Adopt, don’t shop…
…the slogan that is taking over the animal world and being shoved in your face on every dog’s Instagram account, including my own (Guilty!). But, are there really ACTUAL reasons to adopt, beyond people just feeling passionate about it? The answer is, yes… A thousand times YES!
In honor of the newest addition to our family, Pippa (see picture to left), I have tweeked this post about adoption to give even more valuable information, in specific, focusing on shelter pets, which- with the help from The Street Dog Project, is how we found Pippa. She was 24 hours away from being euthanized.
However, to be as unbiased as possible, I’ve tried to take my own personal feelings and opinions out of the equation and, although hard to do, give information using only the simple and truthful facts for why you should adopt and NOT shop!
What are the facts?
Not enough people visit the shelter. The cold hard truth is hard to face sometimes, especially for me. I’d rather not know all of the painful details. Ignorance is bliss, right? So very few people actually even check their local shelter before choosing a pet. I get it- it’s so depressing looking at the animals “behind bars”. However, we have to speak for those with no voice and spread the facts to those who haven’t heard… because speaking the truth CAN save a life! That truth is each year 2.7 million ADOPTABLE dogs and cats are euthanized. That’s over 5,000 animals EVERY DAY! And this is only in the United States!
When I say the word “adoptable” I’m referring to an animal that is healthy, not violent… This term is used by shelters as a label for the animal. Basically, if the animal is tagged as adoptable, then he/she is 100% able to live in and contribute to a loving home!
Well…What is the reason for so many unruly deaths? Mainly, not enough people are considering adoption when looking for a new pet. In addition, the overpopulated shelters, although most have great intentions, do not have the means to hold and support past a certain number of animals. The mentality of the need to kill pets whenever shelters are full, instead of finding other solutions, is a difficult truth to face but it’s the world we live in. So, I beg you, visit a shelter before purchasing. I promise you’ll find a forever companion.
Why are there so many homeless pets?
Besides the obvious stray dog dilemma caused by heartless humans dumping dogs or abandoning them in a careless manner, there are other reasons a pet may end up without a home…
A family parting ways due to divorce
Loss of home or job
The feeling of no longer having a desire for a pet
However, the biggest problem is due to unplanned litters. Many people neglect to understand the importance of spaying or neutering your pet. This circles back around to being naive. We must share the seriousness of the amount of pets ALREADY in this world who are without love and a home. You must spay your pets! (But, that is for another post, another day.)
Please don’t mistake my words, I know that not all pets are given up by terrible people, some situations are desperate pleas to give a pet a better life than the owner is able which is respectable in itself.
Visit a no kill shelter
Our saving grace! Or the animals’ saving grace, rather. As I mentioned, every year millions of healthy, sweet and perfect dogs and cats are being “put down” all over the country. Good dogs are met with an unlucky fate when put into the wrong hands by no fault of their own! A dog’s destiny is up to the human that it comes into contact with. With this terrifying truth, we need to support our local no-kill shelters because unless there is an extreme illness causing pain to the animal, all of the pets shall live! Not only that, they put their heart and soul into each animal, trying to find a home for him or her. Giving up isn’t an option because no-kill rescues or shelters know the importance of each life.
By visiting a shelter, you are helping make a difference and end this nationwide crises of homeless pets.
Specific breed desired
I totally understand that you may prefer a certain type of breed. Maybe because you grew up with a Labrador in your home or maybe your significant other has allergies and you need a pup that doesn’t shed. I get it! The good news is you CAN adopt a specific breed. As long as you have patience, a lot of shelters hold waiting lists for specific breeds. Just make sure to look into the shelters in your area and see what options they offer. Rule of thumb, don’t assume there are none, always ask!
In addition, as rescue groups are becoming more and more notable, there are now breed-specific rescue organizations for almost every type of breed out there! Bottom line, you can ADOPT the dog of your dreams, and who knows, you might end up falling in love with one you never even dreamed of!
Pros of adopting
There are countless reasons to adopt, but when you save a pup from an unfair death, you will feel a bond full of gratitude that will overwhelm your heart. But, beyond the heartfelt reasons, there are many logistical ones as well.
Pets are typically already spayed and neutered, vaccinated AND micro-chipped. Therefore, you save money.
Adopting an older pet allows you to totally skip that puppy stage which ultimately saves you countless frustrating moments.
A lot of pets in rescue groups or shelters have already been potty trained and know basic commands.
Adopting a dog that is already grown takes out the questions of wondering what they will look like as an adult OR how big he or she will actually be.
Dogs that are in rescue settings have already had their temperament tested around other dogs and humans.
If the dog is in foster care, the foster parent actually lives with the dog! Therefore knows, in depth, the pup’s personality and habits. You can get a great understanding of what kind of dog you are adopting prior to taking them home.
Bottom line, at the very least, check out the local shelter in your area or rescue groups nearby. You never know who will rescue YOU and fill your life with happiness a million times over. Remember, every dog deserves a chance to feel wanted and a warm home! For every dog or cat that is NOT bought from a breeder or store, we get one step closer to solving the overpopulated pet problem we have in this country, and world.