Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thinking about getting a furry friend? Consider adopting.

Did you know there are between 3-4 million dogs and cats that are euthanized annually in the United States alone? Statistics do the talking here. Between 6-9 million dogs and cats are brought into shelters across the Unites States each year. Many people purchase dogs and cats on impulse without considering the responsibility of being a pet-owner, and unfortunately many of these pets end up in shelters. Adopting your next pet is not only the smart choice, but you are also saving a life!

Here are the top 10 reasons to consider adopting, and not shopping for your pet:
1.) Dogs and cats from pet-stores often come from puppy mills, where they are treated inhumanely, and are often ill.

2.) Dogs and cats that come from shelters are almost always de-wormed, vaccinated, and spayed/neutered....On the contrary, dogs and cats from pet-stores or breeders are often not spayed/neutered or vaccinated, which means you will have to carry this expense.

3.) It's cheaper to adopt! Most shelters charge an adoption fee of anywhere from $50-300. However, buying a pet from a pet store or through a breeder can cost several hundreds of dollars, and sometimes thousands! (Not to mention having to tack on additional expense of vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and de-worming, often included in the cost of adoption!)

4.) 3-4 million dogs and cats die each year in the U.S. because of pet overpopulation. Instead of contributing to this problem, instead contribute to the solution and adopt a shelter pet who is spayed/neutered and cannot reproduce (thus saving more pets from ending up in shelters!)

5.) You'll have a beautiful story to tell your family and friends! Out of the shelter, and into your home!

6.) You are supporting a shelter. Shelters are often non-profit groups who work tirelessly to care for animals and ensure adoptable animals are placed in loving, "forever" homes. (Not just dogs and cats, but all sorts of animals, from hamsters to horses and even rabbits & pigs!)

7.) Pets are not products. Sadly, the pet-industry treats animals like any other inventory. Often, puppy mills are under-regulated and pets live in horrific, dirty, cramped spaces with lack of proper nutrition, exercise, and care. Do your research, you'll be amazed. Instead of contributing to an industry that treats pets like product-inventory, consider adopting to support a great cause!

8.) Statistics are going in the right direction. Help to support this direction! 20 years ago, there were an estimated 17 million dogs and cats that died annually in the shelters. We're moving in the right direction, let's keep going with your help!

9.) Pets that are in shelters have what many people call "sad eyes." Some were strays that were trying to survive on the street, others were abandoned by former owners, and some were left behind after an owners death. They need homes and love. Once they're adopted, chances are they will be loyal to you like you've never experienced loyalty before! You'll be able to see them come out of their shell and blossom beautifully! Shelter pets make the best pets, in our opinion!

10.) You are saving a life! If you adopt, you are sparing this pet from potentially being euthanized.

So, have we convinced you yet? Small dog, large cat, young, old, gerbil, hamster, rabbit, snake, you name it, you can adopt it!! Even if you're looking for a certain breed, chances are you can find the breed you're looking for through adoption!

If you're not quite ready to make the commitment of being a pet-owner, consider fostering! Fostering is a great way to help out shelters in your area by temporarily providing a home for a pet, until they are adopted! It's a great way to see if you're ready to adopt & learn more about caring for pets. Many shelters in your area have "Fostering & Volunteering" sections on their websites, where you can download a foster application. Many times, the shelters will cover expenses for food and supplies while you foster.

To learn more about adoption, check out:
√ The Shelter Pet Project: http://www.theshelterpetproject.org/
√ www.PetFinder.com
√ Do a Google search for your local shelters. Many of them have adoptable pets on their website, where you can see their photos and read their bios (if available)
√ Do a Google search for local adoption events in your area, often held on weekends
√ If you're in New York, pick up a Trails to Tails map, where you can find shelters across all 5 boroughs! Trailstotails.org

Please consider adopting a pet, and help contribute to the solution, not the problem!