Want to get a pet? Adopt instead of buying one. There are numerous benefits to it, and most importantly you are saving lives!
Submitted by PetFinderAdmin on 2010-10-30
Thank goodness for the animal welfare groups, rescue organizations and hardworking, dedicated animal shelter volunteers! Without them, there is no telling how many more dogs and cats would die each year. Dog rescuers and cat rescuers scan animal shelters constantly, looking for puppies and kittens of all ages whose time at the animal shelter has almost run out due to overcrowding, and giving them a second chance before they are euthanized.
They all rely on volunteers and donations to keep their efforts going. Many rescues use a network of foster families, who keep pets for adoption in their own homes while they assess their personalities and often provide any necessary training. Rescues are very careful to make sure their adoptable dogs and cats go to the right homes. Each organization has its own application and screening process for potential adopters. In addition to protecting the pets, this process is designed to make sure you end up with the right pet for your family. Since pet rescues really get to know their dogs and cats for adoption, they are able to match you up with the perfect companion for you. Volunteers also follow up with you after the adoption to make sure everything's going well. They can help you get through any rough spots by offering training tips and other advice. Adopting from a pet rescue group has another benefit: if, for some reason, things don't work out with your new friend, most rescues will take the pet back, saving you a lot of heartache and headache.
Rescue groups come in all shapes and sizes. Like a humane society or SPCA, some rescue groups have a physical animal shelter facility, where adoptable dogs and cats are kept until they are get homes. Other pet rescue organizations use a network of dedicated foster families, volunteers who care for the dogs and cats in their own homes. Some rescue groups only take dogs and cats from public animal shelters; others take in strays and accept pets relinquished by their owners. There are even groups that specialize in senior or disabled dogs and cats. Some specialize in small dogs, some rescue only giant breeds. There are thousands of rescue groups devoted to a particular breed of dog or cat, too! At the heart of the rescue world, however, are the all-breed pet rescues. These are rescues that take in all kinds of pets of various breeds and ages, and concentrate on saving as many lives as possible.
All rescue groups have a few things in common. They are made up of extremely caring, passionate volunteers who work tirelessly to save pets' lives. Unfortunately, they all spend their days cleaning up the messes of irresponsible dog and cat owners, and trying to prevent new messes by educating the public about the responsibility of dog and cat ownership and the importance of spay and neuter. Even purebred dogs and cats end up in animal shelters because they were purchased at a pet store or from a dog breeder, and then they were no longer able to be cared for. Perhaps someone moved or died, or the pet grew too large. There are many reasons a pet ends up in need of a home. All rescue groups, SPCAs and humane societies deserve our most sincere gratitude for making this world a better place for dogs and cats!
Pet Adoption is the loving option!
So, you want to adopt a pet, huh? Great idea! Here are a few reasons why pet adoption is the loving option:
Whether you adopt a pet from a local animal shelter or a rescue organization, you're saving lives. That's right: lives, as in more than one. I know, I know…you only want to adopt one dog or cat, right? Adoption saves more than just the life of the pet you adopt. If you adopt from an animal shelter, you're making room for another dog or cat, or you're allowing other dogs or cats at the shelter to be kept for a longer period of time, giving them a better shot at being adopted. If you adopt from a humane society, or a rescue organization, you're allowing that organization to rescue another dog or cat for adoption at a public shelter, which, of course, saves the life of that little guy plus the lives of others at that shelter by creating space so new pets can be kept longer. As you can see, adoption is truly a continuous cycle of saving lives and it's the right thing to do!
You know what you're getting (especially if you adopt an adult):
There are a lot of things to consider when you're deciding what kind of personality your new family member should have. When you adopt an adult dog or cat from a pet rescue, humane society or animal shelter instead of buying a puppy or kitten at a dog breeder or a pet store, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you'll be able to spot the characteristics you're looking for much more easily than with a puppy or kitten. Pet rescue organizations, as well as many animal shelters and humane societies provide adoption counseling, and are able to assess the personality of each dog or cat for adoption and carefully match you up with the right one for your lifestyle. With a puppy or kitten, there is a lot more guesswork involved. Sure, you can train your puppy or kitten on certain behaviors, but other traits (like activity level) seem to be inherent in each individual. Want to adopt a dog or cat who will instantly fit in with your family? That's easy when you adopt an adult from a humane society, or from a rescue organization or animal shelter!
Pet adoption = an instant friend for life:
Ask anybody who has adopted a pet, and they'll swear their bond with their rescued pal is as deep as they come. When you open your heart and your home to a pet who needs help, they really do show their appreciation for the rest of their life! Dogs or cats who have been uprooted from their homes, or have had difficult beginnings are likely to bond completely and deeply with their new human caretakers, whom they regard as heroes. Pups and kitties who find themselves in the shelter or at a rescue because of a death or other tragedy in their former human family usually go through a mourning period. Once they are adopted, however, they usually want nothing more than to please their new hero---YOU! No matter what circumstances brought them to the rescue, most cats and dogs for adoption are exceptionally affectionate and attentive, and make extremely loyal companions.
Training and Socialization:
Many rescue organizations use foster homes, where puppies and kittens for adoption are socialized with children and other dogs and cats, and given basic obedience training before they go to their new homes. Many dogs and cats in animal shelters and humane societies are already housebroken, trained and ready to go! As an added bonus, many organizations offer post-adoption workshops and training classes. When you adopt from these animal shelters, you'll have their continued support to help you through any rough spots you face during your dog or and cat's transition.
A smarter option than buying a puppy or kitten from a backyard dog breeder or pet store:
No matter how "reputable" you think your local pet store is, they are almost surely getting their puppies and kittens from one of two sources:
1) a "backyard" cat or dog breeder, or
2) a puppy mill.
The majority of purebred dogs and cats are the product of irresponsible "backyard" kitten and puppy breeders. These are people who make some easy cash by breeding their purebred dogs and cats and they often also sell puppies and kittens through the newspaper classified ads. Remember if you buy a dog or buy a cat that most of these backyard dog breeders and cat breeders don't know about breeding for favorable health and temperament qualities, and they don't know how to raise a properly socialized litter.
Many of these little dogs and cats are weaned from their mothers way too soon. Sometimes, a backyard dog breeder turns into small-time puppy mill to increase their supply so you can buy a dog from a pet store and they can make a higher profit. What are puppy mills? A puppy mill is basically a purebred puppy factory farm where the puppies are just churned out as fast as they can and then sold to pet stores. The dogs are kept in small cages and forced to breed at unhealthy rates… it's all about the money.
Female dogs in puppy mills are made to have several litters per year, which is extremely dangerous and cruel. Each purebred puppy mill produces several different breeds for pet stores, and pays little attention to the specific health and genetic diseases due to inbreeding. Genetic health testing is almost unheard of and mass-producing pets for profit is the bottom line. In the worst puppy mills, horrifying conditions are the norm. How can you stop puppy mills? There is only one way. Take away their profits.
Remember, before you buy a dog or cat, that adoption is the most humane option!
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