All animals deserve the chance to go on a journey of rescue to recovery. They belong in a family that can give life-long commitment and unconditional love; and to be one of them is to first understand what adoption truly means.
What is adopting and why should I adopt?
Where there are millions of homeless, neglected, mistreated and abused animals but not enough homes, adoption gives these animals a second chance.
Before settling in a permanent home, they enjoy time in foster care. Mission Paws’ible founder Prue Barber uses this time to get insight into what they need for the future and to match the right pet to the right lifestyle, family and budget. “This is something breeders or pet shops do not offer because they are only interested in money and not the welfare of the animal, nor you, the pet owner,” she said.
Additionally, adopting allows space for another animal to be rescued, as noted by Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) cofounders Karin Franken and Natalie Stewart. Franken believes that “buying a pet from an unregulated breeder supports an industry that unfortunately is often exploiting animals in cages with minimum care, just producing litter after litter”.
In fact, Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) founder Janice Girardi believes that breeding animals and selling them is one of the reasons why many animals are thrown away and become “street dogs or feral cats”. She stated that the number of animals discarded or killed each year is because of the high number of breeders and because people often do not want to adopt rescued animals.
The process of adoption
Every aspiring adopter must go through screening before bringing a pet home. The process includes paperwork, an interview and a house check. Adopters will have to meet the animals’ needs as well as providing safe and loving homes, where under no circumstances can the animals remain outside, locked in cages or chained up for it is inhumane.
“We want to see the first reaction of the animal and the potential adopter toward each other,” Carolina Fajar, founder of Let’s Adopt! Indonesia, said. “Once the animal is acclimated to the home environment and new family, only then we can confirm the adoption.”
Where to go
There are many community pages online. You can check a place’s credibility by looking at their posts on their website and social media pages. Carolina said, “A reputable place will be transparent about the animals’ condition from the time they’re rescued until the current condition.”
If the place allows you to visit their shelter, you should observe their living conditions. A reputable place will have clean and healthy animals living in clean, good conditions, with plenty of room to roam and run around. JAAN’s Stewart condemned shelters that cage their animals, saying, “They get stressed and angry, and they get too excited when someone shows up barking all over the place — making them unattractive to adopt.”
Fees and funding
While some organizations like BAWA allow you to adopt for free, others ask for a donation to cover some medical cost, which include veterinary visits and exams, spaying or neutering, a series of vaccinations, flea/tick treatment and deworming.
A rescue group’s adoption fee may vary from Rp 500,000 (US$34.60) up to Rp 3,000,000 ($208) per animal, depending on the animal’s health .
What if I want to adopt animals other than cats/dogs?
Most animals besides cats and dogs can also be adopted, just not for the home. Unlike domesticated animals, these animals prefer to remain in the wild and are probably better off living there once fully rehabilitated.
Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) fundraising officer Ivanna Febrissa and communication specialist Paulina Ela wrote in an e-mail to The Jakarta Post: “Adopting an orangutan means people are helping us with the costs depending on the duration of adoption.” In their case, the entire procedure of adoption is done virtually simply by filling a form and completing payment.
How do I prepare?
Mission Paws’ible suggests that you first establish the expectations for yourself and your pet.
Second, talk with the adoption coordinator about your future pet and the best way to care for it. Though it is common to opt for a particular breed, Stewart believes that local dogs are better because they are stronger, loyal and healthier. If you are going for a certain breed, do research on its health needs and compatibility with your lifestyle.
Finally, provide basic supplies for your pet cat or dog before they arrive. They include but are not limited to: a bed, a few weeks’ supply pet food, food bowls, toys and a crate for travel needs.
Is there anything else I can do to support the welfare of animals in Indonesia?
As part of the community, we can help by volunteering and educating people and yourself about the cruel practices done to innocent animals. Reading articles and watching documentaries are good places to start.
If you find yourself witness to animal abuse, Barber and Stewart suggest capturing as much evidence as possible and getting anything identifiable regarding the abuser. Immediately report the case to the police or your local animal rescue group. (saz/wng)