Are you looking for the Top Reasons You Should Consider Adopting an Animal From a Shelter?
Suppose you type in “animal shelters near me” into your web browser right now. Chances are it’ll come up with scores of websites and map locations, so numerous you’ll be astounded. Who would have thought the number of homeless pets out there would be so great?
Okay, maybe some of us would. You might have come across feral dogs and cats a couple of times. But those one or two untamed pets you see don’t begin to summarize the plight of many of this our furry companions.
If you’re reading this, it’s possible you’re thinking about getting a pet and considering avenues to help make this possible. When you want to get a companion animal, multiple channels can make this happen.
If you’re like us, maybe you’re lucky enough to have one of your family friends come into a litter and look for a suitable home for one or two of them in you. Or perhaps, you come across a stray. And, not minding its situation; you’re warm-hearted enough to take it to a vet and care for it afterwards.
Chances are, a lot of people wouldn’t be in either of these mentioned categories. So you go on an active search, looking into pet stores around or online. Don’t search too far. Animal shelters have come a long way from their origins as pounds created for unbroken and ill horses. Popular online shelter agencies and rescue groups can help you shop for pets of all kinds. Usually from shelters around your area from the comfort of your home without having to go to each shelter physically.
Pet Adoption Stats
Every year, about four million animals are adopted from shelters, mostly dogs and cats. But other animals such as rabbits and friendly rodents are not exempted. Of this four million, 50% were cats, 45% were dogs, and 5% contained other four-legged and two-legged friends.
Bringing home a new pet is super exciting. And adopting this new pet from a shelter or rescue adds just that extra layer of feel-good to it. A lot of the reservations people have about adopting shelter animals is the thought that they won’t be getting enough time to create a bond with the animal before it reaches maturity. But shelter animals are just as loving and loyal as any pet you train from birth. Besides, in their case, you know what you are getting, and they won’t grow up to switch up on you.
Additionally, pet adoption has become more popular and accessible. And there are now several ways to find an adoptable pet for your family. You have city and county animal shelters, non-profit shelters, and other rescue groups. All of which are full of pets who have lost their homes for various reasons. Most of these reasons are of no fault of theirs, and a couple of them include:
- Owners moving to apartments where they don’t allow pets.
- Unplanned litters due to unspayed or neutered pets.
- Owners losing their jobs or their homes.
Because of this and many other reasons, a lot of wonderful pets are at shelters and rescue homes. Waiting for someone to come and pick them up. You’ll be doing this animal a world of good by deciding on any of them as your new companion. A great part of Reasons You Should Consider Adopting an Animal From a Shelter.
What’s wrong with buying pets from pet stores?
Recently, the truth behind pet stores and puppy mills has come to public attention. The activities going on behind these businesses are just not pretty looking. Any store that deals in selling puppies or kittens routinely procure them from professional breeders who you’ll imagine will be better informed to take good care of these animals. Instead, commercial breeding mills aim for output above all else.
Additionally, dog breeding requires a good lot of time and effort. When money-making is the goal [which is the case with commercial readers], costs need to be kept at a minimum, and this means making a profit would take priority over the health and welfare of these animals.
Previously, it used to be that people were interested in purebred dogs and designer dogs for the bragging rights. More so than their companionship. This is why many people have turned to commercial dog breeders.
Now, times have changed. People are starting to realize the nonsensicality of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars buying purebreds. For many people, what matters is the animal’s personality and not its family line. And animals in shelters have just as much personality as those purchased from breeders. Besides, you’ll find purebred animals, dogs especially, in many shelters and rescue homes if that is what you fancy.
Buying a pet and adopting one might not seem all that different. Still, when you make the conscious decision to buy pets from a breeder or pet store, your decision would have lasting ramifications and not necessarily the good kind. Many reasons why you should need to read the Reasons You Should Consider Adopting an Animal From a Shelter.
Why adopt from a shelter?
There are numerous reasons to adopt from a shelter. When you visit a shelter, you’re greeted with the sounds of the animals before you even see them. Amidst all the noise, you’ll be getting a happy wag from a potential companion, and probably you will see a kitten brush against your legs [at least that was the scenario in my case].
