When you adopt a pet you are essentially saving a life by keeping it from becoming part of the 100, 000 statistic of healthy cats and dogs that are euthanised each year across Australia.
For the vast majority of these animals their fate was decided due to circumstances outside of their control.
"For 90 percent of the pets that come into rescue, shelters or pounds something has happened in their lives that’s landed them there and it’s generally got nothing to do with the pet themselves," Vickie Davy, co founder of PetRescue -- a website that connects animal welfare organisations and their rescue pets with people looking to add a new member to the family told The Huffington Post Australia.
These are things like divorce, financial difficulties, moving into a rental property that doesn’t allow pets or older people having to go into a nursing home.
It was 2006 when Davy launched PetRescue -- a time when social media didn’t exist and shelter animals were thought to have something wrong them.
“I was really surprised that pounds and some shelters were euthanising these really healthy, lovely pets because at that time no one was coming in to adopt them,” Davy said.
As a result, Davy quit her full-time marketing job to launch PetRescue with the mission of showing people how healthy, good-natured and fully adoptable these animals were.
Fast-forward 11 years and around 9000 pets will be listed on her site for adoption on any given day -- with 89,000 of them finding new homes in 2015.
“People’s attitudes have really changed from being so hesitant and we’re moving away from this idea that you can get what you want out of a breed. We work with 900 rescue organisations Australia-wide and the best part is that most of them are foster homes -- so staff are able to match the dog or cat’s personality traits with the family,” Davy said.
But despite the increasing positivity toward rescue animals, Davy said there are still too many healthy animals being euthanised at pounds across the country each year.
“It’s a massive problem -- and there is a simple solution. We’re really trying to encourage people to always choose to adopt first because you’re essentially saving a life,” Davy said.
“Adoption is all about falling in love. There is a pet for everyone, it’s just about finding that right one,” Davy said.
Saturday 6th February is National Pet Adoption Day.
Head down to your local PETstock to meet the dogs and cats looking for a new family and home. Alternatively, Petbarn stores nationally will be hosting a similar event on Saturday 13th February.