Pet abandonment is a huge issue – especially among elderly dogs who commonly have a harder time getting adopted – and thankfully, in one awesome masked viral campaign, the Toronto Humane Society (THS) brought it right to the forefront.
You may have heard about Puppy Swap, the website that intended to let you trade in your old, grown dog for a brand new puppy. A video promo boasted that it was the first puppy subscription service and encouraged users to pick their breed based on frivolous concepts such as user ratings and trendiness, all without a long-term commitment. It went on to say that once your puppy becomes “a bother or less likable” you can simply ship it off.
Warning: prepare for a gut-wrenching scene of said “bother” (AKA a gorgeous Golden Retriever) driving away.
Thankfully, just when you’re about to set your laptop on fire, the truth is revealed:
Puppy Swap isn’t real. Unfortunately, pet abandonment is.
By taking advantage of viral media, THS shocked us into facing a horrible reality. According to THS’s statistics, 74% of abandoned dogs across Canada each year are not reclaimed by their owners and out of the 188,062 animals surrendered in the same span, only 40% leave the system alive with only 99,391 finding new homes.
Thankfully, elder dogs are finally starting to have their day. Groups like Susie’s Senior Dogs promote adopting elder dogs from shelters. They have a massive following on Facebook and have brought dozens of elder dogs out of the shelter and into forever homes.
If you are looking to adopt, consider making an older best friend! My local shelters wave adoption fees for dogs over seven. If you can’t adopt, consider sponsoring a pup or paying its adoption fees. All dogs are puppies at heart.