We look to our pets to make us happy

Sunshine Coast Daily; Lauren Grounsell;  13th Nov 2012

Amy Molloy with her dogs Lennox and Memphis. A new survey has found that pets are good for our wellbeing.

Amy Molloy with her dogs Lennox and Memphis. A new survey has found that pets are good for our wellbeing.Brett Wortman

WHEN Darren Hockey proposed to Amy Molloy, the whole family was there to watch.

In front of their two “fur babies” – boxer-cross-staffy Lennox and pure-bred boxer Memphis – the happy couple made their little family complete.

And anyone who thinks that’s unusual mustn’t have a pet in their life.

The Study of Pet Companionship, released yesterday, says Queenslanders without children are placing greatest emphasis on their pets as companions.

In fact, Ms Molloy is among the 70% of Queenslanders who believe that their pets make a significant contribution to their happiness.

“I love my dogs. I couldn’t live without them. They always make my day,” she said.

“They definitely make me a happier person, if I go out I can’t wait to come home and see them.”

La Trobe University School of Psychological Science Associate Professor Pauleen Bennett said pets provided reliable and unconditional companionship that improved the psychological and physical wellbeing of their owners.

“Our lives are so disconnected and we’re busy doing different things, our pets give us a sense of who we are and how we fit into the world,” Prof Bennett said.

“They constantly think you are the best person ever and give you that unconditional love no matter what.”

The study found that almost 31% of respondents confided in their pets, while 47% relied on their pets for comfort.

“Lennox knows when I have a headache or when I feel sick and he will sit on the bed all day and won’t leave me side,” Ms Molloy said.


  • Australia has 33 million pets
  • 59% of younger Australians (16 to 34) rely on their pets for comfort
  • Dogs help their owners become “better” people by modelling character traits such as unconditional love and humour

Original here 


Filed under Pet industry PR

3 responses to “We look to our pets to make us happy

  1. companionanimalnews

    Yes, everything said is correct; we have had 5 dogs and every one has given us or gives us a lot. All undeniable. But read behind the PR here folks. This exact same article appears in Tasmania, Queensland , and other States. Its “80% of Victorians”, then “80% of Queenslanders”, then “80% of Tasmanians”….what’s going on? Well what’s going on folks is that the pet industry ( PIAA, Vet Associations, Food Companies, Breeders, etc, all members of ACAC) are terrified at the declining numbers of owned animals by the public across Australia – all of which impact on their profits and vested interests. So they engage research of this type , urging us all to make sure we all get a dog, or two. So public, don’t be fooled, understand what is going on here. Yes, by all means get a pet if you can guarantee to look after it for life, but get your pet from an animal welfare charity or recognised animal Rescue and rehoming Group. There are thousands desperately needing a home. Never buy an animal from a pet shop ( unless it is working with Rehoming Groups ) thus reducing the demand from puppy farms.
    NB Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc is a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive Company. They are a large scale provider of dog and cat foods.

  2. Noelle Revera

    So there are 33 million pets in Australia, are there? Less than half of that number will be living in good homes. The rest will be divided among farmers who think being chained to a 44 gallon drum is thanks enough for a hard day’s work by his kelpie or cattle dog; among cultures who have no idea how to care for an animal; among shacked-up young people who probably won’t know each other’s name in 6 months’ time; not to mention couples who are renting premises; among those who want a cute and fluffy “for the kids to play with”. My blood runs cold when I hear this, often when I’m doing pound rescues. That is a disaster in the making. But no worries; just offload the dog at the local pound and forget all about it. Every dog in a pound was once in a so-called “loving home”.

    * Stop pet shops from selling live animals, which will cut the heart out of puppy farmers’ market.

    * Close puppy farms.

    * Have councils offer free vaccinations and sterilisations. At present the Dog Act does not make sterilisation compulsory; one can only encourage, not demand. It should be win-win. The vet/s could offer discounted prices; the new owner would pay about $250 for a rescued animal, including vet work and licence. The vet would likely have a new customer for life and councils would only have to pay a modest amount to the vet; most would be paid by the purchaser of the animal.

    * Councils seem to get attacks of the vapours when the matter of offering freebies comes up. They would rather put out of their minds the fact that many rescues will keep on producing puppies. How I wish I could!

  3. In referance to Noelle Rivera’s comments.

    Your comments appear to be ill informed and uneducated to say the least.

    I found your referance to local government “going to vapour” not only offensive but ill informed.

    In Western Australia, local goverment are tasked with the statuative authority to administer and enforce the Dog Act 1976 and Regulations As Amended. The State offers no payment reward or incentive for this.

    I can offer examples that dispute the large majority of your uneducated comments.

    There are several local goverments (city/town/shire) that offer subsidised desexing, give dogs away for rehoming and offer free registration for the new owner.

    Here are some examples.

    The Town of Victoria Park, an inner city district boardering on the City of Perth offer discounted desexing of the adopted dog. This must be paid before the dog is collected. This is in lieu of any other fees. freee registration is offered as well.

    The Town of Port Hedland a north west Pilbara shire offer a rehomed dog free upon payment of a deposit for desexing (which is done at a reduced rate) then once the dog is desexed free registration is offered.

    City of Stirling *the largest metropolitan LG district) payment of the adoption fee give a voucher for cost of desexing (that exceeds the adoption fee) for the new owner. A contract isn entered into by a period of time to have the dog sterilised. CoS as well as having a full time staffed facility, manages its own rehoming program and allows various animal wefare groups take the dogs for rehoming.

    Other smaller metropolitian councils do not have a pound (and one larger council as well) so they have a contractual arrangement with the RSPCA WA and The Shenton Park Dogs Home to act as a poundkeeper under the Dog Act and when the specified period has lasped suitible dogs are put into the organisations “system” for rehoming.

    Various councils offer discounted programs pending on funding.

    In relation to your comments on your perception of the fate of 15.5 million dogs not in responsibile homes, I would like to see the published statistical data collating to your examples that you quote. I could further comment but I’m still shaking my head over that one.

    In relation to your comment “Close Puppy farms” I could not help but noticing you offered no plan or suggestion on how to do this.?

    In relation to your comment on stopping Pet Shops selling animals, how would you propose to do this?

    In the Pilbara, one vet offered heavily subsidised C7 Parvo immunisation to concession card holders when an outbreak of parvo happened. There are vets that do pro-bono (that means “with out reward”) for various programs. One vet put down a dangerous dog for that was involved in a serious dog attack without charge for the offending owner in an investigation I was involved in. The vet was treating the injured victim dog and assisted in the removal of a dangerous dog from our community.

    But the most outlandish statement you made in relation to “Every dog in a pound was once in a so-called “loving home”. ” is far from reality. I take it you have never had to sieze a dog under warrant, negociate the surrender of a poorly maintained dog, assist police in raids of alledged drug houses where the “guard dogs” have been fed a diet of ampetimines or other drugs on various occassions have gone crazy, remove a dog from a house after the residents have moved out several days or weeks before (especially in mining towns) or cull dogs in indiginious health programs on remote communities. Even worse, attend a job inrelation to animal hoarding, where a van was parked illegally with 23 dogs in it.These dogs end up in the pound and many are destoryed due to thier treatment. Does those instances count as “happy homes”?

    What would assist the community in animal welfare issues would be the regulation and licencing of all groups/buiness/individuals involed in the industry”.

    Dealing with this issues factually not emotionally by making realistic and credible comments rather unfounded and unrealistic ones is a start,

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