What are the benefits of adopting pets from animal shelters?

“There are a lot of great reasons for adopting a rescue pet from a shelter. For one thing, they are usually house-trained, unlike a new puppy from the pet shop. They are also usually more loving and affectionate as they have gone through trauma in their past and are happy to have found someone who cares for them.”


There are many good reasons to adopt a rescue pet, but here are the top 10.  Not in order of priority!

  1. Less cleaning up: Of course this isn’t foolproof, but a lot of dogs in shelters are already house trained so you can avoid or minimise the “accidents”.  Puppies need a lot of training, time, patience and energy.  If you’re worried that you don’t have the skills or time to train a puppy (difficult if you are working), visit your local shelter.  The team will have a good idea of which dogs are house trained based on the reason they landed up there in the first place, and their behaviour in the shelter.
  2. An unbreakable bond: Most rescue pets have lived through some trauma which makes them very appreciative of good care.  Some can be a bit nervous and do strange things (understandably), but they do get over this in time, when trust has been built.  Treat them with kindness, and you’ll be rewarded with a grateful and loyal mate, for life.
  3. No surprises: Many of the pets are fully grown so there aren’t any surprises when your little bundle of fun that looked so “cute” in the shop window grows up into a massive mountain dog.  This is one of the reasons that many pets end up unwanted and in shelters.  For more information on pet breeds visit our cat  breed centre and our dog breed centre.
  4. Conversation starter: When you have a mutt everyone you pass on the street will have an opinion of what breed he is, and will want to ask you what breed your exotic, mysterious pet is!  Let your pet be the conversation starter when you want to make friends!
  5. Ready to go: No time to organise the shots and de-sexing?  No worries.  Adopt a dog from your local shelter and they are generally vet checked, shots up to date, de-sexed and registered.  All they need is their forever home.
  6. Affordable option. Of course, no-one should adopt a pet without considering the on-going cost of vet visits, food, toys, bedding plus the time for exercise and socialising.  But a shelter pet can definitely be a more affordable option than buying through breeders and  heaven forbid, pet shops (see “an ethical choice”  below).
  7. An ethical choice: Rescuing a pet means you aren’t supporting those despicable puppy mills which put profit above the well being of the dogs.  Many pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills where the animals are housed in disgusting conditions, and where there are often health issues for the mother dogs.  Rescue a pooch and you know that you are not supporting the puppy mill industry.  Visit Oscars Law  for more information on puppy mills in Australia.  You will be horrified.
  8. No small print: Adopting a rescue means you will know more about your chosen buddy.  Rescue staff, volunteers and foster parents know all the little quirks of the pets and are more than happy to share.  It is in their interest that pets go to loving, understanding homes – so they are not going to hide anything from you.
  9. Be an ambassador: Every person who adopts a pet is an advertisement to someone else to do the same.  It’s an opportunity to spread the word and be a one man PR machine for adoptions!
  10. You’re a hero. When you rescue a pet you’re saving a life. A lot of the dogs and cats that are with the community rescue organisations have been taken from death row at local pounds, and are just awaiting their forever home.  And remember when you adopt, you are leaving a space for another pet to be saved.  What could be more heroic than that?

Of course before you decide to go ahead you should also make sure you have the right living arrangements.  If you live in an apartment and want to know what your rights here, here’s a great resource to help you find out what the law says about pets in your State.

Petsecure is a proud supporter of community rescue organisations across Australia.  Visit our Rescue Partners to see if there is one in your area.  Or if you are a Rescue and would like to be a partner, please contact us.

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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