Why Adoption Matters
August 9, 2019
When deciding to add a new, non-human member to your family, there are many important decisions to make. What kind of animal? What breed, or size, or temperament? How old or young? What personality would be a good fit – a couch potato or an athlete? And of course, where do we get our pet?
Our answer to that last question will always be the same: adopt from a trusted animal shelter or rescue.
According to the ASPCA, “Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.” That’s 6.5 million animals, mostly dogs and cats, that become homeless. And many are euthanized due to lack of space, foster and adoptive families, and/or funding. These are animals that are born to be companions, and end up living in shelters and/or losing their lives due to overpopulation and lack of families to take them in. And yet, more people still purchase dogs from breeders than adopt from shelters.
Animals from shelters (often called “rescues”), get a bad rep. Many people go to breeders because they see rescues as less than, damaged, or broken. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are amazing dogs and cats (and other animals) in shelters that find themselves homeless through no fault of their own. Sometimes a rescue pet may need extra training, healthcare, or patience – but who doesn’t? A puppy from a breeder will need these too. Especially if the puppy comes from a puppy mill, which are known to use and abuse animals for profit. These puppies end up getting sick or having serious health problems due to bad breeding practices and/or unhealthy living conditions. (Many pet shops buy from puppy mills, though some states are trying to change that through advocating for better animal welfare policy.)
We are passionate about animal adoption because we believe companion animals deserve live in loving homes, not in cages for weeks, months, or years. An abundance of animals in shelters is a problem created by humans, and we need to fix it. Many shelters do wonderful work, and are wonderfully funded. But many are not.
The good news is, there are many ways to keep animals healthy and safe, in addition to adopting from a shelter/rescue. Here are some ways you can help:
– Spay/neuter your pets to prevent overpopulation
– Make sure your pet is microchipped, so there is a better chance of them returning home safely if they get lost
– Support your local animal shelter/rescue (through donations, supplies, and volunteering) so they can have the resources they need to keep animals longer, and provide them with proper care
– Report animal abuse to your local police or animal rescue organization
– Become a foster family for an animal in need
– Join animal advocacy efforts in your district and state
– Spread the word, share this blog, and let others know you support animal rescue
Please consider adoption when bringing a pet into your family. Ask the shelter/rescue staff questions about the animals you’re interested in, what you’re looking for in a pet (running buddy, companion, friend to another pet, etc.), where you live (apartment/house/farm), and how much time you have for training and care. And remember, puppies can be adopted from shelters/rescue too!
Adoption is saving a life. And meeting your new best friend.