Did you know that April 30th is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day? Every year, pet lovers worldwide celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. This is a day to raise awareness about the importance of adopting pets from animal shelters instead of buying them from pet stores or breeders. According to the Humane Society, millions of dogs and cats are in shelters across the United States waiting for homes. By adopting one of these animals, you can save their life and make room for another animal in need.
What is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day?
America’s shelters and rescues are full of dogs and cats who desperately need homes. Shelters see an increase in homeless puppies and kittens coming in during spring, so we celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day today. Now is a perfect time to adopt. And there are always adult and senior pets looking for homes, too, if you’d rather have a calmer and already trained snuggle buddy. We celebrate National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day to raise awareness for the millions of animals waiting for their forever homes in shelters.
When you adopt from a shelter, you give an animal a chance for a forever home. They might have ended up homeless or euthanized if they didn't get adopted. Plus, the pet has had the medical care and necessary procedures like spaying and neutering when you adopt.
You’ll also free up resources at the shelter for the next animal who comes in. That means you’ll save at least two lives when you adopt!
The best part is visiting the shelter to find the perfect companion for you. You’ll be able to meet all the available pets and pick the one you connect with the most. Some shelters even let you foster, so you can make sure the pet you pick will love your home and family before you fully commit!
How to Adopt
There are many ways to get a pet. One way is to adopt from a shelter. This often means filling out applications, going through background checks, and hoping that you meet the qualifications to be a pet parent. Steps to start the adoption process:
- Apply for adoption
- Go through an interview with one of the shelter’s counselors and meet rescue pets.
- If you pass the interview and the pet you chose is the right fit for your family, you might need to pay a small adoption fee before bringing them home.
So why should you go through all that?
Shelters need to make sure animals are going to good homes. They want to make sure you’ve prepared for the responsibility of pet parenting so you won’t return the animal to the shelter.
The interview questions will be personal and intrusive for some people. Each shelter has its own particular interview procedure, but most tend to structure them like an honest conversation. The questions are meant to help find the right home for your future furry family member. Once you realize this, you won't have a problem answering them.
Adopting the Right Pet for You
Most adopters know what type of pet they want to adopt but feel overwhelmed by the variety of animal breeds, temperaments, and ages found in shelters. A good rule of thumb is to pick a pet whose personality meshes well with yours.
Are you a high-energy marathoner? An enthusiastic rescue dog could be your new running buddy.
Are you laid-back and relaxed? A mellow cat or older animal may be your perfect pet.
If you're living in a condo or a homeowner's association with restrictions, keep in mind that certain types and sizes of pets are allowed.
Before Bringing Your Adopted Pet Home
Before bringing home your shelter pet, make sure you and your home are ready for their arrival. Gather your pet's supplies: a collar, leash, identification tags, crate, toys, water and food bowls, and food. Don't forget to ask what type of food they’ve been fed. A sudden switch in schedules or food can cause tummy issues.
Choose a veterinarian before adopting a pet and schedule a visit within a few days of adoption. You’ll want to take the medical records the shelter provides you to ensure that your new pet is getting the proper care it needs.
Ensure your entire household is prepared for a new pet before adopting. Have a plan for which family members will handle specific pet responsibilities, like taking a dog on a walk or emptying the cat’s litter box.
Not Able to Adopt a Pet, But Still Want to Help
Many people aren't in a position to adopt, which is not a problem! If you still want to help, here are some things you can do:
- Volunteer at your local pet shelter or rescue. These organizations are always in need of extra help, whether walking dogs, socializing cats, or cleaning cages.
- Foster a pet! This is a great way to provide love and care to an animal in need without a long-term commitment.
- Donate money or supplies to your local pet shelter or rescue. These organizations are always in need of financial assistance and donated items like food, bedding, toys, and more.
- Spread the word about adoptable pets! Share photos and stories of adoptable animals on social media, with family and friends, or through your workplace or school.
It's always essential to always remember to ADOPT, DON'T SHOP. By adopting, you will be saving two lives! The pet you adopt and the pet that gets to take their spot in the shelter.
What other ways can you think of to help animals in need on Adopt a Shelter Pet day or any day? We would love to hear your thoughts on social media! ♥️🐶🐱♥️
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