Did you know that local shelters and rescue agencies-large and small–always have a great selection of animals looking for loving forever homes? You can find cats and dogs, birds, small animals and sometimes even horses and livestock! In fact, any animal available for sale at a pet store or from a breeder is probably waiting for adoption in a nearby shelter or rescue.
Here are the Facts
- Each year, 6 to 8 million pets end up in shelters; half of those will probably not be adopted.
- Most pets end up homeless through no fault of their own-“moving” and “landlord issues” are the top reasons people give for relinquishing their pets, meaning shelters and rescue groups are full of wonderful, family-ready pets.
- Pets adopted from shelters and rescue groups typically cost less than pets purchased or even acquired for free. Once you add in the cost of vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, deworming and other “extras” included in your adoption fee, you’ll probably be surprised what a bargain an adopted pet really is!
Steps to adopt a rescue animal
1. Determine what kind of pet would be the best fit for your household
When looking to adopt a shelter pet, it is important to sit down as a family and consider these questions:
- Do you have enough time to devote to the daily needs of a dog?
- Is there someone in your household who is allergic to cats or dogs, or to another animal you may be considering?
- Have you considered a nontraditional pet such as a guinea pig or another small animal?
By having an open and honest discussion about your lifestyle and abilities to care for an animal, you can decide together as a family what type of pet is best for you.
2. Visit your local shelter
Once you’ve decided on what type of pet you want to adopt, check the website of your local shelter and then visit your local shelter in person. Sometimes all it takes to find your perfect match is to look directly into a pet’s eyes and fall in love!
3. Spread the word to others
Once you’ve found your rescue pet, make sure that you spread the word to your family and loved ones how rewarding the adoption experience has been. If they hear from a trusted friend that a rescue pet is just as–if not more–loving than a store-bought pet, they’ll be more likely to adopt, too!
And the more people who adopt, the fewer rescue pets there are in shelters!