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Research shows eight out of ten believe pet ownership positively impacts mental wellbeing and prevents loneliness

•    Over a third found their beloved pet through an animal shelter
•    Findings shows six out of ten buy gifts for their pet
•    Pet nutrition brand Purina renews partnership with DSCPA to support over 1,700 cats and dogs annually
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Eight out of ten Irish adults believe that having a pet has a major positive influence on their mental wellbeing – while in the past year over a third have sourced their pet from an animal shelter, with four in ten looking to family and friends.

The research findings coincide with Purina announcing the renewal of its long-term partnership with the DSPCA. This sees Purina providing all the food and nutrition for cats and dogs in the care of the DSPCA, contributing positively to the charity’s work to rehome cats and dogs annually. 

It is anticipated that Purina’s support will help with the care of over 3,500 cats and dogs over the course of the next two years alone.

The findings also show that some eight out of ten Irish adults cite having a pet as key to preventing them from feeling lonely. Meanwhile, over 90% of those surveyed said their pet is an integral part of the family unit, with nearly 60% buying gifts for their pet at milestone moments such as birthdays and Christmas. 

The survey of 1,000 adults found that Ireland is very much a nation of animal lovers, with 64% owning a pet:  dogs (45%), cats (33%) and fish (6%) ranked the top three most popular choices. 

On a yearly basis the DSPCA supports almost 3,000 animals at their headquarters in Rathfarnham, Dublin, through the provision of rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming services, as well as educating the public on responsible pet ownership through engagement and advocacy work.

Commenting on the announcement, Joanne McKenna, Country Category Manager Ireland, Purina PetCare said: 

"Purina is delighted to build further on its long-standing, decade plus partnership with the DSPCA, where it has supplied nutrition equating to over 300,000 meals and tasty treats. The partnership renewal will now see both organisations come together to further promote the importance of animal health and wellbeing and demonstrate the positive impact of pet ownership for individuals and families. 

“Our recent survey underscores the deep bond between pets and their families, with an overwhelming majority considering their pets as integral family members. Central to this is the positive impact that an animal has on mental and physical wellbeing and contributing to an overall positive sense of self. There is an incredible bond between owner and animal and the benefits for both are many. 

Pat Watt, CEO of the DSPCA said, 

“We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Purina, who have to date, played an integral role as the official nutritional partner to the DSPCA, providing unwavering support over the last decade. 

“As you can appreciate one of the key pillars of our work is animal care, in many cases nursing animals back to full health and in other cases, caring for their needs before they go to a new home. Central to this care and recovery process, is the type of nutrition that an animal is provided with, and we would like to acknowledge the support provided by Purina.

“We are now entering an exciting new phase for the DSPCA as we look to further amplify the message of responsible pet ownership and importance of animal welfare, among the public through our public awareness and advocacy work. The renewal of our partnership with Purina is timely, and provides much needed support for this, with both organisations aligning on the value of pet ownership but equally the roles and responsibilities that come with that.”

Bláthnaid Treacy, TV & Radio Presenter, RTÉ 2FM said, 

“As Ireland’s largest animal welfare charity, the DSPCA make an amazing contribution to safeguarding and promoting animal welfare, supporting over 1,700 cats and dogs each year. It’s fantastic to see the renewal of this long-standing partnership between DSPCA and Purina with an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the importance of pet ownership and how this can positively impact physical and emotional wellbeing. In my own life, we were so lucky to adopt Mabel, our beautiful dog from the DSPCA and she has made an enormous difference in our household, bringing us lots of joy and laughter.”


Káno Communications
Claire Egan M: 086 865 3507
Caoimhe Flanagan M: 085 840 1115

*Research was conducted by Empathy Research through an online survey across a nationally representative sample of N=1,000 adults aged 18+

Purina PetCare EMENA (Europe, Middle East, North Africa) believes that pets and people are better together and is committed to helping pets live longer, happier and healthier lives through proper nutrition and care. For over 120 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in providing nutritious and palatable products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including FELIX®, Purina ONE®, Gourmet® and Purina PRO PLAN®. Purina’s passion for pets goes beyond the advancement of pet nutrition and in 2022 Purina PetCare Europe launched a new set of 6 Purina Commitments focused on initiatives for pets, communities and the environment. For more information, visit the Purina website:  

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) was established in 1840 and is Ireland’s largest animal welfare charity. Its mission is to make it socially unacceptable to mistreat any animal.  In the last century it has grown to be the leading and largest animal welfare charity in Ireland. Through the hard work and dedication of the DSPCA more than 100,000 animals have been rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed. Follow our story on Instagram @dspcashelter at or