- You save 2 lives: Shelter and rescue animals are in need of a second chance. They are lost, given up or abandoned. They are unwanted and helpless. You give them a new life in a loving home and at the same time, you make room at the shelter for another pet in need of a second chance.
When you buy a pet, you not only deny a homeless pet a home, you are supporting an industry that thrives on short-changing the welfare of animals. Puppy and kitten mills (which sell to pet stores) are in business to make a profit, so they churn out puppies and kittens as fast as they can. These animals are often in ill health and have problems like poor socialization skills due to lack of human companionship and genetic defects due to inbreeding. Adopting a shelter or rescue animal means you don’t support such cruel practices.
- You help break the cycle of pet population: There are not enough homes for all the animals that are born every year. More than 8 million animals are euthanized each year. Shelter and rescue pets are spayed and neutered.
- You get your choice of pets at any age: Though puppies and kittens are adorable, they can be a handful. With a puppy or kitten, you have to take the responsibility to train it. Training takes time and commitment. An adult or older pet may be a better fit for you. Adopting an adult dog who’s already house-trained and knows basic commands is often much easier than adopting a puppy. You will also be able to see the personality of the adult animal and won’t have any surprises down the road.
- You can choose from a great selection of animals, some purebred, some mutts: Shelters and rescues have both specific breeds and also great mutts. 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 as a result of inbreeding. Mutts don’t face these issues. However, if your heart is set on a specific breed, your local shelter will often have one or a breed-specific rescue can provide you with a purebred pet who needs you.
- You are supporting a valuable charity or community organization: Sadly, every community in America requires an animal shelter and rescue organizations. When you adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue, you assist a not-for-profit organization and will send a message to others who will be asking you for years to come where you obtained your adorable pet.
- You pay less: Low adoption fees (which cover a portion of the costs for the care the shelter or rescue has invested in the health of their pets) are much less than the cost of purebred puppies or kittens sold for profit.