By Tracey Wills

    We have all done it, time and time again – looked around for that furry friend – from puppies and kittens to grown animals, by going online or checking the newspaper or even the pound.

    But of all these which is the best place to look for a pet? I personally have ‘done the rounds’ looking for that extra furry person in my life and its a long hard journey if you have your mind set on something specific, as I do.

    Kittens are very easy to find as people don’t tend to de-sex their cats as often as they should, they just give them away with no shots or microchip – this all falls on the new owner. I have done this many times and I have only bought one cat in my life from a breeder. My present cat is three and I just picked her up from a flyer I saw in a shop window, but I did the right thing; got all her needles and microchip and de-sexed her and she’s a very loving cat. So if someone charges you for the cat’s de-sexing, that’s generally a lie – none of mine ever had been.

    Lets move on to dogs. Years ago puppies were given away just like kittens but not anymore, puppies are like cash cows, which is why we have so many problems with puppy farms and scammers. Yes even I have been scammed out of money with a promise of a puppy that never came.

    Here’s a short list of do’s and don’ts when applying for a pet online:

    1. Never give out your personal information even if they ask.
    2. If they say they are in another state and you need to pay for freight, don’t send them any money – arrange cash on delivery. If they wont accept that arrangement, that’s a big red sign right there to run!
    3. Western union accounts are not Australian, 9 times out of 10 they are in Asia and scammers.
    4. Look up photos of the breed of dog online to know they’re not sending you fake photos of the animal.

    Now that you have this basic information I hope you shop safely online for your next furry friend. Even though the animals are older, try the pound, those guys are just looking for someone to love them, and this time of year is a good time to look as the poor Christmas pups and kittens are just getting there after the family has decided they made a mistake. Its sad but true.

    Lastly, if you’re giving a pet away for (whatever reason) make sure you find that right home for your loved one as sadly Melbourne is reported to have dog fighting rings on the rise and dogs and cats are often used as bait in the fights and treated appallingly.

    Thanks for reading
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