DESPITE Australians warming to the idea of adopting pets, with 70 per cent of surveyed dog owners considering it as an option, only 11 per cent actually source their pets from rescue organisations.
The Pedigree Adoption Drive is shining a new light on these forgotten pooches, asking adopted dog owners to show the world their dog is a much loved family member, encouraging others to consider it, by displaying a free "My Family‟ style car sticker.
Pedigree Adoption Drive spokesman Tim McCallum said research revealed more than 35 per cent of Australians perceived adopted dogs to be "sad" and more than 25 per cent thought they would be difficult to train.
"This initiative aims to draw attention to the positives. There are thousands of adopted dog owners around the country who consider their dog a beloved member of their family," Mr McCallum said.
"The Pedigree Adoption Drive is about celebrating this pride and removing the myths associated with adopted dogs. We hope by doing this we can increase the numbers of people adopting dogs."
Would you adopt a pet from a rescue organisation?
This poll ended on 13 September 2013.
Yes I would consider it
No I wouldn't
I'm not sure
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The research found that more than 75 per cent of people who had adopted a dog did so to help the animal.
"More than 85 per cent of people who had adopted a dog said they would consider adopting another dog in the future, showing that adopted dogs are just as much a part of the family as any other beloved pet," Mr McCallum said.
More than 450,000 dogs are obtained from breeders, pet shops, and puppy farms in Australia each year.
"Through our work with rescue organisations, we know the number of dogs in need of a loving home is increasing, which means it‟s never been more important to recruit new Australians to consider dog adoption," Mr McCallum said.
"People often think adopted dogs are troubled or believe breed and age options are limited, but the truth is thousands of beautiful, loving and friendly dogs of all different shapes and sizes come through Australian rescue organisations each year.
"These dogs desperately need a loving home and we hope to see the Pedigree Adoption Drive sticker on cars around the country encouraging more Australians to consider making an adopted dog part of their family," Mr McCallum said."
Free PedigreeAdoption Drive stickers will be available at IGA super-stores, on Coles Online, within Woolworths Fresh Magazine, and by request via www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.com.au.