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February 2024

The Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Pet


According to PetRescue, 100,000 pets are killed in council pounds and shelters – even today, with many of us being more knowledgeable and aware of the benefits of adoption. With many rescue pets located in animal shelters, pounds, or in foster carers’ homes, you can easily choose to adopt rather than shopping around for a new puppy or kitten. The benefits of adopting a pet can be life-changing, and you might just find that your soulmate isn’t what you expected, but exactly what you need.

While not everyone feels like they are in the position to adopt, or don’t think they can, the benefits of adopting a rescue pet might just make you think twice. Take a second to listen or read about some of the commonly agreed benefits – and some handy tips.

✓ A life can be saved

By adopting a pet from a shelter or local rescue group, you can help save a life. Many pets in shelters are waiting for the second chance at a new life; some will have come from homes of neglect, abuse or a circumstance that is providing a low quality of life. You are also making way for more animals to be adopted, with many rescue groups and shelters only having limited housing and resources to look after the range of pets in their care. In some instances, pets in shelters will be euthanised due to lack of space and resources.

✓ Support for a bigger cause

While attitudes and intentions have well and truly changed regarding animal adoption and rescue pets, illegal puppy farms and unethical breeders still do exist. By choosing to adopt, you’re finding a home for an already sizable population of animals looking for a home, rather than buying a puppy or kitten.

✓ Microchipped and desexed

If you adopt a cat or dog, they are already desexed and microchipped by the rescue group – and all included for a flat fee. With these already covered, you won’t need to worry organising this later in time and managing your schedule around your pet’s recovery from a de-sexing procedure. While de-sexing isn’t a procedure to worry about, it is surgery, and does require a certain level of aftercare.

✓ Socialised and mature

If you adopt a rescue pet, you’ll often find they have already been around a lot of other animals and humans through previous homes or foster-care. Older cats and dogs are also much wiser and experienced when it comes to knowing what acceptable behaviour is and are often much happier laying back and getting a pat than bounding all over the room and people. They're a great choice if really don't have the time to raise and train a puppy.
Note: Always speak to the local shelter or foster carer to learn more about the individual pet’s temperament and behaviour.

✓ Toilet trained or ‘in training’

If you’ve experienced the initial toilet training regime of a young pet, you know it can be a challenging time. When you adopt a rescue pet from a shelter or rescue group, your pet is often already house trained – unless they’re a young puppy. Most eight-week-old puppies have no idea what a wee mat is for, and probably think you’re being generous with something to rip up while you’re not looking.

✓ Behaviour assessment and vet check

When you decide you’re ready to adopt a pet from a rescue group or shelter, you’ll be provided with the pet’s profile, listing each detail of their personality, age, special needs, temperament, etc. You really get to know your pet even before you’ve brought them home. This is great for families who have children or other pets, as the rescue group or shelter will be able to let you know if your pet will be suitable for your home and lifestyle, to help avoid potential issues.

Also, before being adopted out, all animals will have undergone a vet check, behavioural assessment, are vaccinated, wormed and treated for fleas. It’s a lot more information and medical assurance.

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Considering A Senior Pet

While puppies and kittens are cute as can be, and often feel like the perfect blank canvas for your new chapter, it’s worthwhile considering adopting an older pet. They’re just as cute, often require less training, no wee pads and less sleepless nights. Plus, rescuing an older pet not only provides them with a forever home, but can sometimes save their life.

Pet behaviourist and TV host, Lara Shannon, also believes that older rescue pets are often more loving and eager-to-please. Lara adopted her much loved companion, Darcy, from someone who could no longer care for him due to a new living situation; she’s never looked back!

“Having owned two rescue dogs of my own, I have found them to be the most loving and eager-to-please dogs I’ve ever had. After their rocky early lives, they just to seem to know they have been given a second chance and really appreciate the love and care they now receive.” – Lara Shannon

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Types Of Animals You Can Adopt

Adopting a pet doesn’t just mean a dog or cat. There are so many varieties of animals you can adopt from a local rescue group or shelter. So, if you’re in the market for a new best friend, make sure you consider all options, including what type of animal will suit your needs, along with the animal’s needs. You might just find that the animal you intend to adopt isn’t always the right fit for your lifestyle.

Which animal is right for you or your family

  • Dogs they're loyal, affectionate and love companionship with humans. Dogs can be patient and attentive, meaning they’re great for families with children. They do require basic training and socialisation to ensure they act appropriately in different situations. Also, breed differences are important to understand and need to be considered before committing to ownership.
  • Cats they’re independent, smart and don’t require as much attention or exercise as their dog counterparts. Cats are perfect for people who may not have a flexible schedule, but still want a cuddly and interactive companion.
  • Horses they’re perfect for getting you outdoors, provide an opportunity for a long-term hobby and form great bonds with humans. If you are thinking a horse might be the right option, just ensure you have a large enough space for your horse to live, and be aware of the specialist care and costs associated with owning a horse.
  • Rabbits they’re quiet, don’t need much space, have the same lifespan of dogs and cats, and are relatively cheap to feed. While they seem low maintenance, rabbits do require regular daily exercise outside of their pen or hutch.

Guinea pigs - they’re quiet, don’t have a complicated diet, and don’t need as much space as bigger pets. They do, however, require an extremely clean environment, as they can be easily susceptible to sickness. They’re also very social and love to cuddle – just keep in mind they might be slightly fearful if they’re not familiar with being handled by humans.
Chickens - they’re independent, inexpensive to look after, do not require any time for training (unless you’re willing and able) and can be easily looked after while you’re away. Just be conscious that they do like to talk a lot and make a bit of noise. Also, make the time to research the upfront costs - such as for an enclosure. Like guinea pigs, they can also become sick in an unkempt or unclean environment.
Reptiles - they’re quiet, don’t need lots of space, are hypoallergenic and don’t really need or crave human attention. Reptiles are a good option for people who don’t really have lots of time to dedicate to their pet but can still handle basic care routines and necessities. Keep in mind, you will need to research the unique care requirements of the species you’re looking to adopt – each do require different enclosures and equipment.

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Beginning Your Search For A Rescue Pet
Finding the right rescue pet is becoming much easier with so many rescue groups now in operation and many websites to find out more information. However, it’s really important that before you buy a pet, you do enough research to feel comfortable with where the animal has come from, that you have all the information you need, and you’re getting exactly what you expect.

PetRescue is a website that brings many rescue groups together on one platform, where you can begin your search for the right pet. Start Your Search.

*Important note: we suggest always speaking to the rescue group or foster carer in detail prior to rescuing. This will ensure you know everything you need to know about your new loved one.

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Pet Adoption Tips