Have you thought of rescuing your next pet?
Research conducted last year by Animal Medicines Australia showed that there are more than 24 million pets in Australia today – slightly greater than the human population at 23.77 million. That’s an astonishing 101:100 ratio between the individual pet and human populations!
As the report shows, 62 per cent, Australia continues to have one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world. Around 5.7 million of Australia’s 9.2 million households are home to a pet, with many having more than one dog, cat, fish, bird, small mammal, reptile or some other type of pet as part of the family.
More than one in ten households also keep fish (12 per cent), with an average of 8.0 fish per household. A similar proportion of households keep birds (12 per cent), with an average of 3.9 birds per household.
PetRescue is a national animal welfare charity connecting thousands of rescue pets with loving new homes every month. It’s a vital community service when you think of these sad stats:
- Every year, approximately 230,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters. That’s roughly 110,000 dogs and 120,000 cats left homeless each year
- On average, 40 per cent of these unclaimed pets are euthenised at the pound because homes aren’t found for them
- Almost 75 per cent of all rescue organisations in Australia are small independent rescue groups operating through a network of dedicated foster carers
As most rescue organisations have no shelter facilities for the public to visit, PetRescue provides a way for them to advertise their pets for adoption. Some also operate in isolated areas, where pets would otherwise remain unnoticed for months on end.
Insights into pet ownership in Australia
Each year, Animal Medicines Australia releases a report on pet ownership to learn more about the role pets play in our community and how that can be enhanced. Last year it uncovered a few interesting facts, including:
- The overall pet population in Australia has declined by 9 per cent since 2013 as a result of decreases in the populations of birds (down 11 per cent) and fish (down 21 per cent)
- Despite this, there were increases in the numbers of dogs (up 3 per cent) and cats (6 per cent) – although household penetration of each is stable due to growth in the number of households in Australia
- The shift towards higher-density housing in urban areas of Australia to manage population growth is the biggest current threat to pet ownership in Australia – particularly in the current environment of strict body corporate or strata rules that exclude pets in multi-dwelling developments
- Strata and body corporate regulations, accessing holiday care and managing pet responsibilities amid a busy lifestyle also remain significant blocks
- Cost has intensified as a barrier to pet ownership since 2013
Figures based on a statewide analysis of council and RSPCA data for unclaimed cats and dogs in NSW 2013.