SAVE A LIFE!
Adopting a pet from an animal shelter has many rewards. First and most importantly, you save the life of a pet. In the United States, 8 to 10 million dogs and cats are brought to shelters every year—either found as strays or turned over by owners who no longer want them—and it is estimated that 4 to 6 million of them are euthanized because they are unable to find adoptive homes.
Shelters are filled with a huge variety of pets—and one (or two) that are sure to fit the characteristics you are looking for! Many shelters have purebreds, in addition to virtually "one-of- a-kinders". Shelters are great in that they offer a variety of ages. Puppies and kittens are not for everyone—the training, playing, feeding and exercising that a new puppy or kitten requires in the first several months can feel like a full time job! Adult dogs and cats may be the best choice for a family who spends most of the day away from home or doesn’t have the time required to train a puppy or kitten. Also by adopting an adult pet, what you see is what you get—there will be no surprises about how big a pet might get.
Adopting a pet from a shelter is also generally less expensive than purchasing through a breeder. It is important for a potential pet owner to remember that the biggest expense is not the purchase price of a pet, but the ongoing care a pet requires—food, grooming, toys, health care, etc. Read my article about the cost of owning a pet.
The goal of animal shelters is to place pets in lifelong homes and many offer post-adoptive counseling services. Many offer dog training, behavior and obedience classes. Medical services such as spay-neuter and vaccinations may also be offered at discounted rates to adoptive parents. Shelters do everything possible to help an adoptive pet become a cherished member of their new family.