Every year, six to eight million companion animals wait to be adopted from animal shelters across the United States — so many that over 1.5 million are euthanized each year due to overcrowding. Many rescue organizations partner with shelters to help place these homeless animals. Adopting from a shelter (or a rescue) gives an animal a second chance at a happy home and a loving family. Here at Oakview Vet, we love it when our clients adopt from a shelter or rescue! Below are 10 great reasons to adopt a pet instead of buying one from a breeder or pet store.
- You’ll save 2 lives: the one you adopt and the one you make room for in the shelter. Also, by supporting your local shelter or rescue, you aid them in their mission to save many more lives.
- You won’t be supporting puppy mills: If you go to a pet store or a disreputable breeder to buy that adorable puppy, it’s entirely possible that it’s from a puppy mill where dogs are kept in terrible conditions. By adopting a rescue, you can help lower the demand for puppies from puppy mills.
- If you want, you might be able to adopt a purebred. According to the ASPCA, about 25% of dogs entering shelters are purebred. Many rescue groups focus on a specific breed. Don’t care if your new friend is a purebred? There are more unique pets to choose from with shelters and rescues. Age, breeds, mixed breeds, and personality choices are much greater.
“25% of dogs entering shelters are purebred”
4. Most likely, you’ll save money: Adoption fees (which cover a portion of the shelter or rescue’s costs) are usually much less than the cost of purebred puppies or kittens sold for profit. Many shelters and rescues spay and neuter animals before adoption or help to offset the cost of these procedures. These pets have already been vaccinated (at least once) and many have even been microchipped. Many clinics (including Oakview!) offer a free first exam to adopted animals.
5. They may be easier to house train: many shelter dogs are already housebroken (having already lived with a family) when you adopt them. An adult or older pet that is already trained may be a better fit for your lifestyle.
6. You can learn a lot about a pet’s personality and behavior before bringing them into your home. Animal shelters and rescue groups have plenty of healthy, well behaved animals waiting for a home. More and more of these organizations are assessing the pet’s personality and behaviors to match pets with the ideal owners. Some shelters/rescues ask that the people surrendering an animal fill out a survey about their animal’s behavior, preferences, and past experiences. Looking for a cat that would do well living with a dog? Want a dog that would be good around your kids? Information given from these previous owners might make it easier for you to find your perfect pet match.
7. They might have experience in homes, which means an easier transition. Many shelters and rescues have foster programs, where an animal is sent out to live with a volunteer in an actual home. Not only does this give the animal a chance to see how the pet reacts in a less controlled environment — hopefully making the future forever home an easier transition.
8. You support a valuable charity and community institution. When you adopt a pet from shelter (or rescue), you assist a non-for-profit organization and send a message to others who will be asking you where you obtained your adorable pet. Shelters improve communities by mandating that adopted animals be spayed or neutered. This requirement diminishes the chances that more unwanted animals will enter the world.
9. You encourage others to adopt: when your friends ask where you got your amazing new pet, you can tell them “at the shelter” or “from this great little rescue.” Your adoption may encourage others to do the same.
10. You’ll have an instant best friend!
It is a common belief that animals end up in shelters and rescues because they were abused or behaved badly. In truth, many animals in shelters are there for reasons that have more to do with their previous owners than the pets themselves: divorce, moving, lack of time, new family dynamics, and financial constraints are among the most common reasons why pets lose their homes. Adopted pets are just as loving, intelligent, and loyal as purchased pets…and some would argue, even more so.
In the upcoming blog posts this month, we’ll highlight a few of the local shelters and rescues in our area and some of the amazing work they’re doing to save animals and help make a difference in our community.
Please Adopt and Rescue!
If you are actively looking for a pet, a good place to start is petfinder. This site allows you to search by location and other filters for available pets in various rescues and shelters.
Here is a selection of rescue organizations in our area:
K&R Small Animal Sanctuary www.krsmallanimalsanctuary.com
Green Acres Boxer Rescue Of WI www.greenacresboxerrescue.com
Roseberry Bird Rescue www.roseberrybirdrescue.org
Underdog Pet Rescue www.underdogpetrescue.org
Last Paw Rescue www.lastpawrescue.org
Golden Retriever Rescue of Wisconsin www.grrow.org
All Herding Breed Dog Rescue of Illinois www.AllHerdingBreedDogRescue.com
Wisconsin Border Collie Rescue www.wibordercollierescue.com
Hoping Fur A Home www.hopingfurahome.com
written by Lindsay Truikys
Lindsay has been an assistant at Oakview since 2017. She comes to us from the prestigious Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago and has a degree in zoology. She is passionate about rescuing animals of all species! Currently she has 4 rescued pets. She is smart, unique, and overflowing with compassion!