So the time has come. He decided to add a new member to the family. But what kind of member are you thinking of adding? Suppose you are the furry four-legged type. Ok, we got it figured out, let’s see, what’s next, a dog or a cat? And what kind of dog or cat would you look for? I wonder, are you the … let’s run and play type, the serious athlete type, just want to go for a casual walk, or do I like to lounge on my cozy couch type couch? Well, no matter your type, there is a furry friend for you. And the good news is, you don’t need to go far to find your new family member. You just need to go to the Animal Shelter in your neighborhood and adopt a pet. There are so many dogs and cats willing to find their forever home and they would love to be a part of your family. In fact, the number of animals that are abandoned or left in shelters is staggering. Let’s look at some facts here.
o Local governments spend more than two billion dollars to house and ultimately cull eight to ten million dogs and cats a year.
o Every day seven dogs and cats are born to each human being. For those seven, only one animal could remain in its original home for its entire life. The rest will end up on the streets or be sent to a shelter.
o Approximately 55% of the dogs that enter a shelter will be killed and 71% of the cats will die.
o Only 14% of pets are adopted from a shelter, 38% are found homeless or given away by a friend, and 38% are from breeders.
o Purebreds make up 30% of all animals in the shelter right here in the United States.
o On average, it costs $ 100.00 to capture, house, feed and eventually kill a homeless animal.
There are simply too many animals in our shelters and the number will only increase without your help. All you have to do before considering a new family member is to educate yourself first. Decide which animal is the best fit for you and your lifestyle with a little research. The shelter can help you assess a dog’s temperament and give you a chance to get to know it before bringing it home. Because the dogs are caged, you can ask to be taken to a designated open area to get a better idea of who it is. Remember, a dog is in a crate all day and you are a stranger meeting him for the first time. Please have a little patience and understand that you may be scared and a little shy.
Also, remember some of the benefits of adopting from an animal shelter.
o Adopting an adult dog may mean that it is house trained and past teething age.
o You will have a fairly good assessment of their weight, size, and temperament.
o When adopting from a shelter, your pet may already be spayed / neutered.
o Your vaccinations will be up to date.
But above all, you are offering a dog or cat an opportunity that deserves a happy life!
I have barely scratched the surface of all the statistical facts, pros and cons about the need for animal rescue and education. For more information, you can check with ASPC, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, and Humane Society of the United States.