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New poll finds 8 in 10 adopters consider it the most rewarding experience


A poll of 600 people by Purina shows how worthwhile shelter adoption can be

oksix / stock.adobe.com

oksix / stock.adobe.com

A recent poll, commissioned by Purina, examined pet owners—specifically people who adopted from a shelter—and their attitudes towards the experience.1 Since approximately 70% of households in the United States own a pet as of data from 2022,2 it seems that pet ownership has positively impacted peoples’ lives. Purina aimed to explore this a bit further.

From a total of 600 people, Purina found the following results:1

  • 80% of those who have rescued a pet from a shelter say it is the most rewarding thing they have ever done.
  • 76% considered the experience as valuable as bringing up a child.
  • 76% said it taught them to care about someone other than themselves.
  • 63% expressed immense happiness in witnessing their furry friend become happier.
  • 59% believe they have saved the life of the pet they adopted.

"Pet adoption allows people to make a compassionate choice, however it should be considered carefully. Anyone thinking adopting a pet should take time to make an informed decision, understand the responsibilities and sometimes the possible challenges involved, and take care to find the right pet for them,” Martina McChowat, brand experience lead for Purina.co.uk, said in the news release. "It's amazing to see that so many people feel hugely fulfilled when they have made that choice. Adopting a pet can really feel like you've saved a life, as well as enriching your own through the multiple benefits that we know owning a pet can bring."1

The data also revealed that only 5% would opt for a breeder over rescuing another pet because of their positive experiences with rescues. Cats, dogs, and rabbits were the most commonly adopted animals.1

Purina took a deeper look into one person’s experience with adopting from a shelter to get insight as to why she made that decision and how the journey has been.3 “I hate the idea of so many dogs living in rescue centers looking for a home. I wanted a slightly older, calmer dog so a rescue felt like the perfect choice when looking for a dog to join our family,” said owner, Aileen. Aileen adopted 12-year-old greyhound, Luna.

“My favorite thing about rescuing a pet is seeing them feel comfortable and settled. Luna is totally at home with me and my household, it’s like she’s been part of our family forever. The bond I have built with Luna is so special and I know our love for one another is mutual,” Aileen continued. “I feel grateful I have been able to offer Luna the life that she deserves.”


  1. Eight in 10 people who have rescued a pet from a shelter say it is the most rewarding thing they have ever done. News release. Purina. February 13, 2024. Accessed February 13, 2024. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/eight-in-10-people-who-have-rescued-a-pet-from-a-shelter-say-it-is-the-most-rewarding-thing-they-have-ever-done-302059457.html
  2. Pet industry market size, trends & ownership statistics. American Pet Products Association Inc. Accessed February 13, 2024. https://www.americanpetproducts.org/news/News-Public-Relations/pet-industry-market-size-trends-ownership-statistics#:~:text=2021%2D2022%20APPA%20National%20Pet,U.S.%20households%20owned%20a%20pet
  3. Pet adoption interview – Aileen’s experience. Purina. Accessed February 13, 2024. https://www.purina.co.uk/find-a-pet/articles/getting-a-dog/adoption/pet-adoption-interview
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