Social media is a powerful tool, allowing like-minded people to connect at a whim.
However, imagine social media being used to sell children.
As horrible as this might sound, social networks are being used to sell living creatures.
“Using social media for the selling of pets or for giving them to good homes is disgraceful. You are basically bartering animals,” enthused Heather Gero of the SPCA.
This is because there is no surety that the animals are in fact going to a good home.
“Would you do this to your child? If not, why will you do it to an animal?” she asked.
Gero said as humans and animals were both sentient beings, it is imperative to remember animals needed to be treated with respect.
But why are people trading pets over social media?
According to Gero, some used animals are disposable commodities to make a quick buck.
“It is sad to think humanity can sink so low to sell a pet. Owning a pet is a privilege and not a right,” Gero said.
Other people sold pets as they merely did not take the time to sterilise their animals.
“People will make excuses why they don’t sterilise their pets, like it is too expensive.”
Yet, when their pet had a litter, the same people would take to social media and flog off the pups or kittens at a price.
“A lot of those who sell pets over social media claim to be animal lovers. But an animal lover will not do this.”
Gero said if an individual could not afford to sterilise their pets or basic veterinary costs, it is best to not take in a pet.
The lure of exotic pets
While puppies and kittens are often sold via social networks, exotic pets such as bearded dragons, tortoises and hedgehogs are also sold on a regular basis.
“The reason they are being sold in this way, is because it is easy to do it,” Gero explained.
By removing an animal from its natural environment, putting it in a cage, to feel good about themselves owning a rare form of animal was not proof of being an animal lover, but rather a Neanderthal.
In fact, Gero said owning an exotic pet has no form of enrichment for the animal what so ever.
For those who truly care about the welfare of animals, there is adoption.
Organisations like the SPCA, home animals who have faced hardships not many people can understand.
Abuse, neglect, abandonment is but some of the situations some animals find themselves in.
With the SPCA taking their welfare to heart, by adopting one of these animals, a family is sure to find a true companion.
The SPCA is not just a place of safety for mixed breeds.
Within its care there are pedigrees and mongrels alike, all seeking a second chance in life.
“Some of the mongrels are more loving and stronger than some thoroughbreds,” Gero said.
What does it take to adopt a pet from the SPCA?
While the SPCA is against the selling of animals, acquiring a four-legged family member does come at a price.
Adoption costs R550, which includes sterilisation, the pet’s first set of inoculations, a collar and identity tag.
As animals cannot speak for themselves, the SPCA also ensures the adopting ‘parents’ are able to provide a safe and secure environment.
For more information on adopting pets, contact the SPCA on 034 318 2346.