Adoption Saves Lives
Each year, over 7 million dogs and cats enter shelters nationwide, and nearly 3 million don’t make it out alive. It doesn’t have to be that way. An estimated 17 million people will add a new pet to their families this year. If more of them would choose to adopt a pet, instead of buying one from a pet store, breeder or on-line, we could significantly reduce the number of animals killed in shelters.
Reasons to ADOPT a pet:
• Your life will be enriched; a pet can bring companionship, great joy and many other benefits to your life.
• You will save two lives: the life of the animal you adopt and the life of the animal that takes its place at the shelter or rescue.
• You will save money because adoption costs less than buying an animal from a pet shop, a breeder or on Craigslist.
• Perfectly “perfect” animals of all breeds, shapes, ages and sizes are available at shelters and rescue groups. Just because an animal ends up there doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. They are just in need of a second chance.
• If you adopt an adult pet, you can avoid some of the hassles related to house-training and teething, which are associated with puppies and kittens. Puppies and kittens are cute, but they require lots of attention, training, patience … and newspapers! Of course, if you prefer a puppy or kitten, rescue groups and shelters have plenty of those available as well.
To view some of the pets available for adoption at this year’s event, visit our Featured Pet Gallery.
Why Not Shop?
Most puppies and dogs for sale in pet stores and on the Internet come from puppy mills, where the breeding animals spend their lives in small cages with no human companionship, toys or comfort. Their offspring are often in ill health and have problems like poor socialization skills due to lack of human companionship and genetic defects due to inbreeding.
There are lots of good reasons to adopt rather than buy a pet. Here are a few of them:
• When you buy a pet from a pet store or Craigslist, you deny a homeless pet a home. Each year, millions of healthy and well-behaved animals are destroyed in shelters simply because there are not enough homes for all of them.
• By adopting rather than buying a new companion animal, you will reduce the demand that drives the commercial breeding of puppies and kittens. Puppy and kitten mills (which sell to pet stores and on Craigslist) are in business to make a profit, so they churn out puppies and kittens as fast as they can.
• Buying a pet can easily cost $500 to $1,000 or more. Adoption costs range from $50 to $200, depending on whether the pet comes from the city shelter or a rescue group that has spent money on boarding, vets and grooming.
• You’re getting more for your money if you get a mixed breed. Based on the well-established principle of “hybrid vigor,” a mixed-breed animal is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a pure breed. Many purebred dogs are prone to developing health problems ranging from breathing difficulties to hip dysplasia to an enlarged heart.
• A pet purchased from a pet store or on Craigslist is a complete unknown. And, once you purchase the pet, you are on your own. Most pet stores or on-line breeders don’t provide any support if you have questions or problems with your new pet. When you adopt from a shelter or rescue, you know what you are getting because the group knows the animal in their care, they can help you find just the right pet for you based upon your personality and lifestyle, and they will help you through the familiarization period because they are invested in providing a good home for that animal.
• An adopted pet is every bit as loving, intelligent and loyal as a purchased pet, even if you get an adult or older animal.
Adopted Animals Make Great Pets
As you wander thru the convention center on Valentine’s weekend, chances are you are going to fall in love dozens of times. But adopting a companion animal isn’t something you should do on a whim. So before you decide to adopt, be sure to read our Readiness Checklist to see if you’re really prepared for pet ownership.