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Why adopting a pet is one of the best things you’ll ever do

by Sharon McQuillan

More and more people are turning their eyes away from pet shop windows, adopting a pet from pounds or shelters instead.

This month Open Colleges Vet Nursing student Sharon McQuillan takes some time out of her busy schedule to shed some light on animal adoption, and why it’s a really great idea.


Why do people adopt pets?

Many of my friends have rescue dogs and cats, and none of them, to my knowledge, have regretted it. All have professed varied reasons and motivations for adopting a pet.

Some fell in love with their hopeful little faces, others wanted a playmate for the furry friend they have at home. One just had an overwhelming urge to do a good deed.

A friend recently adopted a beautiful bulldog cross. Her picture came up on her Facebook newsfeed – she needed a home, she was underweight, riddled with fleas and looked like she had recently had puppies. No one had come looking for her, nobody cared. After two hours of scrubbing, washing and treating her for fleas, she became relaxed and happy to be in her new home. Here she is now looking healthy and happy:

One of the best reasons for adopting a pet is to save a life. This also means you get ultimate bragging rights…

You will be that animal’s hero, he will love you unconditionally and be so eager to please you.

How do pets end up in rescue centres?

Animals end up in pounds, rescue centres or shelters for many reasons:

  • Owners pass away
  • Neglectful owners
  • Abusive owners
  • Moving and cannot take fur baby with them
  • Accidental litters, over-population
  • Dog is no longer a puppy and has grown to large or is way to destructive
  • Aggression
  • Arrival of a baby and owners have no time for the dog anymore
  • Abandonment
  • Medical expenses

In my opinion the number one reason for animals ending up homeless is over-population; too many people think it is OK to breed their dog because puppies are cute, or a great way to make money. I myself am guilty of this, I bred three litters, all pure, but I didn’t have homes lined up for them. So when they were ready for homes, quite a few ended up in the pound and being passed around from home-to-home.

How adoption works

When rescuing an animal, you are giving a it a second chance at life. The rescue organization will endeavour to match the pet to your family lifestyle so none of the reasons listed above become a factor for your pet ending up homeless again.

Another great reason for adopting a pet is that there are no upfront or hidden costs. When you adopt the animal they will already be de-sexed, vaccinated, a vet will have given it a thorough health check and they will be flea treated and wormed. Adoption works out a lot cheaper than purchasing from a pet shop, breeder, or the local classifieds as everything that needs to be done to ensure your pet is healthy and ready to join your family, is done.

Let’s hear from the adoptive parents…

Becca on Pippin: “I just fell in love with his beautiful face.”


Juie says “I’ve loved every second of having a rescue pet. Best pets I have ever had. They’re always wanting to play and are so full of life when they realise you’re not going to get rid of them.”

Jui’s rescue cat, Bearboy.

Kaylee, Jui’s rescue dog.

Louise: “Our rescue dog kinda found us, he’d been dumped and ended up in our yard. We took him to the pound but after a couple weeks no one had claimed him so we decided to keep him, and I’m so glad we did – he’s pretty awesome!”

Raevyn: “If I could adopt every abandoned soul, I would!”

raevyn scarlett1

Raevyn’s beloved rescue cat, Scarlett.

Anais: “We wanted a friend for our other pup, he was older and was house trained, etc. – and we wanted to get a dog that had had a bad life and make it awesome for him.”


Mork now has an awesome life, thanks to Anais.

Danni: “I rescued two greyhounds, as most are euthanised after racing. They are such low-maintenance dogs and perfect pets.”


Laura: “Our rescue has given us more love then we ever thought possible.”


Missy, Laura’s rescue dog.

Kerry: “I ended up with a rescued kitten. She had just been dropped off by the RSPCA into a pet shop to be brought back to good health. Magik as she is known now would not take her eyes off me and I wasn’t even meant to be looking at where these two kittens were. That was it, I had to have her. She’s a beautiful loving cat. Still rather timid but she has learned to trust over the years. I only went into the pet shop for a squizz, no intention whatsoever of walking out with a kitten. She chose me.”


So when you decide you want a new family member, throw a dog (or a cat) a bone and adopt, don’t shop.

Love animals?

An animal care or vet nursing course with Open Colleges could help you start a career working with animals. Get the skills to make a difference. Enrol now.

7 Responses

  1. Renee Hancock says:

    Any chance of getting this articles in a pdf format? I would love to put it up in the staff rooms at work. I currently foster for Sharpei Rescue. Cheers Renee Hancock

    • Sarah MacDiarmid says:

      Hi Renee,

      Glad you like the article! Unfortunately we don’t have the articles in PDF format! You can right click and print it out or share it with your colleagues via email or social media.

      Thanks for reading!
      Sarah, OC Team

    • Ric says:

      You can make your own PDFs by going to the print window and save/export to pdf.

  2. Celesta Black says:


    I have been reading about your lovely dogs that are looking for a home. I love dogs, in particular Chihuahua, corgi, blue heelers, kelpies, dachshund, mainly the smaller breeds, however, I am very allergic to dog dander and I get very bad asthma when exposed to dogs. Can you help?


  3. melissa says:

    By adopting a rescue dog, you are not adding to the problem of overpopulation.
    And it’s fabulous to look at their smiles and know that you are behind that joy.

    Worrying to read that the pups that the author had bred ended up in the pound – have i read it wrong or did she in fact take them there upon failing to find homes

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Our family of four have bought, over the years’, SEVEN cats from the RSPCA.

    They’ve been the best! Absolute smoochies’, who love their pats, hugs, & cuddles!
    My beautiful cat, & I have great ‘conversations’. I’ve had him two years’, he’s well settled, & is the spoiltest cat around! He gives me lots of laughs, as at times, he thinks he’s still a playful kitten!

    Our lives’ have been enhanced by these beautiful creatures’.

  5. Deanna Friel says:

    They’ve been the best! Absolute smooches’, who love their pats, hugs, & cuddles! My beautiful cat & I have great ‘conversations’. By adopting a rescue dog, you are not adding to the problem of overpopulation. And it’s fabulous to look at their smiles and know that you are behind that joy. I have been reading about your lovely dogs that are .

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