As holiday shopping moves into full swing, dogs are on many wish lists. It may be a great way to bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones, but it’s also an ideal opportunity to give the gift of life to a shelter dog. There are also some advantages to adoption for the new owner. Here is a list of the biggest reasons to adopt, in order to help you make your choice and in the hopes that you can sway friends who have their heart set on buying.
#1: You get more background information
A shelter may have more information about an adoptable pet than does a breeder or pet store. The staff and volunteers spend a lot of quality time with the dogs and can tell you what they are like. Many of the pets up for adoption are in foster care, in which case the foster parents can give you details about their habits and personality
#2: You may find a better match for both parent and pooch
In addition to the fact that you may learn more about the pet you adopt than one you buy from a breeder or store, there are easy and convenient ways to search for your perfect fit. According to the Humane Society of the United States, millions of dogs enter shelters every year. There are breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on the website Petfinder.com. Some shelters even keep waiting lists for particular breeds.
#3: You rescue a dog that is truly in need
Most dogs that are in shelters are not there because they weren’t good pets. In fact, there are a number of circumstances beyond their control that led to them being there:
- Owner is moving to housing that doesn’t allow pets (7%)
- Owner has too many or no room (7%)
- Owner can no longer afford (5%)
- Owner is having personal problems (4%)
- Owner no longer has time (4%)
#4: You help take business away from puppy mills
Pet stores survive and thrive on the back of a cruel industry. Female dogs kept in puppy mills are subjected to an endless cycle of pregnancy in order to produce the cash crop of puppies sold in shops across the country. They receive little or no human attention, compassion or companionship and never experience the joy of the healthy, normal canine activities.
#5: You are not responsible for certain veterinary costs
Once you buy or receive a store bought pet, you have to pay for the things that shelters and rescue groups usually cover:
- Spaying/neutering: $150-300
- Distemper vaccination: $20-$30 x 2
- Rabies vaccination: $15-$25
- Heartworm test: $15-$35
- Flea/tick treatment: $50-$200
- Microchip: $50
#6: The love and devotion of a rescue dog: Priceless.