The Five Best Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Pet

So, you’re thinking about adding a new dog or cat to your family? Do you find a breeder, visit a pet store or visit your local animal shelter?

As the adoptive “pet parent” of three rescue dogs, here are my top-five reasons to consider adopting from a shelter or rescue group:

  1. What you see is what you get: If you choose to adopt an adult dog or cat, there is no guesswork on the size of your pet. Adult animals can be easier to adopt than puppies or kittens, because many of them are already housebroken or may have basic obedience skills, and you miss out on the destructive “teething” phase.
  2. Baby, oh baby: If you have your heart set on a puppy or kitten, chances are good, especially in the spring and fall, there will be litters that need to find homes. While I, personally, think ANY time is a good time to adopt, if you adopt a puppy during warmer weather, it may make your housebreaking easier when it’s nice outdoors. (And if you have some unexpected accidents, we have some great clean up products to help!)
  3. Decisions, decisions: People are often surprised to find out that pedigreed animals end up in shelters and that they are not just full of “mutts.” A quick search on animal finder websites allows you to search far and near for a specific breed, or even specify age, gender, temperament or special needs pets. If you have your heart set on a breed, there is likely to be a rescue group near you that will have candidates seeking a forever home. Adopting from a shelter or rescue is likely to be a fraction of the cost of purchasing a purebred animal from a breeder or pet store.
  4. Healthy and happy: Most shelters take steps to make sure that adoptive animals going to new homes have the best opportunity to live long, happy lives. Depending on where you adopt, your shelter may have already spayed or neutered your new best friend; your dog or cat may have been given a full checkup; had all of their vaccinations; and may even come home with a new hairdo and full grooming!
  5. Save a life: Animal shelters across the U.S. are bursting at the seams with unwanted animals. Many are strays and some are the unwanted result of not spaying or neutering. Most animals have nothing wrong with them; they’ve been given up because of “human reasons” — the dog got bigger than expected, there is a new baby in the house, the family moved…the list goes on and on. Regardless, there are millions of animals euthanized each year and every one that is adopted helps lessen that statistic. And a big thanks goes out to all those who make adoptions possible, like our friends over at the PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin’!

I’ve adopted many animals over the years, and I’ve found that all my rescues seem to know they’ve gotten a second lease on life. Consider adoption: you may be surprised to find that your new best friend is right around the corner!


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