By Steve Dale
This month is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, the perfect time to consider rescuing your new furry best friend. Besides the obvious reasons, below are 7 other reasons to adopt, not shop!
1. LOYALTY FOR LIFE:
It’s been said over and over that shelter animals express gratitude for being adopted. I’ve always hesitated to say it that way; I’m a science guy who doesn’t like to anthropomorphize. Having said that, when countless families report it, such feelings can’t be completely discounted – and we do know dogs have feelings.
2. A READY-MADE PET:
The overwhelming majority of dogs available at shelters are over 9 months old, and many are several years old or older. Families no longer need to deal with house training, or undirected crazy puppy energy. Puppies, for example, don’t know that chewing on electric cords or your favorite shoes is a misbehavior, generally adult dogs have already learned basic house rules.
3. SENIORS TO SENIORS:
Years ago there was a program that encouraged seniors to adopt senior pets, a terrific idea. Seniors understand what it’s like to lose a step or not quite hear the question the first time around. Moreover, senior pets typically don’t require the exercise that younger pets need. Often all that’s required is a loving hand to pet, and for small dogs a lap to lay on. Seniors have some of the best laps around.
4. SPRING THOSE NOT GUILTY:
Most animals in shelters have done nothing wrong. Owners die; move and aren’t willing or able to take the pet; may be victims of landlords changing rules; or owners no longer able to afford a pet, and the list goes on. Many dogs in shelters have no real problems, but they just fall victim to simply not being the right fit for their original family. For example, a labrador retriever might be too energetic for a senior couple, and they may have felt forced to give up the dog who could be perfect for a more active family.
5. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE:
Dogs are amazingly resilient, more so than people. While dogs who are victims of puppy mills or abuse may require more patience than others, they do come around. Positive reinforcement works. And while it sounds cliché, love is all they need.
6. SPECIAL NEEDS:
Some dogs are perfectly wonderful, but may have some special needs, like a three-legged or deaf dog. Some special needs may be medical, such as a dog who has seizures or diabetes. Owners willing to understand and adjust to their dog’s lifestyle quickly realize that all these dogs need is a chance! There is some financial cost involved, but medications for these problems allow us to take control over these special needs for our furry friends.
7. SAVE A LIFE:
Even if you adopt from a so-called no-kill facility, you may be saving a life. Adopting a pet allows that no-kill shelter to fill another space. Sadly it remains true that some dogs are on death row and, without a willing family, can be euthanized – even when they’ve done nothing wrong. A dog or cat is euthanized in America every 11 seconds, according to the Humane Society of the United States, and most are considered adoptable. Plus a shelter pet is almost always spayed/neutered and vaccinated with core vaccines – it’s a bargain, really.