"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." - Roger Caras
Why not adopt is the better question! Not many people understand why adopting an animal from a shelter can be such an incredibly rewarding experience for you and your pet. Shelter pets are not "damaged goods" and are not programmed to love just one person for eternity. They are the most forgiving creatures I have ever seen and will happily love you unconditionally if they are given the opportunity. With some time and patience, many have this infectious joi-de-vivre that would make just about anyone smile :)
Let me hit you with some facts:
· According to the ASPCA and The Humane Society of the United States, there are over 5-8 million pets entering shelters nationwide each year. This includes pets relinquished to local shelters and those picked up by animal control.
· About 3-5 million of them are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats) for various reasons.
· 25% of these animals are purebred.
· The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for a year.
· About 62 percent of all households in the United States have a pet. (Source: APPA)
If you want some more stats, check out this website (http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-statistics.aspx).
Now, it's one thing to read these statistics online and another to actually see it in person. I see these dogs and cats being dropped off at the shelter, scared out of their minds...wondering why on earth their owners would just leave them? It's heartbreaking to see them come in and stay at the shelter for countless months at a time. Of course all the "pretty" ones and smaller dogs get adopted out faster...while the others have no choice but to wait until someone falls in love with them and take them home.
Ok but...WHY should I adopt?
Now onto the main objective of this post...why should you adopt? If you're looking into getting a new furry friend to add to your family, adoption is the way to go! If you are looking for a specific breed, I would also recommend going to a RELIABLE and reputable breeder only after searching through rescues and shelters. But I will never ever recommend going to a pet shop…EVER. Do not fuel the pet mill industry that uses dogs as breeding machines for money (more on that in a later post).
- Save some money $
- Adopting an animal will save you a lot more money than buying a pet from a pet store. Most shelters and rescues include the age appropriate vaccinations, spay and neutering, microchip, and other extras. Fees range from $35 to $300 depending on the size and funding of the rescue group. Larger shelters usually have cheaper adoption fees than smaller rescues (more info on that later).
- Do you honestly have the time, money, energy, and patience for a puppy or a kitten? These youngsters need at LEAST 4 hours a day of your attention. Not including the time spent training your pup or kitten. If you've got the time and want a young one, then go for it! If not...I would suggest adopting an older pet :)
- There’s an animal out there for everyone! About 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred, with the majority being mixed breeds. (Source: NCPPSP) Mixed breeds are just as loving and wonderful as purebreeds!
- Is it good with kids? Good with cats? With dogs? Housebroken? Does it know commands? All that jazz. With a puppy (or kitten), sometimes it can be more of a gamble how that animal’s personality will be when it is older. The perks of adopting an older pet is knowing it's personality and seeing if it will be a good fit for you.
- Shelter staffs are armed with knowledge in order to help you, the adopter, out with any questions you may have. We also know a lot about the animals and guide you in the process of adopting a dog or cat.