Adopt a Pet!

Wed 2015-06-17

What’s so great about shelter pets?

No surprises

  • If you adopt a grown pet, you already know what he or she will be like when grown, since they’re already grown!

  • Shelters and rescues usually do assessments on new pets to evaluate things like temperament, whether the pet has any aversion to other pets or people, whether he is housebroken, has had obedience training, etc.

  • Since they know the animals personally, they are great at matching you up with the perfect companion for you.

  • Many shelters and rescues will train and help pets with issues, so unlikely you’ll take home a misbehaving pet.

  • And after you take your furry friend home, they will help you with the familiarization period.

  • But if you buy a pet, their temperament is completely unknown and the pet stores won’t help if it turns out you got a bad egg.

Lots of choices

  • Shelters have all shapes and sizes of lovable mutts, purebreds, all-American cats, puppies and kittens, adolescents and seniors, so it’s really easy to find the perfect companion for you.

  • Whether you want a mutt or a purebred, they’ve got it! About 25 percent of shelter animals are purebreds. But mutts are America’s dog of choice, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all pet dogs. And mixed breed dogs are often healthier, longer-lived, more intelligent, and of more stable temperament than purebreds. If you really want that perfect purebred, many breeds have their own rescue organizations, so make sure to check both your local shelter and breed rescue organization.

  • If you adopt, you get your choice of any age. Though puppies and kittens are cute and cuddly, they can also be a handful. An adult or older pet may be a better fit for you. For example, adopting an adult dog who’s already house-trained and knows basic cues is often much easier than adopting a puppy, who must be taught these things.

Low stress

  • Adopting an older pet allows you to skip over the time consuming, often frustrating puppy or kitten stage of development.

  • Depending on his background, your older pet may already be housebroken or litter box trained and know basic obedience commands like come, sit, stay and down.

  • Most shelter residents are healthy, affectionate animals. Many have already lived with a human family and have the basic training, socialization, and cooperative skills they need to become part of your household.

Lots of help

  • Many shelters and rescues also provide lots of new owner support in the form of materials about training, common behavior problems, nutrition, basic grooming and general care. In some cases there are even free hotlines you can call for questions on behavior, training and other concerns.

Low cost

  • Buying a pet can easily cost $500 to $1,000 or more. Adoption costs range from $50 to $200, depending on whether the pet comes from the city shelter or a rescue group that has spent money on boarding, vets and grooming. Sometimes you can even get that fee waived if you’re adopting a senior pet.

  • Also, you’re getting more for your money if you get a mixed breed. Based on the well-established principle of “hybrid vigor,” a mixed-breed animal is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a pure breed. Many purebred dogs are prone to developing health problems ranging from breathing difficulties to hip dysplasia to an enlarged heart.

Lots of love

  • An adopted pet can enrich your life in ways both big and small. The unconditional love and loyalty of a dog or cat can lift depression, ease loneliness, lower blood pressure, and give you a reason to get up in the morning. A kitty asleep in your lap feels warm and comforting. A dog that loves to walk or run outdoors can be just the incentive you need to start exercising regularly.

  • You get just as much love (if not more). An adopted pet is every bit as loving, intelligent and loyal as a purchased pet, even if you get an adult or older animal.

  • An older adoptive pet can be the perfect companion for an older person. Many middle-aged and senior dogs and cats require less physical exertion and attention than younger animals.

  • There are countless benefits to pet ownership, and when you know you saved your furry companion from an unpleasant fate, it makes the bond you share that much more meaningful.

Why should I care?

  • Dogs, cats, and “pocket pets” end up in shelters because of circumstances beyond their control. They’re victims of a death, illness, divorce, or a move that didn’t include them. Or they were displaced by a new baby. Or their owners just didn’t learn how to train them.

  • Adopting a dog or cat from a no-kill shelter can free up space for older or special needs pets that may not find new homes before the end of their natural lives.

  • When you adopt from a shelter, you become part of the solution to the overpopulation crisis.

  • If you have kids, and especially if the new pet will belong to a child, adopting a shelter animal can open a young person's eyes to the plight of homeless pets. It can also help him learn compassion and responsibility, as well as how wonderful it feels to provide a forever home to a pet that might otherwise live life in a cage, or be euthanized.

  • And your adoption fee goes toward the shelter’s education and spay/neuter programs, which help prevent more unwanted litters.

What’s so bad about breeding?

  • There is already a significant overpopulation of pet animals. Shelters are spilling over with unwanted cats and dogs and many get killed every day just because there wasn’t a home for them. If you buy from a breeder or pet store, you are supporting the overpopulation problem.

  • When you buy a pet from a pet store, you not only deny a homeless pet a home, you are supporting an industry that thrives on short-changing the welfare of animals. Puppy and kitten mills (which sell to pet stores) are in business to make a profit, so they churn out puppies and kittens as fast as they can. These animals are often in ill health and have problems like poor socialization skills due to lack of human companionship and genetic defects due to inbreeding.

  • Until the pet overpopulation crisis has been resolved and puppy/kitten mills are eliminated, adopting from a shelter is the humane, ethical choice for millions of Americans!

(Disclaimer: Most of this is a hodgepodge of various articles mixed with a bit of my own words and then organized in an easy-to-read fashion.)

By Britt, Category: Causes

Tags: persuasive / animal rights /