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Why Adopt a Pet?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0
Puppies available for adoption!

There's a common misconception that there is something "wrong" with animals in shelters and rescues. This couldn't be farther from the truth! In reality, rescue animals are no different that any other pet you may meet- they just want to love and be loved. There is a wide variety of reasons that animals are surrendered or abandoned by their owners, many of which are no fault of the animal: no longer being able to care for the animal, due to time or money; size or unexpected energy level once an animal is full grown; moving or adding a new member to the household; and the list goes on.

When you adopt an animal, you are truly saving a life. Thousands of animals die daily in the US alone due to a lack of space in shelters, funds to care for these animals, and available homes. Sadly, for every animal purchased from a pet store or breeder, ten or more die in a shelter.

I Want a Specific Breed/Age/Temperament... Can I Find the Right Fit for Me?

Yes! Animals of all ages, shapes, sizes, breeds, temperaments, and personalities are available! In fact, about 25% of animals in shelters and rescues are purebreed. Don't dismiss the mixed breeds, though- they are often more even tempered and less susceptible to genetic diseases.

With websites like petfinder.com and adoptapet.com, you're bound to find the right pet for you.

Will My New Pet be Healthy?

Although rescues and shelters may adopt out special needs animals from time to time, they can not ethically or legally adopt out animals that are known to be ill without getting them the proper treatment. In fact, most rescue animals are less likely to develop genetic disease than animals from breeders. Purebred animals are much more prone to conditions such as hip dysplasia, eye abnormalities, cancer, and more than their mixed-breed counterparts. Rescue animals will also be fully vaccianted and sterilized at the time of adoption.

Rescue or Shelter?

Once you've decided to adopt, the next step is choosing what organization you will go through. Although shelters and rescues have the same goal, to find animals new homes, the way in which they care for their animals and the process you must go through to adopt an animal can vary greatly.

Shelters: Pros and Cons

Shelters are like large warehouses for animals. They may be associated with local Animal Control or another larger organization, such as a Humane Society. Animals are housed in small rooms or cages, and though their basic needs are met, they do not get as much social interaction or training as animals in rescues. Due to the high intake of animals, shelter staff and volunteers may not have the time to get to know each animal individually. Unforunatley, most shelters do have to euthanize a percentage of the animals they receive to make room for new animals.

The adoption process at a shelter is likely to be easier and slighly more inexpensive than through a rescue. Typically, an adopter will need to fill out a simple application and pay an adoption fee, taking the animal home the same day.

Rescues: Pros and ConsUnlike shelters, rescues are typically privately owned. Most depend on foster homes- homes that temporarily care for an animal until it finds it's forever home. Animals in rescues receive more personal care, often receiving training and learning how to be a part of a family, allowing them to adapt to an adoptive home quicker and easier. Rescues typically get to know their animals on a personal basis and are better able to match them to the home that will best suit them. While not all rescues are no-kill, they are better able to control which animals they accept, allowing more time and money to dedicate to animals that need behavioral or medical treatment.

Because rescues have a more intimate relationship with their animals, the adoption process is typcially a bit more complicated. While each rescue has it's own process, most require adopters to fill out an application, provide a veterinary reference, and may require a home check to make sure that the home is suitable for the animal the adopter is applying for. Since rescues take the time and money to treat animals with behavioral or medical problems, adoption fees tend to be slightly higher than at shelters. Most rescues also serve as a support network for their animals and adopters even after the adoption has been finalized.

Is One Better than the Other?

In short: no. Only you can decide which situation is the best fit for you, but neither has "better" animals. No matter which you choose, you will be doing something great by saving an animal who will love you endlessly for giving him the home he deserves!

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