Author’s Blurb: I’m a believer in the “adopt, don’t shop” movement. At home, we have 2 healthy dogs, both of whom we adopted from the streets a few years ago. The rest of their siblings were sent to shelters for adoption, as we only had the financial means to care for 2 at a time. Since then, we’ve also taken in more pups temporarily before finding them forever homes.
Aiming to encourage more of this caring behaviour in Malaysia, pet nutrition brand Royal Canin has teamed up with local animal welfare platform, PetFinder.my to launch a campaign called “Adopt to Save a Life”.
There are a lot of learning processes that one has to go through to care for a pet properly, and it can seem intimidating to first-time owners.
Understanding this, the campaign is here to support new adopters in their starting journey, as well as to lessen the intimidation factor of adopting a pet.
“We want to help the new pet adopter/owner to prepare not only physically but aso mentally when welcoming a new pet home,” Dr. Melissa Phoon, Corporate Affairs Manager at Royal Canin Malaysia told Vulcan Post.
Hence, they’re giving out 150 starter packs per month to adopters which contains a high quality stainless steel feeding bowl, a measuring cup, and a guidebook on how to welcome and take care of one’s new pets.
“A responsible pet ownership e-book is accessible by scanning the QR code at the packaging of the starter pack. Information such as our collective responsibility to animals, the five freedoms of animal welfare, things to ask yourself before welcoming a pet, the living environments (the home) for a pet, dangers to watch out for the pet’s safety and many more can be found in this guidebook,” Dr. Melissa added.
Here’s How It Works
Head to PetFinder.my to begin. Browse the listings and adopt a pet from a qualified rescuer or shelter. The pet’s profile will indicate the starter pack availability.
Once you’ve chosen to adopt a pet, the rescuer will mark the pet as adopted, and register your name and email in the pet’s profile. PetFinder.my will email you your redemption instructions.
Complete the online redemption form, and Royal Canin Malaysia will then email you a 30% Shopee discount voucher. You will need to complete a minimum purchase of RM30 at the Royal Canin Shopee store first.
You can then email or WhatsApp Royal Canin (after getting their details) with the Shopee purchase receipt, and they’ll proceed to deliver the free starter pack to your address.
Every month, 150 units of these starter packs are given out. There are 2 types:
- Starter Pack A: comes with free Royal Canin pet food,
- Starter Pack B: comes without Royal Canin pet food.
The first 100 adopters in a month who complete the minimum purchase using the given discount voucher code (of up to RM50) will receive Starter Pack A. The 101st to the 105th adopters will receive Starter Pack B.
In total, Royal Canin is giving away 1,800 starter packs throughout the campaign’s duration which lasts until May 2021.
Since the announcement of the campaign in November 2020, 139 pets (83 cats and 53 dogs) have found new homes through it.
Ensuring Responsibility Until The End
In my experience of rehoming pets, I’ve always been picky with adopters. I’ve heard sad stories of pets being adopted as “gifts” for people who later decide they don’t want to care for it, either abandoning it or sending it back to the rescuer/shelter.
Steps are being taken to prevent this from happening with the campaign, as the rescuers or shelters will carry out the screening or vetting of the adopter’s background.
“Each rescuer/shelter will usually have their own set of guidelines and preferences, often based on the particular pet’s condition and characteristics,” Dr. Melissa assured.
“Additionally, PetFinder.my also shares guidelines and best practices on assessing adopters through the WAGazine education portal, providing a foundation on identifying suitable families for the pets.”
But this care doesn’t end right after the adoption, as the team behind the campaign learnt that the success of reducing pet homelessness with responsible pet owners relies on all parties’ involvement.
“PetFinder.my provides the platform to enable shelters and rescuers to easily reach out to more potential adopters, while working closely with Royal Canin Malaysia on educating the shelters, rescuers and pet owners on the do’s and don’ts in this journey,” she further explained.
“The periodic follow-ups are then usually done by the many of these educated and experienced shelters and rescuers with adopters, and may offer a trial period to see if the pet gets along with the adopter.”
Some of these shelters and rescuers will also charge a refundable sterilisation deposit for young pets so that when the pet is of suitable age, the adopter has to bring it for spaying/neutering, or seek the rescuer’s assistance to do so. Older pets on the platform will usually already be sterilised before being put up for adoption.
Bottom Line: I’m glad to see the initiatives taken by the parties involved to ensure that each adoption is done responsibly, and that they have ways to ensure the adopters are actually taking good care of their pets.
- You can find out more about the “Adopt to Save a Life” campaign here, Royal Canin here, and PetFinder.my here.
- You can read more pet related articles here.
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Featured Image Credit: Andy Koh, CEO and founder of PetFinder.my / SofieSarahAnn on PetFinder.my