Author’s blurb: I believe in the “adopt, not shop” movement. At home we have two healthy dogs that we both adopted from the street a few years ago. The rest of her siblings were sent to shelters for adoption as we only had the financial means to care for two at a time. Since then we have also temporarily taken in more puppies before we can find them at home forever.
To encourage more of this caring behavior in Malaysia, the pet nutrition brand Royal Canin has teamed up with the local animal welfare platform PetFinder.my to launch a campaign entitled “Adopt to Save a Life”.
There are many learning processes that one must go through to properly care for a pet, and it can seem intimidating to first-time owners.
To understand this, the campaign aims to support new adopters on their way and reduce the intimidation factor when adopting a pet.
“We want to help the new pet owner / owner to prepare not only physically but also mentally for the welcome to a new animal shelter,” said Dr. Melissa Phoon, Corporate Affairs Manager at Royal Canin Malaysia, told Vulcan Post.
That’s why they distribute 150 starter packs to adopters every month, which contain a high-quality stainless steel food bowl, a measuring cup and a guide for taking in and caring for the new pets.
“A responsible pet ownership e-book can be accessed by scanning the QR code on the packaging of the starter kit. Information such as our collective responsibility to animals, the five freedoms of animal welfare, things to ask yourself before accepting a pet, the living environment (home) for a pet, dangers, the safety of the pet, and much more in this manual, ”added Dr. Melissa added.
This is how it works
Go to PetFinder.my to get started. Browse the listings and adopt a pet from a qualified rescuer or animal shelter. The pet’s profile indicates the availability of the starter pack.
Check out this little dude up for adoption that comes with a starter pack!
Once you have decided to adopt a pet, the rescuer will mark the pet as adopted and register your name and email address on the pet’s profile. PetFinder.my will email you your redemption instructions.
Complete the online redemption form and Royal Canin Malaysia will email you a 30% Shopee discount coupon. You must first complete a RM 30 minimum purchase price from the Royal Canin Shopee Store.
You can then email or WhatsApp Royal Canin (after receiving the details) with the Shopee proof of purchase. You will then receive the free starter package at your address.
150 units of these starter kits are issued every month. There are 2 types:
- Starter Pack A: With free Royal Canin pet food,
- Starter Pack B: Without Royal Canin pet food.
The first 100 users in a month who complete the minimum purchase with the specified discount voucher code (up to RM50) receive the starter package A. The 101st to 105th users receive the starter package B.
In total, Royal Canin is giving away 1,800 starter packages for the entire duration of the campaign, which will last until May 2021.
Since the campaign was announced in November 2020, 139 pets (83 cats and 53 dogs) have found a new home.
Ensure responsibility to the end
In my pet rehabilitation experience, I’ve always been picky about adopters. I’ve heard sad stories of pets being adopted as “gifts” for people who later decide they don’t want to care, either give them up or send them back to the rescuer / shelter.
Steps are being taken to prevent this from happening in the campaign as the rescuers or shelters carry out the background check or verification of the adoptive person.
“Each rescuer / shelter usually has its own guidelines and preferences, often based on the condition and characteristics of the particular pet,” assured Dr. Melissa.
“In addition, PetFinder.my shares guidelines and best practices for evaluating adopters through the WAGazine education portal, providing a basis for identifying suitable families for the pets.”
That worry doesn’t stop immediately after adoption, however, as the team behind the campaign learned that the success of reducing pet homelessness among responsible pet owners depends on the participation of all parties.
“PetFinder.my provides the platform where shelters and rescuers can easily reach more potential adopters while working closely with Royal Canin Malaysia to educate shelters, rescuers and pet owners about the pros and cons of this trip,” she said further explained.
“The regular follow-up visits are usually done by many of these educated and experienced shelters and rescuers with adopters and may offer a trial period to see if the pet is getting along with the adopters.”
Some of these shelters and rescuers also charge a refundable sterilization deposit for young pets, so if the pet is of the appropriate age, the adopter must bring it to be spayed / neutered or seek help from the rescuer. Older pets on the platform are usually already sterilized before they are put up for adoption.
Bottom line: I appreciate the initiatives taken by the parties involved to ensure that every adoption is responsibly and that they have ways to ensure that adopters actually take good care of their pets.
- More information on the Adopt to Save a Life campaign can be found here, Royal Canin here and PetFinder.my here.
- You can find more articles on pets here.
Selected image source: Andy Koh, CEO and founder of PetFinder.my / SofieSarahAnn on PetFinder.my