DJ Caz the greyhound, Bob the cat, Peanut the mouse and a handsome rooster by the name of Cluck Norris are among the creatures – great and small – currently looking for love in the Illawarra.
And they hope to find it this weekend, when the RSPCA holds its biggest ever adoption drive across the nation – offering a $29 fee for all animals, regardless of age or species.
That’s a pretty big discount considering the normal price for a dog over six months is $320, while a young pup goes for $370.
That’s not an unreasonable amount considering animals come desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and with a full health and behavioural check. But with summer bringing a constant supply of animals, many shelters are full to the brim.
The Illawarra shelter is one of them, and this weekend there’s 50 animals up for adoption according to supervisor Janelle Kalkan.
“We’ve got a range of animals – including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and goats,” she said. “Some have been with us a short time, others are taking longer to find their forever homes.”
That’s certainly the case with DJ Caz, an energetic greyhound who just loves to play. The three-year-old has been at the Unanderra shelter for over 12 months.
“We get a lot of greyhounds who are ex-racers,” Ms Kalkan said. “They can be hard to rehome but they’re really beautiful dogs – and DJ Caz has a great personality. When animals have been with us a long time we do get attached to them, but it’s nice when they finally find the right home.”
Last year saw 753 animals rehomed from NSW shelters during the Clear the Shelters campaign. This year nearly 3000 are up for adoption statewide.
In 2018 the campaign has spread across the country.
“It’s all about finding forever homes for all our animals and giving that extra incentive for people looking for a new pet, a good reason to adopt, instead of shopping through online platforms or backyard breeders,” RSPCA NSW executive manager animal care services Brendon Neilly said.
He said research showed that price had no influence on welfare outcomes for animals.
“We have monitored adoption promotions carefully and the evidence shows there is no higher return rate whatsoever, and no negative impacts for the animal’s welfare,” he said.
“Our normal adoption prices rarely cover what it costs to prepare an animal for adoption, so $29 fees definitely don’t come close.
“However it’s all about getting animals out of shelters and into forever homes, and in that way it’s a huge success and a really worthwhile investment.”
View all animals available for adoption at adoptapet.com.au