Sunday, May 31, 2015

Adopting pets from shelters is rewarding

Why Adopting A Pet Is So Rewarding

 *Today's article comes from passionate animal advocate Samantha A. Ray, who is joining us to share reasons why adopting animals from shelters is such a powerful thing to do... for you, your family, friends and neighbors, and for the world.

I am the owner of some of the most loving animals in the world. Some call me a crazy cat lady because in the past few years I have adopted three cats from animal shelters. Each one has its own personality and temperament that make them unique and interesting. Every day I think "What if I hadn't adopted them? Would they be out alone in the world? Or worse?" I believe that they are grateful that I saved them, and I know that I'm grateful that they were there to be saved. Adopting an animal is so much more rewarding than purchasing one from a store, and here is why:

1. When it comes to dollars and cents, adoption is cheaper. Buying a pure-bred animal can get very expensive. Some breeds can reach up to thousands of dollars, and that doesn't even include healthcare, grooming, or training the animal might need. If you adopt your pet from a shelter, there might be a donation fee from $25 to $100, but that usually includes spaying/neutering and the first round of shots it will need.

2. When you buy an animal from a breeder or a pet store, you can never really tell how the animal will react at home. Once you leave that store, you are on your own. If you have any questions or need help with the animal, the sellers will probably not be able to (or want to) help you. Once the animal is out of their hands, it's not their problem. If you adopt from a shelter or rescue group, they will more than likely have a history of the animal and will be more than willing to help you with any questions or concerns. Plus, animals in shelters have a longer period to get familiarized with other animals and humans.

3. Almost 100% of animals in a pet store come from breeding mills. Puppy and kitten mills are notorious for the inhumane treatment of dogs and cats. Although the federal government regulates most mills, the minimum standards for treatment are still cringe-worthy. Most of these animals are kept in small cages their entire lives, the females maintain multiple partners to breed the most amount of babies as quickly as possible, and the animals can end up being interbred with others from the same family causing long-term health issues.

4. Mixed-bred animals tend to be healthier than pure-bred. Pure-bred animals are more prone to health issues like heart, lung, and joint problems. When an animal has hybrid genes, it is more likely to be healthier and have a longer life-span. However, if a pure-bred animal is a priority, 25% of the animals at rescue homes are pure-bred.

5. You have a larger variety of animals to choose from when adopting. When you go to a shelter, there are more options to choose from; there are animals of all different ages, breeds, and personalities. Although puppies and kittens are adorable, some people can't handle the hyper-activity and training problems. At shelters, you can get animals that are already house-trained, understand basic cues, and have experience with others.

6. When you adopt, you save a life. Almost 10,000 animals are euthanized every year because of overpopulation in shelters. There is a common misconception that animals in shelters are there because they are unhealthy or misbehaved. Actually, the biggest reason animals are neglected are because their previous owners could no longer take care of them (whether it's because of a move, divorce, financial reasons, or age). When you adopt, you save the animal from a life in a cage, a life in the wild, or euthanasia.

7. You and your animal will be forever grateful. When you take your pet from a cage to a warm, loving home, they will always appreciate and love you. You won't find a more loyal, sweet, and caring animal than one that was saved. Caring for an adopted animal also has mental, physical, and emotional benefits. They make life seem more fulfilling and give you a sense of purpose. Saving an animal is saving a friend.

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