There are approximately 70 million stray animals living in the United States. In Europe, the number of homeless and abandoned animals is around 100 million. Of the 70 million in the US, approximately 6.5-8 million animals enter shelters every year – around 4 million dogs and 3.5 million cats. Only about 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are adopted from shelters each year and only about 30% of dogs and 25% of cats are reclaimed by their owners. Do you know what this means? This means that every year around 3 million healthy cats and dogs are euthanized every year as shelters are too full and there are just not enough adoptive homes. That is around 80,000 animals each and every week.
Animals need and deserve our love, care and attention and, just like human beings, every animal deserves a home. The vast majority of animal shelters are doing fantastic work in rescuing abandoned, stray, injured or neglected animals, but the simple fact is, there are just too many homeless animals for them to cope with. Let’s all strive to change to change this, as shelter pets can be the best companions for you and your family.
Why Do Animals End Up In Shelters?
The sad fact is that some people just should not have a pet. Some people are abusive in nature and they take it out on an animal in their care and pet rescue teams do extraordinary work in rescuing animals from positions of wilful neglect and cruelty. Unfortunately, it’s also a sad case that some people simply abandon their pets, whether they are moving to a new house and perhaps cannot have a cat or a dog at their next home, or simply will no longer accept the responsibility of caring for their animal. It’s also sad that sometimes an animal’s owner passes on and has failed to make provisions for the care of their pets. Most shelter animals are rescued from being abandoned or abused and are there through absolutely no fault of their own.
Why Should You Adopt a Shelter Animal Rather Than Buy a Pet From a Pet Store?
Shelter animals are affectionate, loving, and are just in need of a good home. For the most part, they are screened and given a thorough check-up and they will likely have been neutered or spayed. With regard to their background, whether abused or abandoned, a shelter pet may be a little fearful at first, but when they come realize that they are in a loving and caring environment and one which they will be well taken care of, they will come out of their shell and be the loving companion you deserve.
By adopting a shelter pet, you might well be saving the life of a little puppy or a loving older cat. Unfortunately, not every shelter is a no-kill shelter – some have no choice but to put these animals to sleep if they are not adopted, as there often is just not enough room for the number of stray animals that require care. This is especially true for geriatric or older animals as while some kind people may take an older, well-behaved dog as their pet, fewer will adopt geriatric ones as they may have to contend with increased veterinary costs. But there are few things more rewarding than giving a loving older dog care and companionship in their later years.
Adopting a shelter dog could also help to save you money when compared to buying a pedigree pooch. Shelters animals will have generally have been vaccinated and spayed and though the shelter will require (and quite rightly deserve) a donation fee to the costs of rehoming, this will generally be lower than the cost of buying either privately or from a pet store and paying for such veterinary attention at your local vets. And you can be happy knowing that your hard-earned cash has gone to help animals in need rather than line a breeder’s pocket.
Finally, by adopting a shelter animal from an adoption shelter you will be freeing up the space, food and time used to look after them and thereby allow the shelter to accept another animal in need of love, care and attention. Caring animal shelters are already overcrowded, with many more animals out there that need their help. We all need to do our part to help the adoption shelters as best we can.
The Next Step In Adopting A Pet
There are countless animal shelters around the world with gorgeous dogs, cats and many other animals looking for new homes right now. If you’re ready to bring one into your home, the first step should be to find your local animal shelter and talk to them to see what their adoption procedure is.
If you are not aware of any local rescue facilities, many countries have great national websites which can help match you with a pet in need of a great home. For example, Adopt a Pet is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, with thousands of cats, dogs, other small animals and even horses looking for new adoptive pet parents.
Are you ready to take the next step and adopt an animal in need of a good home? Go for it… you won’t regret it…