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Learning to love and care for something other than yourself, and a belief that adoptees are more appreciative of your attention – and treats – are also advantages to taking a pet home from a shelter.
The research was commissioned by Pedigree and Whiskas’ “The Adoption Mission Programme”, which supports shelters across the UK.
Their ambassador, TV presenter Andrea McLean, who is also a rescue dog owner, said: “This research comes as no surprise, as I know from experience that adopted pets not only become your best friend, but they complete your family.
“Adopting my Teddy was one of my greatest achievements. He puts a smile on my face as soon as I get up in the morning until I go to bed.
“Adoption isn’t necessarily the easiest route, but it’s certainly the most rewarding.
“My family and I have loved every single second, and are honoured that we’ve been able to give Teddy the life he deserves.
“Adoption can seem like quite a daunting prospect to prospective pet owners, but I’d urge anyone to take a leap of faith and find their own best friend and companion.”
The study found that of those who have adopted a pet, more than half (53 percent) believe there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around it.
This includes the idea that all pets that need to be rehomed are “broken” (35 percent), that they are only in a shelter as they weren’t good pets for someone else (32 percent), or that you don’t know their medical history (31 percent).
Adoption isn’t necessarily the easiest route, but it’s certainly the most rewarding
Andrea McLean, TV presenter
Other misconceptions include them being badly behaved (31 percent), and not knowing what you are getting (31 percent).
In fact, 43 percent of all adults believe getting a pet from a shelter would be more work than buying one from a breeder.
As a result, seven in ten (71 percent) feel that too many people dismiss the idea of it all without considering the process properly.
But 83 percent of those who have adopted a pet consider their pet to be part of the family.
And 51 percent would highly encourage others to adopt an animal – with 43 percent believing it was a much easier than anticipated, according to the OnePoll data.
The study also found that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) also claim the benefits that come from pet adoption far outweigh the challenges and misconceptions involved.
Owen Johns, from the Pedigree and Whiskas’ Adoption Mission Programme, added: “The Adoption Mission is an online platform which has been supporting shelters for over a year with training, food, and expertise, in order to help them rehome more animals.
“Adopting a pet not only gives deserving pets a new home to thrive in, they can also provide us with that much needed support to help put a smile on our faces.
“It’s no secret that those who adopt a pet from a shelter reap the rewards both physically and emotionally.
“However, it can be a daunting process – but there are lots of resources to help guide you through the process.
“Adopting from a shelter is a win-win choice – you can add to your family, and help a pet get a new start in life.”
Halita Obineche, executive director of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes, added: “It’s heart-breaking to think of the thousands of dogs and cats in shelters just waiting for their forever-home, simply because of the misconceptions around shelter animals.
“It’s important to remember that, with the right care and training, behavioural issues can be managed, modified, and prevented.
“Thanks to The Adoption Mission, shelters have experts and behaviourists on standby to provide this support, both within and beyond life in a shelter.
“Taking on a pet is a major life choice and requires time and research to ensure you are fully prepared for the responsibility.
“Many people have an overall rewarding experience from pet adoption, whether they’re an experienced pet owner or simply making the step for the first time.”
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