A shocking 6.5 million pets end up in animal shelters across the United States every year. Of those, approximately 1.5 million end up euthanized because the shelters are over capacity. These numbers are so sad and maddening.
Millions of lost and unwanted pets end up in a shelter or rescue. By deciding to adopt and not shop for a furry four-legged friend, you’ll save a life! We want to share with you five reasons shelter pets make the best pets and friends.
Fur-Ever Grateful and Loyal
When you adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue, they will be fur-ever grateful. Rescues know what it’s like to be homeless, and now that they have a good thing going with your family, they have a unique and strong appreciation for the love you give. They know that you have saved their life and will do anything to remain loyal to you.
And are you not only saving your fur-ever friend’s life but opening a spot for another lost or abandoned animal! By adopting an animal, you’re making room for others. Not only are you giving more animals a second chance, but the cost of your adoption goes directly towards helping those shelters better care for the animals they take in.
Good For Your Health
Dogs need to be walked. Walking outdoors has some unexpected benefits; both you and your puppy are likely to feel happier and healthier having gotten the exercise. Rescue dogs, in particular, might not have always had someone to care for them by walking them regularly, so getting out and taking a stroll is beneficial to you both.
Animals give unconditional love, and they have been known to be psychologically, emotionally, and physically beneficial to their human companions. Caring for a pet provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessens feelings of loneliness.
Adoption Costs Less than Shopping
When you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations (and sometimes even microchipping!) are included in the adoption price, which can save you some of the upfront costs of adding a new member to your family. Depending on the animal, you may also save on housebreaking and training expenses because you can “skip” the puppy stage.
Shelters and rescue groups around the U.S. are chock-full with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelter pets end up there because of human error, not because the animals did anything wrong. Many are already house-trained and used to living with families.
Fight Against Puppy Mills
By visiting a local shelter or rescue instead of going to the local pet shop, you help fight against puppy mills. Some people who sell puppies and kittens do not take care of them. They breed animals for profit only. Places like this are called puppy and kitten mills. These places are cruel for many reasons. Often, animals are kept in confined spaces with too many other cats or dogs, and many of them are malnourished and have diseases. By adopting and not shopping, you are doing your part to shut the puppy and kitten mills down.
Get to Know, Before You Go
The cat or dog you’re choosing is much less anonymous when it comes from a rescue or shelter. The shelters want the new pet owners to have the most positive experience possible before deciding on their fur-ever friend. The shelter will collect as much information about the temperament and personality of the animal while awaiting adoption. You can find out whether the dog likes children, which is helpful for parents with young kids. You can also discover ahead of time whether they’re potty trained, their medical history, how loud they are, and so much more.
Can’t adopt? No worries!
If you are in a place where you can’t adopt an animal from the shelter, they are always in need of volunteers and donations! On this special Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, take some time to visit your local shelter. See how you can help. What do they need?
Many rescues and shelters are short on funds to feed and care for all the animals that end up in their shelters. An excellent way for you to change a pet’s life would be to donate.
Extra towels and blankets lying around your house? Take them to the shelter. The staff will use the towels and blankets to make beds for the pups and cats. If you’ve recently lost a cat or dog that’s passed away or you know someone who has pet amenities to spare, the rescues and shelters can put these to good use. Leftover cat or dog food that isn’t going to get eaten? Please take it to the shelter. Got some extra cash this week? Take it down to the shelter!