“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”
― Karen Davison
Winter is a popular season for shelters, unfortunately. Many older pets are surrendered to make room for a new puppy, and pets given as holiday gifts are often relinquished come January. This makes for an excellent time to adopt your forever friend. Of course, no pet should be adopted without carefully considering the care commitment a pet requires, but read on for several reasons why adopting a shelter pet is a great idea.
Adopting helps combat pet overpopulation and puppy mills
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.5 million companion animals end up in U.S. shelters every year. Not only do puppy mills fuel this population problem, but most house their pets in poor conditions without proper medical care, socialization, or attention. By adopting a pet, you can help support a local organization whose goal is to re-home pets, not make money.
Many shelter pets have known backgrounds
One benefit of adopting a shelter pet is that many come from known circumstances. While some pets are brought in off the streets with no history, others are surrendered by families for various reasons, such as for health problems, training difficulties, aggression issues, or simply because the pet didn’t get along with another family pet. The shelter staff often know these pets well, making them great resources regarding pet attitude, behavior, and any other important quirks. Take advantage of the shelter staff, spend time with the pets who interest you, and ensure you bring the whole family for a meet-and-greet prior to adoption.
Adoption is more financially sound
The cost of adopting a pet is minuscule compared to the sometimes sky-high prices of pure-bred pets. Non-profit shelters typically charge a $100 fee to cover the costs of housing and caring for the animal. In some cases, the fees are completely waived, making adoption affordable and accessible for all. Of course, owning and caring for a pet requires expenses for food, veterinary care, and other essential items, but adopting rather than purchasing certainly saves money.
Mixed-breed pets are often healthier than purebreds
Animal shelters are full of mixed-breed animals, and while adopting one is no guarantee for a clean bill of health, they often have fewer inheritable conditions. Purebred dogs, cats, and other pets are typically bred from a limited gene pool that is selected for certain physical traits, but not necessarily healthy ones. This can lead to genetic problems such as heart disease, hip or elbow dysplasia, or retinal issues.
You can save a life and change one pet’s entire world
Approximately 1.5 million shelter pets are euthanized each year, according to the ASPCA. By adopting a shelter pet, not only do you save a life, but you give a pet a chance at a happy and healthy one, forever changing her world.
Have you recently adopted a pet, or plan to adopt? Our veterinary team will be thrilled to meet your new furry family member. Contact us to set up an appointment to establish her wellness care.