1. You’ll save a life
Sadly, around 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States simply because too many people give up their pets, and too few people adopt from shelters or rescues. By adopting from a shelter or rescue group, you’ll help save the lives of two animals—the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because of space you helped free up.
2. Instant companion for life!
When you adopt from a shelter or rescue, you immediately have a devoted friend for life. It is a common misconception that animals end up in shelters because they’ve been abused or done something “wrong.” In fact, most animals are given to shelters because of “people reasons,” not because of anything they’ve done. Things like a divorce, a move, lack of time, and financial constraints are among the most common reasons pets lose their homes.
3. You’ll save money
Adopting a pet from an animal shelter or rescue is much less expensive than buying a pet at a pet store or through other sources. In addition, animals from many shelters or rescues are already spayed or neutered and vaccinated, which makes the rescue’s fee a real bargain.
4. You’ll feel better
Pets have a way of putting a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally, and physically beneficial. Caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups.
Pets can help your physical health as well—just spending time with an animal can help lower a person’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and dog walking, pet grooming, and even petting provide increased physical activity that can help strengthen the heart, improve blood circulation, and slow the loss of bone tissue. Put simply, pets aren’t just good friends; they’re also good medicine and can improve a person’s well-being in many ways.
5. You won’t be supporting puppy mills and pet stores
Puppy mills are “factory style” dog-breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Most dogs raised in puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and the parents of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.
Many of the puppies have serious behavioral and health problems that might not be apparent for months, including medical problems that can cost thousands of dollars to treat, if they are treatable at all. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not even aware that puppy mills exist, so when they buy a pet from a pet store, online or other retail outlet, they are unwittingly supporting this cruel industry.
By adopting instead of buying a pet, you can be certain you aren’t supporting cruel puppy mills with your money. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop purchasing their dogs. Instead of buying a dog, visit your local shelter where you will likely to find dozens of healthy, well-socialized puppies and adult dogs—including purebreds—just waiting for that special home—yours.