The reality is that the shelter population is comprised of animals that were either given up by people who could not afford to keep them or were rescued from unhealthy situations. These animals are incredibly resilient beings; despite enduring the heartbreak of being given up or the pain of living in unsafe conditions, they are loving creatures that are eager to find a forever home. Many say that shelter animals are actually more devoted to their owners due to the emotional hardship they had previously faced.
When considering getting a new pet, adopting from a shelter is the best possible option. Here are 5 undeniable reasons why:
1. You are literally saving a life. The ratio of people giving up their animals versus the ratio of people adopting from shelters is highly unequal, leading to the unhappy fact that 3 to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized every single year because there is simply not enough space to house them. By adopting from a shelter, you are saving an innocent life that may otherwise be compromised, and supporting the efforts to continue to rescue animals in need.
2. You actually save money! When you adopt a pet from the shelter, you are not only receiving an incredible companion but also getting a great deal. The animal will be up to date on shots, neutered/spayed, dewormed and treated for any sicknesses. In the time that these animals have been at the shelter, they have been socialized and trained by volunteers and shelter staff to be as companionable and well mannered as possible. All this for the low price of around $100 - $200 (depending on the shelter)! It’s a win-win situation.
3. You are helping the pet overpopulation problem. The unfortunate reality is that when offspring is produced faster than people can rescue them, many animals have to suffer as a result. When adopting from a shelter, not only are the animals neutered/spayed and therefore cannot contribute to the already devastating amount of animals that do not have homes, but you are making room for more animals to be rescued and cared for, and ultimately adopted.
4. By having a large selection, you can find the perfect pet for your personality. Due to the substantial amount of animals at shelters, you have a wide selection to pick from. You also have the option of adopting an older animal, who are often better trained and more docile than their younger counterparts. No matter your personality, lifestyle or situation, there is an animal at the shelter that will be the perfect addition to your family.
5. Animals are good for you. Not only is it an amazing feeling to come home to a tail-wagging dog or a purring cat, but owning a pet actually has amazing health benefits. Spending time with animals lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone), blood pressure and cholesterol. Owning an animal also fights depression and improves physical health and wellbeing. It’s been said that children that grow up with pets are less likely to develop allergies, and caring for an animal teaches them a sense of love, sociability and responsibility.
All in all, adopting an animal from a shelter is a truly amazing and mutually beneficial experience. There really is no comparison to the feeling you get when you are saving a life and gaining a best friend, all in one day.