October is adopt a shelter pet awareness month.  Each month across the country, thousands of dogs and cats of all ages and breeds are euthanized in shelters.  Before buying a pedigree, consider opening your home to animal on death row and save a life.

Abby 3Credit: personal photoThere are pros and cons to adoption.   Some cons are that you don't really see the animal's full behavior or temperament until a few days after you are home and the newness wears off.  There usually isn't much history available on the background of these animals or where they came from.   You should take this into consideration when adopting and be ready to tackle any behavioral problems that may arise.  The last thing you want to do is give up so easily and return the animal to the shelter.  They could have suffered abuse, neglect, or be in poor health.   But in my opinion, the pros greatly outweigh the cons.  Adopting a pet from the shelter usually means that by paying the adoption fee, the cost of shots and getting your pet spayed or neutered are covered.   Most shelters have an area where you can come in and 'meet and greet' the dogs and spend some time with them to see if it is a good match.  If you have other dogs, call the shelter ahead of time.  Many will let you bring in your current dog to see if he or she will get along with the dog you are considering.  I also think it is important to take your spouse and children.  A dog may react differently toward other members of your household due to past abuse.  If things go well then you have the satisfaction of knowing that not only are you going to have a new animal friend, but you have rescued him from possible death!  Sometimes people will sponsor animals at the shelter.  If you choose a sponsored pet, then the adoption fee is paid for you.

AbbyCredit: personal photo

Meet Abby.  She is a pit bull mix estimated to be around a year and a half old.  Last month Abby was facing euthanization at a local animal control facility.   Luckily for her, her sweet disposition had won over the workers.  In turn they extended her time way past her put down date in hopes of someone adopting her.  Abby was fortunate enough to stay alive for about a month in animal control.  Sadly, many animals don't get that extra time, especially if the shelter becomes over crowded.


Abby 2Credit: personal photo

This is Abby in her new home after we adopted her.   After recovering from being spayed, she settled right in.   As with most shelter pets, she came with some issues that we are currently working on.  Abby is very skittish of noises, unknown objects, and afraid of tall men.  But, she pleasantly surprised me with house breaking and after 3 weeks has still had no accidents in our home.   Overall she is such a sweet dog eager for love and affection, and adores the kids.  To think that she came so close to losing her life at such a young age is heartbreaking.

There are many dogs and cats out there waiting to be adopted.  Sadly, some are left to die a senseless death.  There are many ways to help local shelters even if you can't adopt a pet.  They are always in need of volunteers or sponsors.  A local animal control facility in three months time went from most of the animals being euthanized, to 80% getting adopted.  In three months!!!  All due to the efforts of a small group of people who came together to try to make a difference.   And please, if you don't plan to breed responsibly or don't plan to breed at all....have your pet spayed or neutered so that more innocent little babies won't wind up at the pound.   There are many low cost clinics offered through out the country to help ease this cost and make it affordable for everyone. 

Will you find it in your heart to adopt today?