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RSPCA Policy A02 Acquiring a companion animal

Article ID: 590
Last updated: 22 Jul, 2015
Revision: 16
Views: 4302
 2.1  RSPCA Australia believes that acquiring a companion animal should be the result of careful planning and a clear understanding of the responsibilities involved. Prospective owners should carefully consider whether they have, and will continue to have, the facilities, time, financial means and level of interest necessary to ensure a satisfactory standard of care, comfort and well-being for their animal throughout the animal’s lifetime (see A2.2).
 2.2  RSPCA Australia encourages prospective owners to consider adopting an animal from the RSPCA (or other reputable animal welfare or rescue organisations). The RSPCA provides shelter to thousands of animals every year that are in need of a good home (See A3).
 2.3  Where animals are obtained from sources other than the RSPCA or other reputable animal welfare or rescue organisations, RSPCA Australia advocates that wherever possible they are acquired directly from the place where they were born. This minimises stress to the animal and allows prospective owners to see the condition and behaviour of the parent animals and other animals, how the animal has been kept (living conditions), and to learn about the specific needs of the species or type/breed of animal being acquired.
 2.4  Vendors have a responsibility to ensure that prospective owners are made aware of the long term physiological, behavioural and social needs of the animal they wish to acquire, and any known health problems or inheritable disorders, before taking them home.
 2.5  RSPCA Australia advocates a compulsory legislated registration and licensing system for all outlets selling companion animals (including shops, breeders, veterinary clinics and shelters). The conditions under which the animals are kept and presented for sale must be detailed in mandatory standards and guidelines and compliance with these, made a condition of licensing.

(reviewed 26/06/14)

See also:

H2 Standards, codes of practice and guidelines
Position paper A4 Sale of companion animals from pet shops
Position paper A5 Responsible companion animal breeding
RSPCA Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer’s Online Guide
RSPCA Smart Kitten and Cat Buyer’s Guide


This website provides general information which must not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for specific professional advice, including veterinary advice. We make no warranties that the website is accurate or suitable for a person's unique circumstances and provide the website on the basis that all persons accessing the website responsibly assess the relevance and accuracy of its content.
Attached files
file Smart Kitten Cat Buyers Guide July 2013.pdf (1.14 mb)
file Smart Puppy Buyers Guide July 2016.pdf (512 kb)
file PP A4 Sale of companion animals from pet shops.pdf (96 kb)
file PP A5 Responsible companion animal breeding.pdf (112 kb)

Also read
document What is the RSPCA's position on working with Rescue Groups?

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RSPCA Policy A01 Responsible companion animal ownership     RSPCA Policy A03 Shelter and care of animals