Last updated: 30 Mar, 2023
Published on: 17 Feb, 2023
The state of pet adoption report 2021-2022
Pet Adoption Trends & Insights 2021-2022
Stats via PetRescue.com.au from 1st July 2021 to 30th June 2022.
“We can’t change what we can’t see.”
The PetRescue State of Pet Adoption Report is the first of its kind to provide a yearly capture of nationwide insights and trends affecting rescue pets and the rescue community in Australia.
This report consists of an analysis showing comparative insights on pet adoption via Australia’s most successful pet adoption platform, petrescue.com.au.
Between the 1st of July 2021 and the 30th of June 2022, 33,697 cats, 16,915 dogs and 2,133 pets of other species were marked as adopted on the PetRescue platform. At the end of this period, there were 977 groups with active PetRescue memberships, consisting of 733 rescue groups, 44 council pounds, 82 shelters and 118 vets. For more information about PetRescue’s impact during 2022, click here.
These insights take us a step closer to understanding the trends, movements, progress and challenges. With this knowledge, we can shape, reshape and adapt programs where needed to have the most impact.
Take a look at the 2020-2021 State of Pet Adoption Report here.
Council pounds were the fastest at adopting pets into homes (median of 6.97 days).
VIC overtook QLD with the highest amount of pet adoptions (15,607).
85.24% of pets listed on PetRescue were adopted in this timeframe.
Of the cats listed for adoption, 32.9% were urban stray cats.
Cats were listed for adoption by member organisations at twice the rate of dogs.
On average, each cat received 203 views and 1.88 adoption enquiries.
Dogs received more than 3 times the number of views and enquiries as cats.
On average, each dog received 1,080 views and 6.58 adoption enquiries.
It took a median of 21.21 days for dogs to find a home, and 15.7 days for cats.
The most unusual pets listed were one turkey and one fish!
Rabbits found a home in 20 days, guinea pigs found a home in 12 days and rodents only 7 days!
Dogs in VIC received the most views (13,761,936 in total!).
Note: 85.24% of the pets listed on PetRescue between the 1st of July 2021 and the 30th of June 2022 were also marked as adopted during this same time period. This statistic doesn’t include pets that were listed prior to this time period, but adopted within it, and it doesn’t include pets marked as ‘on hold’ during this period.
Pets looking for homes by species
The majority of pets coming into care were cats (63.6%), then dogs (32.1%) and the remaining other pets (4.3%) included rabbits (1.7%), guinea pigs (1.4%) and smaller pocket pets: mice & rats (0.3%).
Note: This is not total pet intake data in Australia, but data based on pet listings via PetRescue.
Pet Adoption Trends in 2021-2022
(Compared to 2020-2021)
Dogs listed (by state)
Cats listed (by state)
Dogs adopted (by state)
Cats adopted (by state)
Time to adoption
Measuring and comparing the median time until adoption for rescue pets is extremely important; the faster pets are adopted into homes, the more pets that can be helped (particularly at-risk and vulnerable pets).
Median days to adoption - Dogs (by state)
Median days to adoption - Cats (by state)
Median days to adoption (by species)
Listing & adoption trend movements over time
(compared to previous period)
Median number of days to adoption (by group type)
Number of new PetRescue members (by state)
Number of new PetRescue members (by group type)
PetRescue members - by adoption policy level
Median days to adoption - by adoption policy level & species
Assisted rehoming & surrendering insights
Covid lockdowns continued to positively impact adoptions during the first part of 2022. The number of pets being listed for adoption began increasing in the second half of the year but remained significantly lower than in pre-pandemic times.
The change in NSW legislation in February 2022, which requires council pound facilities to release pets to rescue groups rather than euthanasia, had an unforeseen impact on rescue organisation capacity. Many rescue organisations were unable to take in owner-surrendered pets during this time, with waitlists of up to 1.5 years reported by pet owners. This increased the demand for PetRescue’s Home2Home program by 200%, and the program was temporarily paused due to the demand outweighing Home2Home’s resourcing ability.
49% of those requesting to use the Home2Home program to rehome their pet did so due to accommodation stress, and this remained the number one reason for rehoming. There has been no statistical correlation between ‘pandemic pets’, those pets adopted during the pandemic and rehoming.
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