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.
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?^.
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.
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*.
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.
^ RSPCA Knowledge Base, Why should I have my cat desexed?, https://kb.rspca.org.au/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?, https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-are-the-benefits-of-companion-animals-to-human-health/#ftn1, extracted 4 July 2023
check out some of the pets our HESTA staff have adopted
RSPCA Australia ABN: 99 668 654 249
PetRescue ABN: 35123057536
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