Pet adoption is very popular, and for good reason. Stroll down the rows of kennels at a shelter, and you’ll see countless loving animals who deserve a second chance at life. One glance into a pup’s or kitty’s eyes will tell you they’ve been through a lot. Shelter pets seek human affection so much, you’ll have a hard time saying no to that adorable furry face!
Adoption doesn’t simply help one pet. When you make a shelter pet part of your family, you open up space at the shelter for more animals to have a chance of getting adopted. You’ll help reduce the stray population and save endangered species from a disproportionately high number of predators. Adoption can also save the owner. Pet parents who adopt are often left wondering, “Who saved who?”
These benefits and more are why the #AdoptDontShop movement should guide your journey to finding the perfect pet for your home.
- You’re saving the animal’s life: Millions of shelter animals are euthanized every year because there are too many of them and not enough people willing to adopt. The cats and dogs at rescue agencies are unfairly labeled as bad pets who don’t get along with people. While some shelter pets have a troubled past, they still have so much love to give. Adoption is a win for animals and owners alike—the pet finally gets their forever home, and you get a sense of pride for providing it!
- Rescues screen the animals for disease: Every time a shelter or rescue agency brings in a new animal, they conduct a thorough physical exam to see if the animal has contracted any infections or is living with a chronic illness. Shelter pets receive any necessary treatments before they’re put up for adoption so their new owner doesn’t encounter any surprises. The staff will give you a full rundown of any concerns they detected and what they’re doing to put your furry companion on the mend.
- Adoption is much cheaper: Owners who buy from a breeder or pet store have to schedule a series of vet appointments to get their animal spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped—not to mention the cost to purchase the animal themselves! They wind up spending over hundreds of dollars just in visits, which can far surpass the initial cost of bringing home their pet. Rescue agencies typically charge a small, flat adoption fee that covers all standard procedures, so you end up paying a lot less in the long run. The agency will fix, vaccinate and even microchip your fur baby for you, making it easier and less expensive to bring them home!
- You’ll find the perfect match: The staff at rescue agencies have seen pets bounce from one home to the next. Unfortunately, some pets end up at shelters because owners didn’t take the time to make sure the animal was the right fit. Volunteers want to be absolutely certain that each animal finds their forever home so they never have to come back to the shelter. Prospective owners undergo a rigorous screening process so they’re guaranteed to bring home a pet that matches their lifestyle, experience and activity level.
- Shelter pets are often house trained: Many of the cats and dogs in shelters are older animals who have experience living with humans. Owners will get to skip the puppy phase and take home an animal that’s already house trained. This is especially helpful for first-time pet owners, since they won’t have to worry about training the pet from scratch. Many shelter pets have been socialized to humans, children and strangers, and some can even get along with other animals.
- You can see the animal’s personality: Most shelter animals are adults with fully developed personalities. Shelter staff are able to accurately predict how the animal will interact with you and other family members. By adopting an adult pet, you get to select an animal that will fit seamlessly into your home. Adult pet adoptions significantly reduce the risk of owners bringing animals back to the shelter.
- Reduce local impact from strays: The world is overpopulated with stray cats and dogs that hunt wild animals and spread infectious disease. Shelters and rescue agencies pull strays off the streets not only to give them a better home but to protect local species from harm or extinction. Adoption gives you a new loving pet and some peace of mind knowing your good deed is restoring balance to the local ecosystem.
The many benefits of #AdoptDontShop make it abundantly clear that adoption is the right way to go. Shelters are filled with pets of all different breeds and personalities. There’s an adopted pet for everyone, so visit your local shelter and get ready to fall in love with your new furry companion!