Even though you may have no idea about the history of that cute feline or canine you are considering, you’ll find that there are huge benefits to adopting a shelter animal.
Suppose the tail wagging and soft purring are not enough for you. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should adopt from an animal shelter. You might never want to consider another option after this.
You’ll be getting an animal well cared for.
Animal shelters are full of happy and healthy pets waiting on someone to come and take them home. From vaccination to training, shelter animals get adequate care from experienced and trained professionals. Many volunteers passionate about rescue animals also care for them, and adequate veterinary care is also provided for shelter animals.
Any trouble a shelter animal might have with adjusting to a new environment, such as aversion to cats or inability to get along with other dogs, will be well addressed by a specialist long before the dog leaves the shelter.
You’ll be saving a pet’s life.
Over one million shelter animals are reported to be euthanized yearly in the United States. This is because even with the high amounts of pets coming into shelters, not many people consider adoption as an option when searching for a pet. However, there have been some uplifting developments in this regard. According to the ASPCA, the number of dogs and cats euthanized in US shelters has seen an annual decline from a high of 2.6 million in 2011. Still, this doesn’t negate the fact that so many animals never get a second chance. The number of animals euthanized by shelters could be significantly reduced if more people adopt pets instead of buying them.
With this in mind, there’s no better reason to adopt a shelter animal because all shelter animals deserve a second chance at a caring home. Sadly, a lot of the dogs found in shelters were either lost or abandoned. And some of them even ran away from their abusive owners.
Unfortunately, there are not enough homes or shelters for the sheer number of pets born each year. And some still roam freely on the streets. When you adopt a shelter animal, you save a deserving animal by allowing them to be part of a family again. While at the same time freeing up shelter space desperately needed by another animal for survival.
You’ll be getting a trained animal.
There are a couple of reasons why even well-trained animals will still end up in this sad situation. Many shelter animals are pets that end up there because their owners could no longer provide them with proper care. Perhaps because of sickness, or they may let them go for a couple of other reasons.
Most shelter animals will already be housetrained and will be able to recognize simple commands and house manners. This means you’ll be getting a leg ahead in the training department if you decide to adopt from an animal shelter or rescue program. If you are a person who doesn’t have the time to put into adopting and training a young pup or kitten, adopting an older shelter animal may be the best option for you.
You’ll be putting up a fight against pet mass breeding.
Another reason why you should adopt a shelter animal is that pet adoption discourages mass breeding by commercial pet breeders. Across the country, thousands of backyard breeders and commercial pet breeding facilities produce millions of animals to be put up for sale in pet stores and online auctions.
These establishments, often known as puppy mills or kitten mills, repeatedly impregnate female animals that they keep for their entire lives in caged captivity without any real companionship.
Also, these unfortunate animals are often put in intolerable situations, forced to produce litter upon litter until their bodies can give no more. Afterwards, they are considered unprofitable assets and discarded by euthanization or other means.
Puppies or kittens bought from pet stores come from cruel mass breeding facilities most of the time, the same facilities where their mothers are confined to tiny, unkempt cage with little to no veterinary care [Especially in the case of commercial backyard breeders].
You might be thinking, how does my adoption from a shelter put a stop to mass breeding? Believe it or not, your actions will make a big difference. Adopting from a local shelter instead of buying from a pet store or breeding mill supports the community. This is while also changing people’s perception of shelter animals.
You’ll be supporting a valuable charity or non-profit organization.
While consciously, this might not be a reason you consider adopting a shelter animal. Non-profit organizations play an undeniable role in today’s society.
Sadly, every American community is in need of an animal shelter. When you choose to adopt a pet from an animal shelter, you’re assisting a non-profit organization which has put in much time and personnel to care for these animals. Also, you’ll send a message to others who might be asking you how you obtained your adorable companion in years to come.
Shelters help improve the community and the life of these animals by endorsing the spaying and neutering of pets before adoption to diminish the possibilities of more unwanted animals coming into the world.
