When it comes to changing the world through adopting pets people are taking puppy steps. Over the last ten years, the number of people who are willing to adopt pets is in constant growth. You might say that the fuzzy and warm feel-good factor that often comes when you save an abandoned pet is encouraging people to do it.
There is more than 13.000 independent (not monitored by any national organization) community animal shelters in the United States. Every year around 7.6 million animals enter these shelters. Of those, approximately 3.4 million are cats and 3.9 million are dogs. The number of euthanized animals goes up to 2.7 million per year (1.4 million cats and 1.2 million dogs).
Of all the dogs that enter shelters, around 35% get adopted, 31% get euthanized and 26% of dogs get returned to their owner. When it comes to cats around 37% get adopted, 41% get euthanized and less than 5% of cats get returned to their owner. Adopt a pet – save a life!
Seven great reasons to adopt rescue pets
1. Not starting from scratch
After buying a puppy, you essentially end up with an infant in your home. A completely unsocialised, untrained little creature who thinks the box you bought him is a jail. He mistakes the papers for him to squat on for an awesome toy to be shredded, your best shoes for food and sees your new carpet for ideal substitute for grass when nature calls.
Most rescue dogs have history of being house dogs. Thanks to the fact that they may have spent some time with a foster family who have taught them the ropes, you get them with at least some basic manners. An adopted older cat, compared to an attention-seeking lively kitten is likely to be content being home alone which makes her an ideal pet for someone with an active lifestyle.
2. Perfect pet-match
Reliable rescue organisations list adoptable pets that have been health-checked, assessed for basic manners, toilet training and temperament. This should be very helpful in finding the perfect pet-match for your lifestyle and family.
3. What you see is what you get
When buying a baby pet, you're never really sure what type of adult pet will he turn out to be. All puppies are playful and cute, but until they're about two years old their adult personalities aren't really visible. So, you can't be sure if you're getting a couch potato or a dog who wants to play ALL the time.
When it comes to adopting a rescue dog, you already know whether it fits your idea of the ideal companion and what the dog's personality is like. Also, from day one you know if there are any problem areas that needs addressing to.
The same can be said of kittens and cats. They mature a little quicker, and their adult personality is visible by the time they’re one year old. So, just like with dogs, with an adult cat you know what you’re getting. A lap cat stays a lap cat and it’s easy to see if it will fit easily into a multi-cat household.
4. The bond is just as strong
An abandoned adult dog is often eager to become part of a loving pack and, as soon as they feel secure and safe, will bond with a new family. As a matter of fact, rescue dogs often eagerly please and win-over their new owners. Puppies rescued from puppy mills can take this to the extreme, they will follow you from one room to another just to stay close to you at all times.
Most adult cats also like that feeling of belongingness. They’ll either find a cosy spot close to you or curl up at the foot of the bed. Unlike them, kitten will probably spend the night attacking anything low enough to jump on, including you, running and climbing.
5. Adult pets are better for families
Older pets are often better with kids. Kittens and puppies usually like to play rough and can harm children by scratching, nipping or biting. A large breed pup, if over-excited, can accidentally knock children over. But children too can be a little over-excited around kittens and puppies, and an accidental knock, prod or pull can cause harm to young animals too. Generally, adult pets are mellow in nature and usually more patient and cautious around children.
6. A good example for your kids
Rescue pet adoption is a wonderful opportunity for your children to learn the essential values of caring, compassion, and the generous act of giving someone a second chance.
7. A cost-effective choice
Have in mind that when you buy a kitten or puppy the animal will probably need to be health-checked and vaccinated. Often desexed, wormed and treated for fleas too. When you adopt a rescued pet all those medical expenses are already taken care of.
Why do pets end up in rescue?
USA is a nation of animal-lovers. So, how come thousands and thousands of pets end up homeless every year? The tragic truth behind this fact is, most of homeless cats and dogs do have families, it's just that they're lost and unable to reunite with them. Incredibly, less than 10% of rescue pets have been dumped or surrendered and rescue kittens are more than often the offspring of a stray cat.
It's very important to have these facts in mind if you’re considering adopting a pet. This only proves that abandoned animals are nothing less than regular pets. These poor creatures have really no other need but one - a second chance in life.
Why aren't rescue pets free?
This is a frequently popping question and it isn't hard to see why most people would think that. In their opinion if they're willing to adopt a homeless cat or dog there should be no adoption fee. To tell the truth, it would be perfectly reasonable in a perfect world.
However, all rescue pets have to be examined by a vet, microchipped, desexed and vaccinated. Also, dogs must be tested for heartworm too. All these expenses are paid by the rescue group out of their own pocket. By charging an adoption fee they're only recouping these costs in order to make the rescue process sustainable.
In most cases, the basic medical expenses incurred are covered by the adoption fee you pay. However, additional costs of the pet receiving any extra medical treatment won't be covered by the adoption fee. Adoption fees usually sit in the region between $100 and $700.
In comparison to this, an average price for a pet store puppy (that most likely came from a puppy farm) is from $600 to $1,200. What's more, you still have to pay for microchipping, desexing and vaccinations. So, all added up, rescue pets are a bargain!
So, if you're convinced where to start?
A great joy, but also a huge responsibility comes from adopting a pet, so the decision to adopt shouldn't be taken lightly. Lots of things need considering to make absolutely sure you're making the right choice for you, your lifestyle and your family. Some of the things worth considering are:
If your daily schedule is busy, an adult cat would probably be the excellent companion for you.
If you work long hours away from home and travel a lot, it's most likely not the right time for pet adoption.
Your pet will have needs over the next 10-15 years, are you prepared to pay for them? Food, veterinary bills, grooming, and pet supplies can easily add up to thousands of dollars over the pet's lifetime.
If you're making plans for a major lifestyle change, such as new baby, moving or a marriage, until things settle down in your life put your pet adoption plans on hold.
If despite everything you still think the time is right for you to adopt a pet, make sure to check out some articles about pet adoption offering top tips about choosing a right pet.
Finding a good rescue group
There are plenty of organisations and people out there claiming to offer rescue services. Indeed, some of them are doing a fantastic job, but how can you see a difference between a good rescue group and a not-so-good rescue group? A good rescue group will most likely have these four signs:
The most important thing is, they should be devoted to desexing their animals. A sure sign of a not reputable organisation is for them to be willing to give you a breeding age pet that has not been desexed. Never do business with them.
They have a honest interest in the life-long welfare of their animals. Make sure your adoption contract includes a clause that you can return the pet to them, just in case the adoption doesn't work out for either you or the pet.
They are happy and willing to spend as much time as necessary to discuss your lifestyle, expectations and requirements, answering any questions you have and addressing any of your concerns. Also, they should be open to offering pet advice, if you need it after the adoption.
4. Attention to detail
They conduct a detailed adoption screening process. Although it might be intimidating to be asked personal questions by a stranger, the more open you are with them, the more easily it will be for them to match you with the right pet. Also, you can use this as a great opportunity to screen the rescue group!
Can’t adopt, but willing to help?
If you are really willing to get involved in rescue but you can't adopt at the time, You might want to consider volunteering. You could spend some time with the animals, groom them, or donate pet supplies or much-needed food. Also, one of the options is becoming a temporary foster parent for pets.
Saving a life, getting a healthy pet, feeling better, saving money and not supporting pet stores and puppy mills are just some of the reasons to adopt a pet instead of buying one. So what are you waiting for? Go find your perfect pet!
fascinating writer and animal lover. loves nature and likes to rest. Many of my articles can be found on the following page: http://www.petswants.com