Last Thursday, February 20th, was National Love Your Pet Day. While you might have spent the day lavishing your pets with long walks, extra petting and their favorite treats, several animals had no owner to show them love. If you’re thinking about adding another pet to your family (whether it’s your first or your fifth), adoption is the best way to go. If you’re feeling at all apprehensive or uninformed pet adoption, these busted myths and compelling reasons will convince you to run to your nearest animal shelter and find the newest love of your life:
- The pets in animal shelters are all sick and old. Actually, shelters and rescues have pets of all ages. Whether you want a puppy or an older pet that is already trained, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.
- The reason the animals are in a shelter is because they make bad pets. This common misconception is entirely inaccurate. There are several different reasons that a pet might be given up, and nearly all of them have to do with the owner (moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets, allergies, financial issues, etc.), not the pet.
- I won’t know the history or personality of the pet before taking it home. A shelter will likely know more about a pet than a pet store or breeder will. Several shelters and rescues have foster programs, so the foster pet parents will be able to give you great detail about your potential pet. Even if a foster program isn’t in place, the staff will be able to tell you if Pluto is quiet and gentle or feisty and playful.
- I won’t be able to find the specific kind of pet I’m looking for. 25% of all dogs in shelters are purebreds, and services like Petfinder can help you track down a certain kind of pet in their large network of shelters and rescues. And besides, love is a funny thing. You just might find that the pet that steals your heart is nothing like the one you initially imagined.
- You’re saving a life! Does it get any better than this? No matter what the history of each pet is, they all need love. You can provide them with a happy, healthy home.
- You’re creating the opportunity for more pets to be rescued. While pet rescue organizations do everything they can to take in as many pets as possible, their resources are still limited. By adopting a pet, you’re freeing up space for another pet who needs a temporary home.
- You’re saving money. Most pets from shelters have already been vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Though you might have to pay an adoption fee, it will be far less than the cost of these medical procedures.