International Homeless Animal Day
The benefits of owning pets
Owning a pet can bring so much to a person's life. We already know the benefits of owning an animal are numerous - a pet can keep you healthy by reducing the stress of daily life by being your constant companion and can even boost your immune system.
Plus, those who choose to own dogs have the advantage of getting regular exercise and there is no greater feeling than exploring the great outdoors with a four-legged companion at your feet and fresh air in your lungs.
As well as the physical benefits, growing up with pets also improves children's social skills and encourages childhood responsibility. We believe that when done right pets can also encourage us to develop lifelong compassion, understanding and respect for living things. This Autumn we are supporting this idea by launching our biggest ever animal cruelty prevention programme. We hope this will help encourage young people from all backgrounds respect animals and their environment through a range of education and community projects.
Sadly, the relationship between pet and owner is not always smooth, and some animals end up homeless and in our care, through no fault of their own. Last year we collected 114,584 animals (including 7,669 dogs and 25,871 cats) who have the seen the worst side of humanity by being subjected to cruelty and neglect. This is heartbreaking as pets give us so much - they deserve our care and respect.
Prevention is key
The reasons behind these animals' treatment may never be fully understood - although we believe that the P in our name - for Prevention - is the key to reducing these numbers. However, the positive side to these shocking statistics is that that last year our animal centres and branches found new homes for 8,893 dogs, 26,369 cats, 3,165 rabbits and 257 equines. We also rehome small furry animals including degus', guinea pigs and hamsters, birds and even exotic animals to the right home.
Dr Jane Tyson, our Companion Animal expert, said:
We would always urge anyone thinking of getting a pet to rescue rather than rehome an animal. That way you are saving two animals lives - as you're giving one animal a new home and a second animal a space in a rescue centre.
Those of us who own animals know how amazing it's to come home to a pet at the end of a long day, but it's important to remember it's a privilege to look after an animal and it's a huge responsibility to make sure the relationship is successful.
We have lots of information about the welfare of all animals online as well as tips for keeping your animal happy and healthy.
Adopt, don't shop
You also receive support from our adoption support volunteers to come and see how you are getting on and to ask for any advice or questions if needed.There are many advantages of adopting a rescue animal rather than buying one. For examples dogs will be microchipped, neutered and vaccinated as well as having up-to-date flea and worming treatment. This is all included in a one of adoption fee.
If you do decide to adopt from us you will be asked to fill out an online form then have a home visit to make sure you and your pet are compatible.
To see all the amazing animals who are in our care and looking for a second chance at happiness please visit our Find a Pet page.