Why Adopt From an Animal Shelter?

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Dr Donna Spector

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. 

Variety

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.

Expense

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.

Support

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.     

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