the benefits of adopting a pet


Thinking about adopting a furry friend? The benefits of rescue pet adoption far exceed just saving a life.

One of the great joys of retirement is finally having time to yourself. For some of us, pet ownership starts to become an attractive proposition. Before you look in pet shops, consider the benefits of adopting a rescue pet.


Why do dogs and cats end up in shelters?

There are many reasons why animals end up in shelters. Sometimes people surrender pets because they did not fully understand the responsibilities of pet ownership, before adopting.

During the pandemic, many people opted to adopt a pet for companionship. Now that life is ‘back to normal’ some may no longer have the time to dedicate to a pet. And so, the pet sadly finds itself surrendered to the shelter.

Sometimes pets find themselves at a shelter when they get lost and end up roaming the streets. If the pet is not microchipped, or their owner details are not up to date, they may end up at a shelter.

A major contributor to the number of surrendered or stray animals in Australia is the breeding of unwanted litters, especially from cats that have not been desexed. Did you know thousands of unwanted kittens are born each year, and have to be rehomed across the country?^.


Adopt vs shop

Some people prefer to buy a pet from a shop or privately because they want a particular breed. But did you know there are specific rescues that rehome dogs and cats of just about every breed? You can also check for rescue animals listed at the respective breed clubs.

Many pets that end up at the shelter are older and less likely to be adopted. But, while young pets are super cute, they may not fit in with your lifestyle. Young pets are often more energetic and require more time and effort to entertain and train. And with a puppy or a kitten, you may not know what you are getting as their personalities are still developing. With an older pet, they can be calmer and you can see their character.


Logan was adopted age 8 from Golden Retriever Rescue.


Health benefits of pet ownership

Deciding to share your life with a pet can be great for both your physical and your mental health.

It’s no secret that dogs love to be walked, and this in turn can lead to increased cardiovascular health of their owners.

According to the RSPCA, interacting with a companion animal (including dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, horses, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians) can have a range of physical, social and mental health benefits for people*.


What kind of pet should you get?

Before making the commitment to adopt a pet, it's best to do some research to ensure your pet will suit your family and lifestyle. For example, if you're thinking about adopting a dog and you live in a small house or an apartment, check what breed would be suitable. The staff at your local shelter will be able to help you through this process.

If you don’t have a particular breed in mind, make a start by contacting the RSPCA, your local council pound or shelter, or search from the almost 10,000 adoptable pets on PetRescue.



^ RSPCA Knowledge Base, Why should I have my cat desexed?, , extracted 4 July 2023

* RSPCA Knowledge Base, What are the benefits of companion animals to human health?,, extracted 4 July 2023




check out some of the pets our HESTA staff have adopted


13 year old Astro was adopted from Waggin Tails Animal Rescue in April 2021.


Dumpling (L) and Soy Sauce (R) were both adopted separately from the Lost Dog’s Home in North Melbourne and are now the best of friends.



Billie was adopted from Animal Welfare League Qld (AWLQ) in July 2021.


Morgana was adopted in 2019 from the Rabbit Runaway Orphanage - a rabbit-only shelter located in Olinda, VIC.



Daisy was adopted as a kitten in April 2012 from Ingrid’s Haven near Broadford, VIC.


Nala was adopted in October 2018 from Pets Haven Foundation in Woodend, VIC.



RSPCA Australia ABN: 99 668 654 249

PetRescue ABN: 35123057536

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