In the lead up to International Dog Day I urge local residents to realise the many benefits of dog ownership and adopt a rescue pooch.

August 26 is 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.

Rehoming abandoned or lost dogs also reduces the burden on pounds, shelters and rehoming organisations and, importantly, helps lower euthanasia rates.

I encourage local residents to consider adopting a rescue dog by visiting the
Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter, RSPCA Sydney Shelter or RSPCA Illawarra Shelter and meet their new furry best friend.

Since 2015, 43,000 pet owners have saved a total of nearly $1.2 million in reduced pet registration fees, thanks to the NSW Government providing half-price pet registration for anyone adopting a rescue dog from council pounds, shelters and rehoming organisations.

I take this opportunity to remind pet owners to microchip, de-sex and register your pet to help reduce the numbers of lost and unclaimed dogs needing to be rehomed.

Pet owners should also keep their contact details up to date on the NSW Pet Registry to ensure a joyful reunion should your beloved cat or dog be lost, stolen or injured

RSPCA shelters are at Yagoona, Katoomba, Somersby (Central Coast), Rutherford (Hunter), Coffs Harbour, Unanderra (Illawarra), Orange, Port Macquarie, Broken Hill.