Animal shelters and rescue groups are full of happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home.
When you have decided to make a furry addition to your family it is best to take a slow thoughtful approach. Now, we may be a little biased… OK, we’re a lot biased, but we recommend that you explore adoption first.
Check out these hard facts about animal shelters right here in the U.S. (Source, ASPCA)
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them.
Now check out just SOME of the reasons why you should adopt a shelter or rescue animal (we could go on forever).
1. Adoption saves lives
Around 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the U.S. simply because too many people give up their pets, and too few adopt from shelters.
Because there is limited space at shelters, staff members sometimes need to make very hard decisions to euthanize animals who haven’t been adopted.
Sadly, as you’ll see in the above infographic, a huge number of perfectly healthy animals who have not been adopted are euthanized each year. If you adopt you are not only saving the life of the animal you take home, you are also making room in already overcrowded shelters for another animal in need.
2. Healthy shelter, healthy pet
There is a misconception that adopting a dog may mean adopting a dog that is in poor health.
This simply is not true.
Most shelters examine and provide vaccinations to animals when they arrive, and many spay or neuter them before being adopted. In addition to medical care, more and more shelters also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure each family finds the right pet for its lifestyle.
3. Adopting saves you money
Adopting is much less expensive than buying a pet at a pet store or through other sources. Craigslist, for example, is full of dogs for sale at over $1000. $1000! In addition, animals from many shelters are already spayed or neutered and vaccinated, which makes the shelter’s fee a real bargain.
4. A huge selection to choose from
Whether it’s a cat or dog, mixed or pure breed there’s a good chance your local shelter will have the perfect friend for you.
But you’re looking for a specific breed?
That’s OK! According to the American Humane Society, it’s estimated over 25% of shelter animals are purebred. There are also rescue groups that specialize in every breed imaginable. Plus, most shelters will work with you as animals come in. Say you’re into beagles. Beagles are great dogs! You can let your shelter know that you’re looking for a beagle (or a beagle mix – but I’ll save the purebred vs mixed-breed argument for another post), and they will notify you if one comes in!
5. NO PUPPY MILLS
Puppy mills are “factory style” breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Most animals 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.
While most cities have put laws in effect to keep pet stores from selling puppies raised in puppy mills, there’s really no way to be sure… unless you adopt.
Skip the pet store and adopt a shelter pet today!
Activ4Pets strongly supports the work of animal shelters in the U.S. We partner with humane societies around the country to offer our pet health solutions to new pet parents adopting through these organizations. We also regularly sponsor fundraising events like Paws 4 You Rescue’s Run Fur Fun, Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League’s Countdown to Zero and the Humane Society of Broward County’s Walk for the Animals.
We hope that if you, or someone you know, decide it’s time to get a pet, you will skip the pet store and head to your nearest shelter or rescue and help give a needy animal a forever home!
If you’re still not convinced, you can also take a look at these myth-busting realities about shelter pets.