In the United States, 44% of households have a dog, and 35% have a cat. That's an average of 50.40 million households. However, only about 30% of cat and dog owners get their pets from a shelter. In this article, I will explain why, and hopefully, convince you to seriously consider adoption.
1. It will save a life
2.7 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. The only reason for this is that there is physically not enough room in the shelters to keep them there for extended periods of time. It is speculated that this number would decrease dramatically if people adopted their pets instead of breeding them.
2. Every animal deserves a loving home
So many animals are in the shelter either because they are lost, neglected, or abused. Pets are too precious for this world therefore deserve all the love from it!
3. They tend to have fewer health problems
Generally, animals from a breeder can have any myriad of health problems due to consistent linear breeding. Having a "purebred" animal means that only one or two bloodlines were involved in creating favorable offspring, exponentially increasing the changes for said offspring to experience preexisting health conditions as the generations continue.
Shelter pets are typically mutts, so these negative health complications caused by linear breeding are nonexistent. That is not to say that shelter pets don't have health issues all together, but the risk is considerably lower.
4. It may cost you less
Generally, adoption fees for both cats and dogs is between $15 and $250 based on the breed and age of the animal. Animals from a breeder usually start at $300 and can go as high as $3,000. Additionally, you could save on the cost to spay/neuter your animal, as some older shelter pets that had previous families are returned with the operations already performed. If cost is a deciding factor for you, adopting a shelter pet could be a solution.
5. It helps more than one animal
Not only do you completely change the life of the animal you adopt, you free up room and resources for the shelter to put towards saving another animal in need.
6. They make great family pets
Sometimes, if you ask the right questions, you can find an animal that fits your exact needs. Since most shelter pets are older, they often come with some background in a home and are sometimes already trained. This can reduce strain on a family by avoiding the new puppy chaos of constant housebreaking, supervision, walking, expending energy, and more.
7. You'll have a new best friend
When you get an animal from a breeder, you are starting from scratch. And while that is perfectly fine, adopting a shelter pet can open doors for you both to embark on a journey of friendship. Typically, shelter animals experience some sort of abuse, neglect, inadequate living situations or something similar and have already developed a personality of their own. This means that once they know you are their person and they are comfortable with you, they will begin to open up and share themselves with you, much like people do. This process creates an unbreakable bond of trust and companionship you might not establish otherwise.