Despite a surge in pet adoptions during COVID-19, there are still many rescue pets across Australia needing homes.
National animal welfare charity PetRescue co-founder Vickie Davy says: “There are still pets waiting for homes even though we had so many pets adopted during COVID.
“Big dogs, and pets that come in pairs are unfortunately less likely to be adopted first with big dogs being 58 per cent less likely to get adopted in comparison to small dogs.”
PETstock’s charity foundation PETstock Assist is hosting its annual National Pet Adoption Month throughout March.
PETstock Assist events manager Jessica Curtis says it’s important to look at current trends in Australia so the cycle of pet homelessness can be broken.
“The pet adoption landscape changes rapidly, and this year we’re seeing more cats available for adoption compared to other animals, closely followed by large dogs and bonded pairs,” Ms Curtis says. “Animals that have entered rescue together and need to be adopted together.”
Vickie Davy says people have been more inclined to adopt a new pet during the peak of COVID, not just for company, but also because it creates a sense of fulfilment.
“Coming out of COVID, a lot of people were assessing their lives and realising that a lot of stuff happens that you can’t expect and they didn’t want to put off getting a pet any longer,” she says.
Over the past few years, the pet adoption landscape has experienced drastic yet positive changes.
With thousands of Australians claiming the pet parent title, the industry is facing new challenges, where thousands of cats and kittens remain homeless. According to data from PetRescue, more than 100,000 stray dogs and cats are killed by councils throughout Australia.
Ms Curtis says there’s many ways for people to help out abandoned animals. Fostering or volunteering at local rescue groups not only provides a safe place or care for animals in need, it also creates a space for stray animals seeking shelter.
Rescue dog owner Trish Phan says she has had some struggles with her rescue greyhound Cookie, who can be shy and sometimes aggressive.
Yet, she says her dogs have helped her mental health significantly, giving her a sense of direction and responsibility.
“My dog Monster has really helped my mental health and when my brother was in isolation, Cookie was with him all the time which really helped him as well.”
Participating PETstock locations include Claremont, Balcatta, Brighton in Butler, Joondalup, Swan Valley, Ellenbrook, Midland, Bio-John in Belmont, Cannington, South Fremantle, Mandurah, Baldivis, Rockingham, Jandakot and Bunbury.
The selected stores are making pet adoption and meetings available on March 19.