A RECENT poll in the United States has revealed that 94% of those surveyed agree that pets are essential for people to maintain good mental and physical health. PetSmart Charities, a non profit animal welfare organisation commissioned an extensive survey into pet owners beliefs on issues affecting animal shelters, pets and owners.
Whilst most respondents recognised the important role adoption has to play in helping support animal shelters and ultimately the pets they help, most massively underestimated the size of the problem and the sheer number of pets that need re-housing each year. The good news is that those seeking to re-home pets from shelters rather than sourcing them from shops and professional breeders is a growing year on year.
“This survey demonstrates the continuing need to educate current and prospective pet parents about how easy it is to adopt a pet, and the difference adoption can make to this issue that is so wide-spread” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities. “Programs like PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekends are moving the needle by finding homes for as many as 20,000 pets in a single event. But there is more we can do.”
It seems pet owners are relying on their pets more than ever before through both good times and bad.
“The results of the PetSmart Charities-commissioned survey speak volumes about the human-animal bond and the tremendous value pets bring to our everyday lives,” said Dr. Haworth. “Once they are adopted, not only do they provide unconditional love and support, but pets have also become irreplaceable members of our families and an essential part of our physical and emotional well-being.”
96% agreed that more pets would be rescued if people had more information about how to adopt a pet.
70% said they would turn to a local animal welfare agency as a key source of information on pet adoption.
40% said they would turn to their local pet stores
94% agreed that pets are essential for people to maintain good mental and physical health
92% said their children frequently turn to their pet when they are sad, upset or in need of comfort.
93% said that they had experienced at least one health benefit from pet parenthood. Benefits included: improved mood, decreased stress, increased physical activity, weight loss, enhanced work-life balance and more.
64% reported that giving up their pet would be worse than losing their jobs.
66% said that adopting a pet would make them happier in the long run than winning the lottery.
79% said their pet would be more helpful than a therapist during a difficult time in their lives.