The giving season is upon us and I’m sure that a majority of families are considering adopting puppies and kittens for their loved ones. Unfortunately, some of these families will also return their older animals to the shelter because they are either going on vacation or wanting a kitten or puppy to replace their older animal.
According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters every year. Approximately, 1.5 million of those shelter animals are euthanized each year.
That said, if you’re looking to add to your family, then I’m asking you to consider adopting from either a shelter or a local animal rescue. I know that shelter animals have a bad reputation as being dangerous and damaged, but that is the biggest misconception I’ve encountered in this lifetime. In fact, shelter animals know that you saved them from a lonely and depressing fate and they will give your family more love than you could have ever imagined.
Most animal shelters and local rescues are more overcrowded than usual during this time of year. So if you’re considering adopting an animal this holiday season, here are three reasons why you should adopt from either a shelter or local animal rescue.
Reason 1: You save two lives
I’m sure you’ve heard it before and I will say it again. When you adopt from an animal shelter or local animal rescue, you save not only the animal that was in the rescue or shelter, but another animal that needs to take their place. Shelters are overcrowded and they rely on rescues and adopters to help them make more space. In most cases, the shelters euthanize animals that are considered unadoptable because they simply have no space for all of the incoming animals. So when you adopt from a shelter or rescue, you open that kennel for the next animal that is brought into the shelter or rescue program.
Reason 2: The animal is already socialized
This point is more for animal rescues than shelters. Since shelters only have so many hands to feed and care for the animals, most of the shelter animals only experience human contact when meeting potential adopters or when going out for their daily bathroom run. However, animals that are in a rescue program, particularity in a foster home, are already socialized. The foster home may vary. Some fosters have cats and dogs, others just have dogs, and some just have cats. In any case, the animal is familiar with human contact and they know how to live in a home. So if you’re weary about adopting an animal from a shelter because you think it will be violent and distressed, then look to your local rescues. These animals are already socialized with humans, and more often than not, other animals. An added bonus is that the foster knows the animal pretty well and they can give you plenty of details about the animal’s habits and its personality.
Reason 3: You discourage breeders
I’m not even sure why people still buy from dog and cat breeders. There are millions of animals in the shelters that need homes and you can adopt them for a fraction of the cost. Also, most shelter animals don’t have inherent health risks like the animals from breeders. Most people think that they want a purebred husky or German Shepard. That is until they realize that the dog is too big and has health problems, so they drop them off at the local shelter. Most bred animals have health problems either due to inbreeding and a stressful environment and they tend to live shorter lives than the mixed breeds you find in the shelters or rescues. You have to remember that breeders are in it for the money and not the health of the animal, so genetic defects are common. Unfortunately, breeders are still popular even though a majority of these purebred dogs are abandoned by their owners when their owner realizes how much time and care these purebreds need. So even if you’re looking for a purebred husky or German Shepard, chances are you will find one in the kennels at the local shelter. You won’t find purebred puppies there because most people abandon these purebred dogs the instant they start to grow into their paws. However, if you really want a purebred animal, check your local shelter or animal rescue first. They will be there, and they will be grown and you will know exactly what animal you’re adopting, size and all.
Most people judge shelters for being overcrowded, underfunded and dirty. However, shelters would be in better condition if pet owners took responsibility for their actions. If you’re bringing your animal into the shelter or leaving your animal on the side of the road, then you’re adding to the overcrowding. If you refuse to fix your animal and let them mingle with other animals outside of the home, then you’re contributing to the overcrowding. If you adopt from breeders, then you’re contributing to the shelter’s lack of funding. If you refuse to adopt from a shelter because you perceive them to be overcrowded, underfunded and dirty, then you’re part of the reason why shelters are dealing with these conditions.
Animal rescues and shelters, for the most part, have little to no funding. There are some well-established rescues that have plenty of sponsors, but a majority of animal rescues and shelters survive on donations and adoption fees. When you adopt from a shelter or local rescue, your fees help save more animals in the area. That adoption fee goes to future vetting, food and toys for another animal in the rescue or shelter. That $1,000 fee you pay for a purebred husky goes into the breeder’s pocket so that he can continue breeding. That $50 adoption fee you pay to a rescue or shelter goes to saving the life of another animal. So if you’re considering adopting an animal this holiday season, please consider adopting from a shelter or rescue. You won’t regret it.
If you’re in the Nashville area and are looking to adopt a furry friend, we at Music City Animal Rescue have plenty of animals looking for their forever homes. Please visit MusicCityAnimalResuce.com to browse through our adoptable animals.
We are also always looking for fosters, so if you’re interested in fostering one of our cats or dogs, please fill out an application here. Our rescue relies on the good hearts of people willing to open their homes to these animals, and the more fosters we can find, the more animals we can save.