Deciding to Adopt!
Here are 10 reasons why we think your next pet should be a rescue pet!
10. Pet stores often source their dogs from puppy mills.
If you don’t know anything about puppy mills, have a read. They are essentially breeders who will endanger dogs in the pursuit of making money. Some of them are almost ethical, while some are horrendous — & it’s almost impossible to know where the dogs in your local pet store came from. Pet stores will often tell you their dogs came from a breeder in the area & the one way of being sure is asking to look at the paperwork. (Most people don’t know to do this.) The dogs in puppy mills are treated atrociously. The mothers are forced to breed through every heat cycle until their body physically cannot support it any more, & then they’re either killed or sold to a laboratory. They are “de-barked” by using brutal methods. The most effective way to shut down the puppy mill industry is to stop buying their dogs! It’s an excellent reason to pick up a pup from a rescue group!
9. An adult cat or dog may be a much better option than getting a puppy or kitten!
As adorable as a kitten or a puppy can be, they are a LOT of work! If you have no experience housebreaking a dog or socialising animals, you might find yourself in for a world of pain! While most shelters have young animals available if you want them, if you want a more seamless integration of your new pet with your family & lifestyle, think about adopting an adult! They have often already been trained, socialised & this can save you a lot of trauma, heartache & carpet replacement!
8. Having a pet is good for you.
When patients with dementia spend time with animals, they become less agitated & more interested in social interaction. People with depression find that animals can help combat feelings of loneliness. Pets can help control blood pressure, they encourage you to get out of the house and get some exercise & they reduce stress. Just spending a few minutes petting an animal will reduce your blood pressure. Additionally, having a dog will require you to have a routine, which in turn makes you feel needed & gives you a stronger sense of self-esteem!
7. The idea that rescue animals are somehow “damaged” is simply not true.
Yes, some animals that have been in rescue groups have been abused or were given away because they had behavioural problems that their owner simply couldn’t handle. But not all! With the economy the way it is, many animals are put up for adoption because their owners can’t afford to keep them any more. Having an animal can be expensive & if you’re in a position where you have to choose between feeding your child or looking after an animal, most people will choose their children. Spend some time with your prospective pet & get to know it a little bit before deciding to take it home. (Some rescues won’t let you take an animal on the first visit, anyway.) Take it for a walk, play with it & see whether you’re compatible. There are a few questions you can ask, though, which will help work out if this pet is right for you: What are the origins of the animal? Was it turned in by its owner, was it a stray or did it come from another shelter? How long has it been in the shelter? The more information you can get about your pet, the better. How old is the animal? This will help you determine whether it will get much bigger, whether it is still in its “naughty” young stage or if it’s old & grumpy! Does the animal have any medical or behavioural problems? Has it been trained? Has it been spayed or neutered? Is it up to date with its vaccines? Are you able to bring the pet back if it’s not a match with you & your life? Consider whether the animal will fit in with your family. How much exercise does it need? Will it get along with your children or existing pets?
6. Adopting a rescue animal is a beautiful lesson in compassion.
Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” When you welcome an abandoned cat or dog into your family, you are leading by example & teaching everyone around you a valuable lesson. The only way to teach compassion is by showing & demonstrating it. If you have children, one of the best things you can teach them is how to take care of something which needs their love & assistance. Through doing this they’re able to learn empathy — that invaluable skill of being able to understand another’s feelings, sensing when they are uncomfortable & being able to adjust your own behaviour to make things more pleasant for them. The idea, of course, is that they take these lessons they’ve learned from having a pet & extend them out to all their future relationships & interactions!
5. Adopting an animal is actually good for children!
“Researchers at the University of Leicester found that children between birth and age six years in pet-owning families will have better social skills, better speech, better co-ordination, more confidence and will be less likely to suffer from allergies.” (Source)
4. If you want a purebred dog, don’t despair!
You don’t have to go to a breeder & fork over mega-bucks if you have your heart set on a purebred dog, because between 20-30% of dogs in shelters are purebreeds! While the majority of dogs are mixed breed, purebred dogs are just as prone to being put up for adoption as any other. If you run out of money, or you no longer have the ability to care for your dog (for whatever reason), it doesn’t matter whether it’s a poodle or a mutt. Circumstances are circumstances! It’s extremely sad that people feel the need to give up their animals, but it happens & their loss can be your gain! If you’re looking for a particular breed of dog, visit a few shelters & see what they have available… But don’t let your quest for a purebreed blind you from seeing the adorable, lovable mix in the corner!
3. It’s estimated that almost 250,00 cats & dogs were euthanised in pounds in Australia every year.
60% of dogs & 70% of cats which enter pounds are euthanised. More cats suffer this fate because they’re less likely to have any identification, while dogs more often have a collar with tags. (Source.) That’s one of the best reasons to adopt from a shelter - you are literally saving lives.
2. Knowing that you rescued an animal will amplify the joy of having it in your life even more.
They sleep in our bed, under the covers, every night. They eat better than most people! They are now loved and cherished, you made that happen! Well done.
1. Animals are amazing.
Animals love you unconditionally. No matter what happens, they’ll still adore you, still be happy to see you every time you walk through the door, still want to cuddle you every night. Dogs will protect you from intruders & keep you safe when you’re walking them. Cats will curl up on you & purr so loudly you think they’re powering up for supersonic flight. Whatever your animal preference is, there is one out there just waiting to love on you. Give it the opportunity & you’ll be rewarded beyond anything you could possibly imagine.