08/03/2016 12:29 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Ricky Gervais Calls For People To Abandon Breeders And Adopt Rescued Animals When Getting A New Pet

Steve Sands via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 06: Ricky Gervais works on his film 'Special Correspondents' in Queens on July 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)

If you follow British comedian Ricky Gervais on social media you'll know that he's a passionate animal lover.

Often naming and shaming big game hunters, on Monday Gervais thanked his Facebook followers for their support for his countless posts about animal welfare.

"I just wanted to say thanks for liking my page and for supporting all the animal welfare stuff I bother you with. It’s probably the single greatest thing about social media. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, signing a petition or even just sharing or retweeting something about a good cause makes a difference. It not only raises awareness and makes people think, but enough signatures can get an issue heard in parliament, and that can implement changes in the law. So thank you," the post read.

On Tuesday Gervais asked that those in the market for a new pet consider adopting a rescue animal over buying a puppy or kitten from a breeder.

Hello Facebonkers.I wonder if you could do me a favour? Whenever you hear that someone is planning to get a cat or a...

Posted by Ricky Gervais on Monday, March 7, 2016

What many don't realise is that some breeders mistreat bitches, forcing them into too many pregnancies in quick concession, which is not good for their health. Often their living conditions are not up to scratch, either.

Add to that the many thousands of animals which are in rescue shelters waiting to be rehomed (many of which are euthanised if not adopted), and there's insurmountable evidence for the cause to adopt and not 'shop' for a pet.

The Huffington Post Australia last year explored the truth behind some breeders and why the cycle needs to be broken.

"If the demand is there, then the cycle will continue. Unregulated breeders continuously produce animals, often in poor conditions and without providing the necessary breed education or post purchase support. Animals can be bought and sold on the internet with little recourse," Claire Garth from the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home said.

"Many people don’t realise that we get all breeds and all ages, including oodles of puppies who, through no fault of their own have landed in our shelter needing a second-chance home. With a rescue pet you're giving a pet a second chance at life, and as anyone who has a rescue pet can attest you will feel that animals gratitude for years to come."