Animal shelters are devoted to placing homeless animals in loving homes. Before adopting a pet, consider choosing one from your local animal shelter.
Advantages of adopting a pet from an animal shelter
As times get hard, many people have tried to cut back on expenses. One thing, that has unfortunately suffered, are people’s pets. More than ever before, people are giving up their pets and the shelters are overflowing. Statistics prove that most pets are given up for financial reasons or owners moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets. Consider how you would react being taken suddenly from a comfortable home and placed in a cage subjected to people you don’t know. About half of the animals in shelters are killed for lack of a good home. When you adopt from a shelter you are saving a homeless animal from death.
Because animal shelters are interested in providing good homes for animals, some of them provide adoption counseling and follow-up assistance.
Another advantage of adopting from a shelter is that the fees are much less than the purchase price of an animal from a pet store or breeder. A shelter pet is more likely to be vaccinated, de-wormed, and spayed or neutered.
Animal shelters are an excellent source for adult animals who are already trained. If you don’t want to deal with training a small puppy, an older dog from a shelter is an excellent choice.
If you are interested in a specific breed of dog, there are rescue organizations for most breeds. You can check online to see what’s available.
A friend was kind enough to send the following to me and allow me to share it with you.
I Rescued a Human Today
Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she read my kennel card I hoped she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life. She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her check and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.
Disadvantages of adopting a pet from a shelter
One of the problems with adopting a pet from a shelter is that the pet’s background and health is uncertain and you may find yourself dealing with unforeseen health problems later on. Also, because a few of the animals in shelters may have been abused or neglected, your pet may have behavioral problems as well.
If you are interested in adopting a specific breed, your local shelters may not have that breed available. In that case, you should consider buying from a breeder or from a pet store owner who buys from breeders.
If you are looking for a dog for a specific purpose such as guide dogs for the blind, helping hand dogs, herding dogs etc. you won’t find these in shelters.
Some animal shelters have a no-kill policy. This means that they don’t kill animals which are not adopted. Some shelters kill close to 90% of the animals they capture because they are unable to place them. No-kill shelters try to place all their animals by not labeling any as unadoptable. Animals which are not placed remain in the shelter as long as necessary. Some no-kill shelters will euthanize a terminally ill animal while some will not kill animals at all. If you are interested in becoming involved in the no-kill movement, see Starting a No-Kill Program.
Donating time and money to shelters
Below are links that will help you find shelters in your area. Even if you can’t take a pet yourself, try to help out. Time and donations are always appreciated. If you are able, please open your heart and adopt a shelter pet. We all deserve to be given a new start in life, especially our pets who give us unconditional love.
There are many shelters, some no-kill like Best Friends, that would be happy to have your support, either by adopting a pet or a donation to help with the pets they have or even volunteering to help where needed.