Non-profit organizations in charge of shelters also let you support an important cause. You can help their cause by adopting an animal, volunteering, or donating to them to keep these organizations well-funded and growing.
You won’t be paying exorbitant sums for a shelter animal.
Purebred dogs sold in pet stores cost a lot of money. Rare breeds like the Tibetan Mastiff or English Bulldog can cost you upwards of $3000 to purchase as puppies. Alternatively, animals adopted from a shelter can save you a lot.
When you adopt from an animal shelter, the animals usually get regular health checkups and scheduled vaccinations. And it may already be spayed or neutered. Some even come microchipped with a collar and ID tag. This saves you a lot of money, considering standard adoption fees stay within the $100 – $600 range. Depending on the procedures the animal has had to go through – still a far cry from ultra-expensive purebreds.
You’ll have a variety of options to choose from.
What are you looking for? A puppy or a kitten? A pig or a hamster? A calm dog well ahead of the tiring puppy stage? A cat in its senior years? Perhaps you are a nut for purebreds?
Whichever kind of furry companion you’re looking for, you can almost be sure you’ll find a perfect fit at one of your local or online animal shelters.
Unlike pet stores, you’re not limited to puppies and kittens when adopting from a shelter. And you find mixed breeds and purebreds in abundance in varying sizes.
Side note: black dogs and cats are often overlooked when people adopt from animal shelters. So if you come across a lone black cat or dog, take some time to give special consideration to these little darlings.
You’ll know exactly what you are getting.
Shelter animals sometimes live there for months or even years. This allows their caregivers and handlers ample time to understand the dog or cat’s personality. Whether they’re shy, loving, sociable, etc.
When you purchase a young pup or kitten from a breeder or pet store, you truly don’t know what you might end up with when they are fully mature. Young puppies sometimes turn out to be a surprise with regard to their size, weight, and temperament at maturity. By adopting an older animal, you know you can handle it physically because it will be at full size and weight.
Because many shelters are invested in helping these animals find homes they can live in forever, most shelters and rescue programs put these animals through an evaluation process to uncover the animal’s temperament before being released for adoption. Personality traits of the animal, such as fear and anxiety, would be revealed. So you can be sure of what you are dealing with earlier on and figure out a way to best cope with your new companion.
You’ll be offering a second chance to a deserving animal.
It is quite unfortunate that practices such as overbreeding and the irresponsible selling of animals into the hands of the wrong people are the reason why so many intact animals end up in animal shelters. Some of these animals have not been given any manner of household love or care before they even end up in these shelters.
Beyond just helping an animal in need, you’ll be allowing the animal to find its voice, to be itself and get a second life at being a pet beyond the confines of a shelter or rescue. You’ll also be allowing them to start anew in a world where second chances don’t often come by, and they’ll thank you for it.
You’ll be saving more than one life.
Overburdened shelters take in millions of lost, stray, and abused animals yearly. When you adopt a pet from a shelter, you’re saving two lives; the life of that animal and also the life of the other animal you just vacated space for. This is true even when you are adopting from a no-kill shelter [shelters with a strong policy against euthanization].
By adopting from a shelter, you are helping make space for another animal in need and giving them an opportunity to become beloved companions to someone else.
Not only that, the cost of your adoption goes directly towards the betterment of shelter facilities and hospitality, making it easier to give better care to new animals being brought in.
Animal shelters near me: How do I locate them?
Locating an animal shelter isn’t a strenuous assignment. Almost every community has pets in need of good homes. For starters, search through websites around your city or county; most municipalities have facilities for housing homeless animals. Many shelters and rescue groups also showcase these pets in an online gallery for you to see, making it easier to get an idea of what kind of animal you be adopting.
Take a Stand – Reasons You Should Consider Adopting an Animal From a Shelter
While it is true that you may find reputable breeders who regularly check the health of their breeding stock and maintain healthy breeding practices, these are few and far between. You are more likely to find unscrupulous breeders who are purely in it for the money and don’t give a heck about health tests, vaccinations, or basic animal needs such as comfort. For every animal you adopt, one less purchase is made from a puppy or kitten mill. Our furry companions, thank you.