Anyone who has owned a pet knows that they become part of the family and are a lifelong commitment, however some animals find themselves lost, abandoned and impounded.
For animals in the Kempsey Shire that are impounded, the majority of the time this means a second chance to find their forever family.
Rangers at Kempsey Pound continue to encourage locals to adopt animals from the pound and give them a loving home.
"The most rewarding part of my job is being able to provide help to those members of the community with rehoming their cats and dogs," Kempsey Shire Council Ranger Team Leader Shaun Tomaszewski said.
"Some people often have great difficulty keeping their animals. And as sad as it is sometimes, it is always good to see that cat or dog being adopted and going to a new home."
Shaun has been working as a ranger for Kempsey Shire Council since late 2018. Part of his role has been to rehome cats and dogs that are impounded.
"If an owner can't be found because the animal isn't microchipped or registered then they go up for adoption either straight from the pound or to a rescue shelter," Shaun said.
One of the biggest concerns local rangers have is owners not getting their pets microchipped or registered.
"If a dog or cat is microchipped and registered and the details are up to date it can be returned to the owner straight away. If none of those things have been done or details aren't up to date then it becomes very difficult for us to return their animal," Shaun said.
Owners not keeping their animals contained to their property is also a concern as this leads to more animals being impounded.
For the previous financial year, 384 dogs and 89 cats were impounded by Kempsey Shire Council.
"The majority of those were found wandering outside of their homes. There was also a small number that were surrendered by their owners, with the ranger team receiving one to two requests for surrender per week, on average," Shaun said.
"Most animals do find a new home, with only some animals considered dangerous or unsuitable for rehoming being put down.
"Of the 384 dogs and 89 cats that were impounded last financial year, over 250 dogs and over 50 cats were rehomed via other rehoming organisations or adopted directly from council."
Rangers encourage anyone in the community who are no longer able to keep their cat or dog to contact council so they can make arrangements to help rehome the animal.
"The RSPCA and Friends of Kempsey Pound do a great job in assisting the community to register their pets and get them microchipped, but unfortunately we do still pick up a number of animals and are unable to find their owners.
"We encourage pet owners to keep their details up to date, register and microchip their pets and contact us if they're unable to keep their animal," Shaun said.
Locals can find more information about adopting animals from Kempsey Pound on council's website.