Thinking of adding a pet to your family? Here are nine reasons to adopt your new best friend.
1. You’ll save a life!
Sadly, its estimated between 4 and 5 million dogs and cats are put to sleep each year in the United States by our city or county run animal “shelters”. Many are healthy, treatable, lovable, adoptable animals.
By adopting from a no-kill humane society, animal shelter or rescue, or breed rescue group, you’ll help save the lives of two animals—the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because of space you helped free up.
2. You’ll feel better
It is a common misconception that animals end up in shelters because they’ve been abused or done something “wrong”. In fact, most animals are given to shelters because of “people reasons,” not because of anything they’ve done. Things like divorce, moving, lack of time or financial constraints are among the most common reasons why pets lose their homes.
3. The Right Pet
More important than color, breed, or size, a pet should match your style of living. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle and does not like to go running or exercising can find a pet that fits with that lifestyle, and likewise for an active person.
An important distinction between no-kill shelters/rescues and pet stores/breeders is that shelters are not providing their services for profit, and therefore they are more concerned about other factors, such as finding the perfect match between the pet and owner. Because they’ve spent time rescuing them and evaluating them, most shelters know their dogs and cats well. Using various screening methods, they can help you find a dog or cat that fits into your family and lifestyle. For example, they know whether their animals are good with babies and toddlers, are active or more sedentary, independent or just need lots of love.
4. Test Drive a Pet
Since pet ownership can be exciting but daunting at first, many rescues have fostering programs for prospective pet owners. Those who have never owned a pet before can take home an animal and experience the day-to-day situations having a companion animal entails. Afterward, the individual can decide if adoption is right for them or not.
5. Health Concerns/Money Saving
The mixed breed dogs you’ll find at a shelter are less likely to carry the problems of heredity, simply because they’ve come from a larger and more diverse gene pool. With every breed, there is some genetic disorder that is associated with the gene pool in that breed.
Adopting a pet from an animal shelter is much less expensive than buying a pet from a pet store or through other sources
Most shelters examine and give vaccinations to animals when they arrive, and many spay or neuter them before being adopted.
Dog and cat adoption fees often include services like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, a free medical exam, and a microchip. These services are estimated to be around $2,000, but shelters and rescues charge $75 -$200(depending on whether the animal is an adult or a kitten or puppy).
A common myth exists that the only way to get purebred animals is through a breeder. This is not true. People might prefer a purebred dog or cat because of family tradition or personal preference. In that case, no-kill shelters again should be the first option. On average, 25% of dogs in shelters are purebreds.
Breed rescue organizations are yet another option — and a much better one than a breeder — for purebred seekers. These organizations focus on rescuing, a particular breed, and finding homes for the animals.
To certain people, animal shelters, and specifically the term “stray,” conjure up feelings of uneasiness and concerns about the animal’s behavior. A lot of people think there is something inherently wrong with pets in animal shelters or in rescues. Purely for the reason that someone doesn’t want them, something must be wrong with them. The term “stray” is a misnomer. The word ‘stray’ just means that an animal has just strayed from home. The animal was either abandoned or it wandered away and got lost.
A shelter is an excellent place to acquire a safe and healthy pet because the shelter’s main purpose is to tend to and revive lost and ailing animals. Animals may come into a shelter with an illness or a problem, but they are usually evaluated and cleared before being eligible for adoption.
8. You won’t be supporting puppy mills and pet stores
Puppy mills are “factory style” dog-breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Most dogs raised in puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and the parents of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction. Puppy mill puppies are sold to unsuspecting consumers in pet stores, over the Internet and through newspaper classified advertisements to whoever is willing to pay for them.
Marketed as coming from great breeders, well-rehearsed sales tactics keep money flowing to the puppy mill by ensuring that buyers never get to see where the pups actually come from. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not even aware that puppy mills exist, so when they buy a pet from a pet store, online or other retail outlet, they are unwittingly supporting this cruel industry.
By adopting instead of buying a pet, you can be certain you aren’t supporting cruel puppy mills with your money. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop purchasing their dogs.
Pet stores buy their animals from “puppy mills” who focus on sheer numbers, not on the health and welfare of their animals.
9. A Community of Pet Lovers
Once you adopt a pet, you’re automatically enrolled in a community of animal lovers and pet enthusiasts.
Establishing a relationship with a local vet as soon as you bring your new pet home is recommended. For dog owners, getting to know a reputable trainer and taking classes is another great way to enrich the human-animal bonding experience.
Why adopt an adult dog?
Consider this: having a puppy is like having a newborn baby. They get up every couple of hours during the night, they’re teething so they chew on everything and they need time, energy, commitment, and patience for training purposes including house training.
Most adult dogs come from good homes where someone just couldn’t keep them anymore. They are usually already trained and housebroken as well. And they’ll let you sleep through the night!
Another benefit with adopting an adult dog is they already have developed a personality so you can tell what type of dog they are such as energy level, friendliness, etc. You can decide easier if it is a good fit with you and your lifestyle. The same goes for adult cats.
Why adopt an adult cat?
Kittens climb drapes, scratch, keep you up at night, and need to be guided into having manners.
Adult cats are often better behaved, mature, calmer & dignified… and they’ll be happy to climb on your lap instead of your drapes. They’re also much more likely to sleep with you through the night.
***Remember, shelters compete with breeders and pet stores. If you choose to adopt from the local animal control instead of a rescue be aware that the animal may have some health issues that need to be addressed (normally these issues are completely treatable). Usually rescues that pull (they take however many animals they can handle to save them from being put to sleep) dogs or cats from animal control nurse the dog or cat back to health before adopting them out. This is something to heavily be considered because if you decide to give the animal back to animal control (we highly encourage owners NOT to do this), you are re-applying a death sentence on them. Animal control deals with pet population by putting adoptable animals to sleep.