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PetRescue Australian State of Pet Adoption Report for 2022/2023

A Data-Informed Path to a Brighter Future for Pets

PetRescue, Australia's leading pet adoption charity, is proud to announce the release of the second annual State of Pet Adoption Report for 2022-2023. 

This comprehensive report provides invaluable insights into the current landscape of pet adoption in Australia, highlighting key trends, challenges, and findings in the effort to ensure a future where every pet is safe, respected, and loved.

Building on last year's inaugural edition, the 2022-2023 report dives deep into the data collected from rescue groups, shelters, vets, councils, and the animal welfare and animal management community at large. It underscores the critical role of data in identifying the areas of greatest need and benchmarking progression in the sector.

Key Findings of the Report include:

✔️ Adoption Trends: An in-depth look at the adoption rates across different species, regions, identifying hotspots of both high and low adoption activity.

✔️ Challenges and Opportunities: An examination of the barriers to pet adoption and the obstacles faced by people working or volunteering in the sector.

Why This Report Matters: Data-driven insights are crucial for understanding and addressing the complex systemic issues surrounding pet adoption. By collecting and analysing this information, PetRescue can:

✔️ Identify Areas of Highest Need: Focus resources on key areas and communities where services and support are most needed.

Victoria saw a 58.5% increase in overall pet adoptions, up to 24,625 pets adopted, in the 2022-2023 financial year and was again the state that adopted out the most pets. Queensland’s pet adoption numbers were next highest with 14,079 adopted pets and New South Wales was the third highest performing state with 13,993 pets adopted.
For pets in Victoria, the average wait to adoption was approximately half of that for pets in Queensland and one third of the time that NSW pets waited. 

✔️ Benchmark Progress: Track our advancements year over year to ensure we are moving closer to our collective goal to keep pets safe.

Compared to the 2022 financial year insights, pet adoption numbers in Australia performed strongly, particularly for cats and dogs, resulting in 10,000 more pets finding homes during the year (62,653* vs 52,593). 

* 2022-2023: 39,241 cats21,226 dogs, and 2,502 other pets adopted

Meet adoptable Lily, female Doberman mix
The overall median days to adoption was 20.94 for dogs and 
14.09 for cats (compared to 2021-2022: 21.21 for dogs and 15.7 for cats). 

Dog adoptions have still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, with monthly adoptions from the platform at 1,900 as of June 2023, compared to 2,225 in June of 2019 and 1,464 in June 2022.

* Of the 2,502 pets of other species who found homes via PetRescue in the 2023 financial year, the most popular were rabbits (1,023) and guinea pigs (826), followed by chickens and ducks, rats and mice, ferrets, and a variety of larger farm animals.

✔️ Inform Policy and Practice: Provide evidence-based recommendations to policymakers, rescue organisations, and animal welfare advocates.

✔️ Understand the Impact of Changes: Reflect on the effects that changes in external factors such as legislation and economic or societal challenges have on the animal welfare sector.

Meet adoptable male Kelpie, Chips
Organisations with fewer resources reported stronger community relationships. 

However, rescues reported overcapacity and an inability to increase adoption numbers, suggesting they are operating at or beyond their capacity.

While charitable giving (donations) by Australian households rose by 10% across the financial year to achieve pre-pandemic levels, this extra funding was primarily directed towards human health, culture and the arts. Overall donations to animal protection dropped during this same time.

"We truly believe that we can create a future where every pet is safe, respected and loved, and the insights from our State of Pet Adoption Report are instrumental in making that vision a reality," said Patima Tantiprasut, Managing Director and CEO at PetRescue. "This report not only highlights where we need to focus our efforts but also provides an inside look into the hidden world of rescue, providing us with the opportunity to transform into a sector that cares for the wellbeing of all pets, and also people, involved."

Join Us in Creating a Better Future for PetsPetRescue invites the community to engage with the findings of this report and contribute to, collaborate on, and help strengthen future ones. Together, we can drive positive change and truly work towards a future where every pet is safe, respected, and loved.

For more information and to read the full State of Pet Adoption Report 2022-2023, please visit

About PetRescue

PetRescue is a national animal welfare charity dedicated to finding loving homes for pets in need. Since its inception, PetRescue has helped connect 882,771 pets with families through its innovative online platform and community program and partnerships.

Find PetRescue on Facebook at or @PetRescueAU on Instagram.

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