How to solve the pet abandonment crisis among international students?


I saw a post on a social media platform about adopting a pet dog from an international student. He was considering giving the dog to someone else or a pet shelter because he had to move to another apartment due to rising rent. People transfer and even abandon their pets for various reasons. Covid-19 and the rising cost of living have led to a huge increase in abandoned pets, and many shelters in Australia are facing huge pressure and crisis.

According to the advice given in the RSPCA’s smart puppy and dog buyer’s guide, financial situation, residential environment, private time, and breeding experience are all factors that need to be carefully considered and are often the main reasons that pets are abandoned or transferred in the future. Most international students do not have stable incomes and housing, and their studies and social life take up most of their time. Many students leave Australia after their studies, and their pets will be abandoned or changed owners.

Many international students choose private breeding families to get pets because they do not meet these requirements. These families do not visit and check the buyers and rarely have the patience to tell the pet owners about pet insurance or some basic medical knowledge. As a result, when the pets get sick, international students have no measures to deal with the high cost of treatment and the poor physical condition of their pets.

Story topic and angle

Many international students want to use pets to keep their moods light when facing the loneliness and stress of a foreign country. Still, due to the double pressure of the high cost of living and the mobility of international students, pets are always at risk of being abandoned. Unfortunately, this seems to be a crisis that cannot be solved and is getting worse.

I want to write a feature story from the angle of international students as owners, interviewing several people related to the topic to understand why international students abandon their pets and explore ways to reduce this problem. I hope this story will help more international students to keep their pets carefully. Furthermore, I hope relevant organizations will improve the requirements and processes for purchasing and adopting pets and provide feasible suggestions and methods for international students facing similar crises.

A cat adopted by an international student. Image: Weichen Deng

Publication and target audience

I think News is a very suitable publication. As Australia’s number one business news site, it has a large local audience and is also a popular news site for many international students. In addition, I found it often posts news about rehoming abandoned pets, so it was a good idea to post the story on News.

Individuals and groups concerned about abandoned animals are the target audience for this article.

Sources of information



An international student studying at the University of New South Wales plans to take her cat back to China. She began preparing the documents in February and has some suggestions for international students to keep pets.

An international student visited many apartments with his dog in January. Because of the shortage of properties and rising rents, one pet made it impossible for him to rent a suitable apartment. Finally, he had to give his dog to someone else.


  1. I am very surprised by this topic and look forward to your feature story. I think it’s a really important thing for people to pay attention to.

  2. Hello Weichen, I think your topic offers a unique perspective to think about this issue. I never realized this issue before. In terms of a plan to improve the article, I think you could try interviewing more stakeholders (e.g., pet rescue organisations) as you mention “wanting them to improve the process of buying and adopting pets”, so interviewing them might be helpful to your idea. This may provide additional perspectives for the article. Besides,in relation to the publications section, you mentioned that the website “often publishes news about the adoption of abandoned pets”.If you could provide us with a report from the website about this, it would help us to understand what style of news you would like to publish. Anyway, excellent proposal and we look forward to your final work!

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