policies. Facebook forbids the promotion for sale of any animals including parts of animals such as fur.
The trouble is that when you buy online you are diving into the unknown. It is a risky way to adopt a cat or dog.
Mr Laurie says:
“You can buy a pet with the click of a mouse, often with no idea if you’re going to get the same animal as the cute photograph that caught your eye and with no real idea of its background or personality. It’s animal rescues that then pick up the pieces. In the first three months of this year alone, we’ve taken in more than 100 dogs bought online, whose owners can no longer care for them, often due to veterinary problems or behavioural issues they didn’t know they had.”
My personal experience of Facebook is that there are a lot of cat rescue pages on the site and they do a good job. They are very active. I sense that cat rescue has benefited from social media. Although there are scams and it is easy to be conned. Facebook has been contacted for a comment but one is not forthcoming at this time.
And the cat rescue that I contacted for blind cats imported from abroad are very sensible and they check out adopters. This cat news story comes from the Mail Online.