On Saturday February 9, fur babies big and small will descend upon PETstock stores across the country as part of the fifth annual National Pet Adoption Day (NPAD).
The initiative, run by PETstock's charity arm PETstock Assist and leading adoption site PetRescue, is this year hoping to double the number of pets adopted during 2018 to 1,000.
In an Australian first, all breed labels will be removed from pets listed on petrescue.com.au in the week leading up to NPAD, to ensure as many loving pets of all types find the homes they deserve. PETstock Assist Charity and Events Coordinator, Jess Guilfoyle, says she hopes the move will help Aussies forget any preconceptions they have about rescue pets or breed characteristics and get to know the animals for who they are.
"Every pet is unique and individual, and I encourage people considering a new pet to keep an open mind – you may just be surprised by who you fall for," she says.
"Love really does know no breed."
Animal behaviourist Dr Kate Mornement says there are many more important factors than breed that determine a pet's personality and temperament.
"Personality and temperament are also influenced by previous experiences and individual differences. This is why you get so much variation both within and between breeds," she says.
"Many well socialised and trained pets find themselves in need of a new home. Even those pets that may not have had a great start to life can become wonderful companions. With some love and guidance, their personalities shine."
Every year around 200,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australian pounds, a statistic PetRescue cofounder Vickie Davy is determined to change.
"I hope by encouraging people to look for an individual pet rather than a particular breed we can educate people on the incredible benefits of adopting a pet in need," she says.
"Just like humans, personality is individual and it's what's on the inside that counts.
"Breeds come in and out of fashion and unfortunately the stereotypes around them can lead to people choosing the wrong pet for their families.
"Not all cute fluffy dogs are great with kids and overlooking a big boofy dog (who loves children and naps) may mean you miss out on the perfect family dog.
"From couch potatoes to fitness fanatics and beer buddies, there's a pet to suit every lifestyle and one of the biggest benefits to adopting is knowing that personality in advance.
"National Pet Adoption Day is a fantastic opportunity to find your perfect match."
National Pet Adoption Day will be held at PETstock stores across the country on Saturday February 9. Pet lovers are encouraged to visit their local store to meet animals searching for their forever home and learn more about adoption.
For more information please visit petstock.com.au or petrescue.com.au
PETstock National Pet Adoption Day
When: Saturday February 9, 2019
Time: 10am – 2pm
Where: PETstock stores across Australia
Who: Pet adoption experts from local animal rescue groups. Rescue pets for adoption in attendance at some stores.
Why: To raise awareness of pet adoption and encourage Australians to help a rescue pet in need.