Welcoming a new pet into your home can be a wonderful experience. The love and affection that pets give us knows no bounds. A way to make that experience even more valuable is to adopt a pet from an animal shelter. According to statistics, there are over 5,000 animal shelters operating in the U.S. and they handle more than 6 million animals annually. Sadly, of those number, about 2.7 million of them are euthanized without finding a forever home. When considering adding a pet to your family, think about the benefits of adopting from a local shelter.
Saving lives – The bottom line of adopting from a shelter is the fact that you saved that pet’s life. With the high rate of euthanization at shelters, the odds are for the pet being destroyed rather than being adopted.
Making room for another pet – The idea of a no-kill shelter sounds appealing to many. However, there are limited funds for caring for shelter pets, as well as limited room. By adopting from a shelter that does euthanize, you open up a space for another pet to have the same chance to be adopted.
Lower cost – By adopting from a shelter, you can pay between $40 and $125 plus the cost of getting the pet fixed. Some shelters may also require microchipping. However, these fees are much lower than a commercial dealers. Also, many shelters offer specials on the price of having your pet fixed when you adopt through them.
Not supporting puppy mills – Many puppy mills produce large quantities of animals without regards to the health of the mother or the puppies. Often, the mothers are destroyed once they are past breeding age. The puppies are kept in poor conditions, often mistreated, and deprive them of the chance to learn normal behaviors. You can’t ensure that they didn’t come from an abusive situation.
Healthier pets – When you adopt from a shelter, your pet will have had a screening by a veterinarian, had any issues treated, often is treated for issues such as fleas, ticks, mites, and deworming done. Some are tested for issues such as heartworm and feline leukemia. You are adopting a pet who has been thoroughly checked and given a clean bill of health.
Behavioral screening – Most shelters do assessments on every pet before offering them up for adoption. They determine things like temperament, behavioral issues, aversions, interaction with other animals, and training. They are able to gauge the most suitable home and owners for the pet before offering them to you, so you have a good idea of how that pet will fit into your family.
Available pets – Around 25 percent of the pets at shelters are purebreeds. They also have a very large selection of age ranges, from puppies and kittens to older pets who are already trained. Many shelters offer waiting lists if you are looking for a specific breed or type of pet.
When selecting a pet to become a new member of your family, take the time to visit your local shelters to see what pets they have available. Many shelter pets not only make wonderful additions to the family, but also seem to know that you saved them, making them even happier to join your family. Being part of the solution to the over-population of pets by adopting a shelter pet can help you feel even better about welcoming your new pet into your home.