Dr. Julie Dinnage, Anivive’s Director of Veterinary Affairs, was a co-founder of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians and has years of experience. Here are her top reasons to adopt a shelter animal.
1. Adult animals have advantages.
“When you adopt an adult dog or cat, you know more about that pet, including their personality, how big they will grow, and their energy level/exercise needs for example. Many of these adult pets are already house or litter box trained, and many adult dogs are leash trained.”
2. You give an animal a second chance.
“This is an animal that for whatever reason ended up in a shelter. There are many reasons why pets end up in shelters. Sometimes a pet is surrendered because the owner passed away, or the family was no longer able to care for the pet, the pet could have been found as stray and no one claimed him, or the pet came from a neglectful or abusive background. Regardless of the reason for being in the shelter, this animal needs another opportunity for a new home. By adopting a pet from the shelter, you are making room for another pet in need.”
3. Shelter animals have already had some level of health screenings.
“Adopting from a shelter can be less expensive initially when you consider that shelter animals are usually already spayed or neutered and likely have received vaccinations and may have already been tested for heartworm disease. Many shelter animals will have a microchip. Many shelters have a veterinarian either on staff or have a relationship with a veterinarian, so shelter animals often receive some level of health screening.”
4. The shelter can be a resource for you moving forward.
"Shelters can be an ongoing source of information, with experienced professionals who can offer advice as you get to know your new pet. The shelter may be able to offer resources to assist with training, house training and any behavior issues that may arise.”
5.Having a pet is good for your health.
“If it’s a pet that needs walking, it encourages people to get exercise. It’s also been shown that the act of petting an animal can decrease blood pressure. It’s been shown in many studies that pet owners live longer and healthier lives.”
6. You support an organization in your community.
“In adopting a shelter animal, you are supporting an organization in your community that helps many other animals. They’re continuing to help unwanted animals or animals in need in the community.”
7. You help decrease unnecessary and irresponsible breeding
“You are helping decrease unnecessary and irresponsible breeding, which is a problem in certain parts of the country where shelters are flooded with unwanted animals.”
If you are unsure of adoption, consider fostering. “I think fostering is a great alternative for anyone not quite ready to adopt a pet or still not sure exactly what type of pet (size, breed, personality, etc.) would be the best fit for them. Sometimes pets need foster care to recover from an injury, surgery or medical condition.”