NSW Nationals Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders is encouraging people considering welcoming a new furry family member into their home this Christmas to adopt a cat or dog from their local pound or local rehoming organisation.

Mr Saunders said people should also urged to carefully consider the ongoing responsibility and commitment required to care for a dog or cat before buying a pet for themselves or giving one as a gift this Christmas.

“While Christmas can be a great time of the year to welcome a pet into your life, or the lives of loved ones, local residents should consider the ongoing cost, care and responsibility that comes with a dog or cat,” Mr Saunders said.

“Local residents should also ‘adopt not shop’ for their new pet by visiting a local council pound, animal shelter or rehoming organisation.

“Local councils and other organisations play an important role in caring for lost and surrendered animals in pounds and shelters.”

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the NSW Government offers half-price pet registration fees to anyone adopting a pet from a council pound, animal shelter or approved rehoming organisation.

“Not only can you give a rescue pet a forever home, you also ease the burden on our pounds, shelters and rehoming organisations at a very busy time of year,” Mrs Hancock said.

“As an added incentive, you can also save money by taking advantage of half-price pet registration fees.”

Since 2015, more than 46,000 pet owners across NSW have saved over $1.2 million in reduced registration fees by adopting a rescue pet.