We may not be an animal shelter or a rescue, but we understand the power of pets all the same. And we owe a great deal of that to all the amazing shelter pets who are historically overlooked for reasons we find hard to explain.
However, what we can tell you is all the reasons why adopting one is the best decision you can make when it comes to finding the perfect companion. Before we get into that, though, here’s a few stats from ASPCA (which, fair warning, may be difficult for some to comprehend) that puts the heartbreaking reality shelter pets are living in every day into perspective.
- Approximately 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide each year
- Out of those, 1.5 million are euthanized
- 34% of dogs are purchased while 23% are adopted from shelters
- 47% of dogs and 42% of cats in shelters were surrendered by their owner
Granted, these numbers have decreased distinctively over the past decade or so, but it’s still far from justifying why inhumane puppy mills and pet stores are still in business…and why shelter pets, ones we get the absolute pleasure of working with every single day in our clinic, are still not being given as much if not more credit than purebred puppies in the window or seen in an ad on Facebook or Craigslist.
Here’s five reasons why adopting a pet makes the world better for everyone.
Puppy mills and pet stores aren’t getting your money, putting them one step closer to going out of business
A puppy mill, by definition, is a facility that inhumanely breeds dogs with little to no regard for their well-being and whose only motivation is to make money. The conditions these dogs are forced to live in are unfathomable; they’re typically confined to a crate 24/7 that gives them hardly any room to turn around, forcing them to lay in their own excrement, and usually doesn’t give them access to adequate food or clean water either. They know very little of the outside world, but more importantly, don’t know what it’s like to have a family or be loved. But yet there are some folks who still overlook all these aspects because they’re distracted by their adorable puppies that end up being sold for thousands of dollars in pet stores.
Current laws make it hard to shut these awful facilities down for good, so if we eliminate their market by encouraging others to adopt and not shop, they won’t make a profit and will have to stop breeding inhumanely. However, there are reputable breeders who allow folks to visit their facility, see the living conditions and are knowledgeable and responsible when it comes to breeding a specific breed.
If you’d like to learn more about the issue with puppy mills, click here.
Adopting a pet from a shelter saves you money
As mentioned previously, purebred puppies sold in pet stores or on sites like Facebook or Craigslist cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars and many times end up having poor health conditions that are even more costly to treat; these diseases usually develop from being taken away from the mother too early or the fact that most dogs in puppy mills are inbred.
Instead of having to make payments on your new addition, adopting from a shelter generally costs you a total of $50 to $300 in fees depending on the age of the pet you want. These fees help support rescue work, and as an added bonus, include the cost of spay/neuter surgeries and vaccines for the most part, which saves you a few extra hundred bucks in the long run.
You’ll be sure to find the perfect companion
There are so many different pets to choose from at shelters, from size to breed to age to temperament, that you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for your family or lifestyle. Many shelters have behavioral teams that evaluate each dog or cat before going on the adoption floor, and that information will be relayed on their kennel cards for potential adopters to see. A good portion of pets are also owner surrenders (as mentioned above), so most of them will already be housetrained and know other skills, as well.
Some shelters also offer helpful programs where you can take a pet home for a few days to see if you’re the perfect match for one another. And there’s always the option to foster, which usually leads to a foster fail.
Rescued pets are even better for our well-being
There’s no doubt that pets in general make our lives richer because of the impacts they have on our physical and mental health; there is plenty of research out there to back that up. But the reason we say rescued pets bring a little extra into our lives is because of the instant gratification we feel after seeing just how easy it is to completely change someone else’s life. All pets deserve love, but especially the ones that have gone without it for so long…which brings us to our last point.
You’re changing a pet’s life, but also saving another’s
When you choose to adopt, you’re truly changing that pet’s life for the better. Experiencing love and what it feels like to have a family for the first, second or third time is all they could ever ask for. And honestly, it’s what they deserve. So we owe that to them.
But by taking that pet home and out of the shelter environment, it also opens up space for another pet to have the same shot at finding a loving, forever home. And it lessens their chance of being euthanized because there’s simply no room for them. It hurts heavily to say that, but it’s simply a fact.
And it’s why we do what we do.
So please, folks, consider finding your future best friend at your local animal shelter or a purebred rescue if you absolutely need a purebred animal for health reasons. It makes the world a better place for all of us, pets and people included. We’d be happy to give you any references, so please don’t hesitate to reach us at 816-353-0940.