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Aussies encouraged to adopt a pet in need this March

The Petstock Foundation teams up with Laura Byrne to celebrate 10 years of National Pet Adoption Month

This March, 2024, the Petstock Foundation is celebrating a milestone 10 years of National Pet Adoption Month, an initiative that helps find loving homes for pets in need of adoption. And Ambassador Laura Byrne is encouraging Australian’s to adopt, not shop in March.

As an adopted dog owner, and advocate for the Petstock Foundation, Laura Byrne knows all too well the positive impact adopted pets can bring. 

Laura says, “Buster came into my life when I was having a tough time and had recently gone through a break-up. I befriended my neighbour, who was fostering Buster, and I quickly fell in love with him. 

After a few months of taking him for walks and getting to know him, I moved into a new pet friendly apartment and officially adopted him. Not only did I now have a loving pet in my life, but also a new close friend in my neighbour – Buster was the wonderful glue that brought people together.”

Laura continues, “There is a misconception that rescue animals are going to be harder to look after; It’s this idea that you ‘don’t know what you’re going to get’. But Buster is the sweetest, most gentle angel ever. He went through some big, scary stuff when he was a puppy, and lost a leg, but it has not adversely affected him at all in terms of his temperament and personality. 

I am proud to partner with the Petstock Foundation for National Pet Adoption Month in March. There are so many incredible animals out there who are desperate for a loving home and I strongly believe that everyone should adopt. Adoption is an opportunity to not only give a pet in need a new life, but also bring a huge amount of joy into yours,” Laura finished.

Over the past 10 years, the Petstock Foundation’s National Pet Adoption Month has helped find loving homes for 40,000 rescue pets across Australia and New Zealand, but there are still more animals in need of homes. 

There are currently over 8,000 pets at shelters, rescue groups, pounds and vets across Australia awaiting adoption [1], and with the rising costs of everyday expenses, sadly it is predicted that this number will continue to rise. With a mission to improve the lives of people through the strong bond we experience with our pets, the Petstock Foundation is encouraging people to adopt or foster a pet this National Pet Adoption Month (NPAM), to open your heart to a pet in need, and experience the positive impact a pet can bring to your life.

Research [2] indicates that 36% of Australian adults have reported feeling lonely, showing we have a need for more connection and companionship in our communities. Additionally, research [3] has shown universally, 97% of people agree that having a pet positively influences one’s life, and improves the mental health of the owner and those around them (95% agree). Pets are seen to offer emotional support (81%), companionship (80%), and are seen as family (76%). So, adopting a pet can not only give a pet in need a loving home, it can also improve our mental health by decreasing feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

These findings are supported by studies that show companion animals have been found to bring substantial health benefits to people both physically and mentally [4], and an association between all types of pet ownership and lower experiences of social isolation, particularly for children [5].

Fostering a pet or welcoming a different kind of animal into your family could provide immediate relief to the rescue community. There are currently over 7,306 adoptable pets advertised as needing foster carers on the PetRescue website, which is currently Australia’s largest searchable database of rescue pets. There’s no shortage of different kinds of animals to consider welcoming into your home either. You’ll find over 4907 interesting species of animals including guinea pigs, ferrets, birds, horses, sheep, rabbits, and more, all currently available to adopt today, also listed on PetRescue

If you’re considering adopting, like over 25% of Australians8, but are hesitant of bringing an animal with poor behaviour traits into your home, fear not. Animal Behaviourist and Petstock Foundation ambassador, Dr Kate Mornement says it shouldn’t put you off. “Many rescue animals have been surrendered for reasons other than their behaviour, and many have undertaken basic training, so I would encourage people to not be deterred from adopting for these reasons. In my experience, an adopted animal can adjust and learn how to fit into your life, with a little training and patience”.

“If you’re still concerned, why not consider adopting a different kind of animal? Guinea pigs, birds and rabbits also make wonderful pets, and are particularly great companions for children to help teach them kindness, compassion and how to care for animals. Or if you are not currently in a position to adopt, you could consider fostering a pet in need. Most animals in foster care have their food and medical expenses paid for by the rescue organisation, and it’s a great way to see if your family is ready to commit to a pet long term. 

Our family has fostered a number of dogs, as well as a small Conure parrot we fostered before we had kids. After that, we knew we were ready for a pet, and we adopted our foster dog Lenny, who is now a huge part of our family.” says Dr Kate.

Jessica Curtis, Petstock Foundation Strategic Manager says, “There are so many wonderful benefits of pet ownership, including reducing feelings of loneliness, opening up opportunities for social interaction, and increased overall happiness. Pets and people truly are better together, and to get involved in National Pet Adoption Month, we’re asking Australians to adopt or foster a rescue animal, or donate to the Petstock Foundation to support rescue pet charities across Australia”.

Animal lovers are encouraged to visit or head to their local store in March to find a rescue pet that needs a loving home. 

1, accessed 7 December 2023

2 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2023) Australia’s welfare 2023 data insights, catalogue number AUS 246, AIHW, Australian Government. Link

3 Survey conducted by Vibrant Insights on behalf of Petstock, N = 1000, December 2023

4 - 5  Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2023) Social isolation and loneliness, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 30 November 2023.

6 - 7, accessed 15 January 2024

8 Survey conducted by Vibrant Insights on behalf of Petstock, N = 1000, December 2023

About the Petstock Foundation

The Petstock Foundation is a registered charity that exists to empower a better future for pets and people. Since its inception in 2007, The Foundation has raised more than $10 million to date and has found homes for more than 40,000 rescue pets. Petstock Foundation is contributed to by the fundraising initiatives of the Petstock Group, donations by business partners and team members as they come together for the pets that inspire them. 100% of funds raised go towards The Foundation to support its charitable partners and projects with all operating costs covered by the business.

About National Pet Adoption Month

The Petstock Foundation is encouraging Australians to support rescue pets this National Pet Adoption Month, the 10th year of the initiative. Unfortunately, thousands of pets enter the rescue cycle each year through no fault of their own. This National Pet Adoption Month, we want people to open their hearts to a pet in need, and in turn experience the positive impact a pet can bring to their everyday life. Pets and people: we’re better together.


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