There’s a really cute puppy you’ve been looking at for weeks. A kitten with a stubby nose near the corner of your home also caught your attention, but you are not sure where it came from.

So what do you do?

Most “pet lovers” often get any animal they could find, but that often leads more animals abandoned at the side of the road. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) recently published a guide on their website on how to be a good pet owner.

One of their tips were for people to buy a pet from an animal or rescue center in order to reduce the demand of buying bred animals and to help the stray animals.

“I think that would help to get more animals out of the shelter faster, and also reduce the need for puppy farms to exist because they wouldn’t be making as much money,” said Tammy Ven Dange, RSPCA head in Canberra.

Tammy Ven Dange heads up the RSPCA in Canberra. Source: ABC

California is one of the first places in the world to force pet stores to sell rescue animals to help close down puppy farms, which are places where they bred for profit, often with little regard for their safety or welfare.

In the United States alone, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports there are about 10,000 puppy mills.

“They barely feed them, they never leave the cage, there’s no exercise, there’s no medical [attention]. And they just breed them one litter after another after another until the animal is spent,” Judie Manusco from Social Compassion in Legislation, the animal welfare organization that pushed for the Californian laws, told Hack.

With this, RSPCA reiterates for people to research well before they adopt or get any animal.

“It’s ideal to try and get recommendations, see if they’re actually accredited with the pet industry, because those that are accredited have other things they agree to do [in regards to welfare],” Ven Dange said.

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