NORTHERN Illawarra residents are being urged to realise the many benefits of dog ownership and adopt a rescue pooch in the lead up to International Dog Day.
State MP for Heathcote Lee Evans (pictured) said August 26 was the perfect opportunity for local residents to welcome a new furry family member into their home by adopting not shopping.
“As anyone who has ever rescued a dog will tell you, they make wonderful and loyal companions,” Mr Evans said.
“Re-homing abandoned or lost dogs also reduces the burden on pounds, shelters and re-homing organisations and, importantly, helps lower euthanasia rates.”
Mr Evans is encouraging local residents to consider adopting a rescue dog by visiting the RSPCA Illawarra Shelter at Unanderra and “meet their new furry best friend”.
Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the Government provided half-price pet registration for anyone adopting a rescue dog from council pounds and shelters and re-homing organisations.
“Anyone buying an animal from council pounds and shelters as well as 95 re-homing organisations can benefit from a 50 per cent discount on pet registration fees as part of the Government’s efforts to make dog ownership more affordable,” Mrs Hancock said.
“Since 2015, 43,000 pet owners have saved a total of nearly $1.2 million in reduced pet registration fees.
“I encourage anyone thinking about welcoming a dog into their lives to visit an RSPCA shelter, any NSW council pound or shelter or one of the many approved re-homing organisations across the State to rescue an animal in desperate need of a home.”
Mrs Hancock said all pet owners could help reduce the numbers of dogs and cats ending up in pounds and shelters in the first place.
“The easiest way to reduce the numbers of lost and unclaimed dogs needing to be re-homed is to follow the three easy steps of responsible pet ownership – microchipping, de-sexing and registering your pet,” she said.