I think everyone should have a pet. Maybe I'm biased, because I've always had animals around growing up, but I think it builds character and gives you an unbreakable bond. Pets are family.
The first pets that I had as a child were from a pet store, two dogs. I loved them, and I don't wish in any way that we never had them. I am proud, however, that my family has adopted more pets since then. We've adopted from our local Humane Society, as well as taken in a few animals from friends and family that needed new homes. Giving an animal a good home is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You know you're giving them a good life, and you build a relationship with them.
If you haven't considered adopting before, here are ten great reasons to do so. If you already have pets, these can be reasons to get a new one!
Help a "problem" breed.
Breeds that are considered more aggressive, like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, are some of the most common dogs you'll see at shelters. Because of superstition, black cats are often more common, too. Pets that no one wants can be in the shelter for months, so consider adopting a pet that's been there longer than others because of its breed.
Make room for new animals.
Shelters can only house so many animals at one time, so every time you adopt an animal, the shelter can take in another to find it a home.
Treat an older pet to a good life.
Sometimes, shelters have older dogs and cats that were found as strays or have been surrendered by owners who can't take care of them anymore. While most people might want a younger animal who they'll have more time with, older animals need homes. Adopting an older pet gives you a companion, and will make the rest of their life comfortable.
Give a stray a home.
This one speaks for itself. By adopting, you can show an animal who's grown up on the streets what it's like to have a home.
Fight puppy mills.
Puppies sold in pet stores are often from puppy mills, where dogs are kept for breeding, often in inhumane conditions. By refusing to buy from the pet store, you aren't supporting puppy mills. Shelters often have younger dogs, if not puppies, so you can still find a much younger pet without supporting a mill.
Show an abused animal kindness.
Shelters sometimes rescue pets that have been abused or neglected by their owners. It may take time for them to warm up to people, but adopting a pet that's been abused will help it learn to trust humans again. There's nothing better than seeing a pet's personality change from nervous to loving after you show it love and kindness.
Save an animal's life.
Not every shelter is a no-kill shelter. By adopting an animal, you can save it from being euthanized. Some shelters even take animals from kill shelters in other cities or states, so adopting a pet can open up room in a shelter to save an animal.
Find the perfect pet for you.
Shelters often have a wide variety of animals. You can find a puppy or younger dog to grow up with your children, or look for an older pet that matches your energy level. You'll have your choice of breeds, as well. And when you go to the shelter, you can meet every animal there until you find one you just click with.
Adopting from the shelter can save you money. Adoption fees are lower than the price of buying a pet, and some animals (like the "problem" breeds mentioned earlier) are free to adopt. Most of the pets in shelters have also been vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and maybe even microchipped. That saves you a lot of fees in the long run. Some shelters even take old beds and supplies as donations, so you can get everything you need for your new pet in one spot while saving more money than you would at a pet store or breeder.
Find your new best friend.
Maybe you weren't considering getting a pet at all. But you should! Every animal has a different personality, and you're bound to find one that suits yours. Going to the shelter can help you find a new best friend.
There are so many reasons to adopt a pet from a shelter. If these haven't convinced you, go to the Humane Society's website to get information on adopting, donating, and volunteering. You never know how your next pet will come into your life!