Why not adopt a pet? Happiness is a warm puppy–or kitten, or adult dog or cat! The sad truth is that many perfectly healthy, friendly canines and felines never make it out once they enter a shelter. There are simply too many animals and not enough homes. There are dozens of reasons to adopt a pet, but perhaps the most important is that pet adoption will make you and the pet very happy indeed!
Saving a Life
There’s no question that some shelter animals will end up euthanized if they’re not adopted. If you adopt a pet from a shelter, you know that not only are you helping that particular animal, but there’s now space for another to get a second chance. The knowledge that some of the best pets in the world are found in shelters makes you want to spread the word to anyone considering adding a four-legged family member to their home. While shelter adoption processes vary, most of them are fairly straightforward. The shelter wants to know your address, contact information, and previous pet experience. They’ll work without try and find the best pet for your situation. Organizations like PetConnect Rescue are a great place to start.
Spaying and neutering
Pets adopted through reputable shelters are almost always spayed or neutered. That means these animals aren’t going to continue the reproduction cycle and produce more unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying and neutering benefits pets in other ways. Cats and dogs don’t have the desire to roam and find mates, and they are far less likely to “mark” indoors with urine.
“There are simply too many animals and not enough homes.”
Pet adoption is less expensive than purchasing a purebred dog or cat. There’s nothing wrong with buying a purebred pet from a good breeder, but responsible breeders screen potential buyers and make sure the pet and the person are a good fit. Dogs sold in pet stores generally come from puppy mills, where the emphasis is on quantity rather than quality. When you adopt a pet, you’re already getting an animal that spayed and neutered. Those surgeries come at a significant cost when done by a private vet. The adoption fee often includes:
- The initial set of vaccinations, and possibly more
- Heartworm testing for dogs
- Feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus testing in cats
- Flea and tick treatment
Some shelters may include a leash and collar, microchipping, and a welcome packet with pet food and supply samples and coupons.
Dogs and cats give their people unconditional love. How often does anyone get that in this world? In return, you have to feed them, shelter them and make sure they receive regular veterinary care. That sounds like a really good deal for lifelong love and affection.
Take the Plunge
Think hard about what you want in a pet, and then take the plunge. Visit your local shelter, either in person or online. Don’t be afraid to ask questions–the shelter wants to make a good match. There’s a dog or cat out there who will become your best friend forever!