Owning a pet

For many Australians, a pet is part of the family, and we could not imagine our lives any other way. In fact, 63 per cent of the 7.5 million households in Australia own pets.

Research has shown that pet ownership has many physical, mental, emotional and social benefits. Pet owners are generally healthier and happier than non-pet owners. They have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, are less depressed, feel less lonely than non-pet owners and actually find it easier to get to know people.

The joy of having a pet isn’t new to most Australians. We have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. In fact, our pets are such positive influences on our lives that one study found Australian ownership of cats and dogs saved approximately $3.86 billion in health expenditure over one year.

Some animals are a 15-20 year commitment, and in many ways owning a pet is like caring for an infant.

We must bathe and groom them, feed them and treat ailments such as fleas, ticks, and worms. Their nails may need to be trimmed, their messes cleaned up, and any damage they may cause repaired. We must respond to their needs, take them to the veterinarian, and give them almost constant attention.

RSPCA recommends you take the time to research the species or breed you are purchasing well before bringing it home. This way you can be positive your choice of pet will be appropriate for your lifestyle and you will be thoroughly prepared for its arrival. Purchasing a pet should never be an impulsive decision.

RSPCA shelters receive thousands of unwanted and abandoned animals each year. These are often the result of an ill-considered decision. Before you make the decision to become a pet owner, read through the sections below. And remember: Don't shop. Adopt!

All disaster management plans should include your pets and livestock, not only for their safety, but also for everyone involved.

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Many landlords automatically reject prospective tenants with pets. Here’s how you can increase the odds in your favour.

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When your pet goes missing, it can be devastating. But there is plenty you can do to increase the chance of being reunited.

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Responsible pet owners desex their pet. They know that there are more kittens and puppies out there than there are homes.

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Before adopting your new furred or feathered friend, ensure you can afford to keep your pet happy and healthy.

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Giving an animal a second chance at life is the best way to add to your family. Here are the facts and figures.

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How you can help

Looking to adopt? Search now for dogs, cats and other pets available for rehoming at your local RSPCA shelter.

RSPCA has joined forces with Bendigo Bank and Mastercard to create an exciting range of credit cards that offer Australians a way to help animals in need.

Each year, over 40,000 animals turn to RSPCA NSW for help. Every donation from you is vital in rescuing and caring for them.

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  1. The initiative runs in New South Wales only from 24 February to 26 February 2017 inclusive.
  2. The initiative applies to all animals available for adoption at RSPCA NSW shelters, Care Centres and participating Petbarn Adoption Centres only. The initiative does not extend to RSPCA NSW animals offered for adoption through RSPCA Volunteer branches.
  3. Animals adopted during the initiative are subject to availability. Should all available animals be rehomed prior to the end of the initiative, the offer will no longer be honoured. No rainchecks are available.
  4. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  5. RSPCA NSW retains the right to refuse an adoption if it does not comply with standard operational processes.
  6. A maximum of two adoption animals may be adopted by any household.
  7. No animal will be placed on hold for any period. Adoption must be by personal attendance at one of the abovementioned facilities.
  8. Photographic personal identification must be presented at the time of adoption.
  9. A suitable carry cage must be used to transport birds, felines and small animals, including pocket pets, from the premises and during the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate carrier, you can purchase a carrier at the time of adopting your companion. Cardboard carriers are available to purchase for $10 from RSPCA shelters and Care Centres while stocks last.
  10. Suitable leads and harnesses must be used to transport canines from the premises. Canines must be appropriately restrained within the vehicle for the journey home. If you do not have access to an appropriate lead and harness, suitable equipment is available for purchase at the time of adoption while stocks last.
  11. Suitable transport for livestock and horses must be considered prior to adoption, and animals must be collected on the day of adoption.
  12. We understand that sometimes, despite your and RSPCA NSW’s best endeavours, your new pet doesn’t settle into your lifestyle. For this reason, you can return any animal to a RSPCA NSW shelter within 21 days from the time of collection to receive a replacement authorisation in accordance with our replacement policy, or a refund of the adoption fee paid. Please note: merchandise purchased cannot be returned as part of the replacement of an animal. Should a product be faulty, you can return that product, in its original condition, to the facility you purchased the merchandise from within seven (7) days and RSPCA NSW will replace that item.