Are you thinking about getting a dog or a cat, but you can’t decide what breed or even where to go? Well I’ve got your answer… adopt an animal. Adopting an animal is such a rewarding thing to do you will not only save their life, but you will change their whole world. It will change an animal’s life and it will even change yours. Everyone has heard the saying “adopt don’t shop”, but no one really knows the reason’s behind it. When adopting an animal you are saving their life and making a change in their life. When you are buying an animal from a breeder you were just in the front of the line for people wanting to buy the animal. Talking to my dad Craig Meshon about our german shepard Moose that we adopting over 2 years ago now he said, “I would adopt 100 more if I could.” Moose is a very energetic dog and he needs a lot of love, affection, and a huge back yard to run around in and that is exactly what he got when he came home with us. Before we adopted him he was living in a small trailer with no yard to play in and lived with 5 people who didn’t give him the time of day like he desperately needed. Over 2 years ago when we brought him home he was scared to do anything and he was ver skittish. Now over 2 years later he is the happiest dog I have ever seen and that is such a rewarding feeling. We didn’t just save Moose, Moose saved us.
Humansociety.org lists many benefits from adopting an animal that I made into an infographic. In the infographic I only put a couple benefits, but I want to go into more depth with each one. When you adopt an animal you are saving a life. Each year, it’s estimated that more than one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet. The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it. Adopting is a lot less then buying from breeders. Usually when you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations (and sometimes even microchipping!) is included in the adoption price, which can save you some of the up front costs of adding a new member to your family. Depending on the animal, you may also save on housebreaking and training expenses. Adopting is one way to fight puppy mills. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result. The moms of these puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction. When you adopt you will get a great animal. Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelter pets wound up there because of a human problem like a move or a divorce, not because the animals did anything wrong. Many are already house-trained and used to living with families. Finally when you adopt you will change that animal’s worldand get a new best friend out of the deal. Seriously, what could be better than that?
Human Source: Craig Meshon
It’s estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat. (Source: American Pet Products Association 2015-2016 (APPA)) Those numbers are not just adopting numbers. APPA reports that 34% of dogs are purchased from breeders, while 23% of dogs and 31% of cats are obtained from an animal shelter or humane society. When people purchase a dog from a breeder you sometimes do not get what you want and that’s when they end up at a shelter or even worse on the streets. When people are looking to adopt they tend to do a lot of research on the animal that they are looking for. Shelters do a great job on matching animals with their humans for ‘furever’ homes.
According to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs and 42% of rehomed cats. Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors, aggressive behaviors, grew larger than expected, or health problems owner couldn’t handle. People are so easy to give up on their pet and not give them time to adapt to their new surroundings. Most pet problems start with the human not the animal.
When adopting a pet there is a process. Going into the shelter for the first time you must be prepared to answer questions and fill out paper work. The shelter wants to make sure that the animal is going in to the best hands possible, because their goal is never to see that pet back at their shelter again. Depending on whether you head to your local shelter or pet pound, or if you’re working with a no-kill pet rescue group, the adoption process will vary. Some city or county shelters only require that adopters bring a photo ID. Other shelters and most rescue groups ask potential adopters to fill out an application to adopt their pet of choice. Some organizations prefer to visit people’s homes before agreeing to send home a pet with a new family. Each organization has its own process based on its needs and the animals’ needs. There is typically a fee to adopt a pet, and it is almost always less than the cost of buying a pet. Each organization sets its own fees as well. It’s important to note that rescued pets for adoption are usually spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped by the rescuing organization. Part of the higher cost to buy puppies online or from a local breeder, as well as to buy kittens, is usually because they come with registration papers. But dog registration papers are just written records of a dog’s name and the name of the dog’s parents (going a few generations back). In no way do registration papers indicate that the dog or cat is “high quality,” came from a good place or is healthy or well-behaved. The adoption process may be lengthy, but bringing home your new best friend you realize it was all worth it.
When adopting a pet you know you are going to change their life for the better and that feels amazing, but what you do not know is that they are going to change your life for the better. I have bought from breeders and I have also adopted and I can truthfully say that adopting is so much rewarding, because you know you are saving a life. Brittney Rogers adopted both of her cats a couple of years ago and she says, “After adopting my cat I can see in their eyes they are thankful for me for saving them. Knowing and seeing that I will always adopt instead of shop.” So go out and adopt your new bestie today.
Human Source: Brittney Rogers