The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats are taken in by animal shelters in the U.S. every year. Around 1.5 million of those animals end up euthanized, a number that has been declining thanks in part to more people adopting rescues.
There are many reasons to adopt a rescue rather than purchase from a breeder, pet store and the like, in addition to helping to further decrease the number of the animals that are put down after being abandoned, given up or lost. Whether you live in Vancouver or a small town, there are animals everywhere in need of rescue.
You’ll Help Put an End to Cruel Mass Breeding Facilities
There are still thousands of commercial breeding facilities along with so-called “backyard” breeders that are making money producing millions of animals that are sold in newspaper ads, online sites and in pet stores, often referred to as kitten or puppy mills. The cruelty these creatures are forced to endure, including female dogs that spend nearly their entire lives impregnated, alone in cages without any companionship, needs to end. Without people buying these animals, the facilities wouldn’t exist.
By adopting a rescue, you won’t be supporting this cruel practice, and you’re more likely to get a healthy companion too.
You’ll Get a Well-Cared for Pet
Speaking of healthy, typically, animals that are taken in by a shelter are given a thorough physical examination, including vaccinations, and often go through a behavior screening process too. Many are healthy pets that wound up in the shelter due to issues with their humans, such as a divorce or move, which means they didn’t necessarily have behavioral problems, in fact many are happy, used to living with families and already housetrained.
You Won’t Have to Spend as Much
Typically, the adoption fee is much less than what you’d pay for a purebred puppy or kitten that’s sold for profit. Plus, the adoption price usually includes the cost of neutering or spaying, the animal’s first vaccinations and sometimes microchipping too. If you adopt an older pet that’s been trained, you may save on the time and expenses related to training as well.
You Can Choose from Potential Pets of All Ages and Types
While kittens and puppies are adorable, they also take a ton of work and are likely to leave you with a serious lack of sleep, similar to a baby, at least during those early weeks. Not to mention their tendency to chew up everything they find. Then, you’ll have to take the time to train it which is a major commitment. Adopting from a shelter means you’ll have the chance to adopt a more mature dog or cat that’s already housetrained and may know at least some basic commands. You’ll also be able to see what their personality is like, something that’s hard to tell when they’re still very young.
Rescue animals can usually be found in all different types, including specific breeds and mixed breeds. In fact, “mutts” can make some of the best companions – they’re likely to live longer and won’t cost as much when it comes to veterinarian bills than pure breeds as purebred dogs are more likely to develop health issues, including everything from hip dysplasia to cancers. If you’re heart is set on a certain breed, however, there are breed-specific rescue options too.